Monday, November 2, 2009

Japan Short Notes #11

Day 12- 27/09/09

The start of our 7 days self tour. First stop, Hiroshima.

This is my first time taking a train, MRT not considering. The shinkansen ride was nice, comfortable and fast! Well, the total journey from Shin Yokohama to Shin Osaka takes about 2.5 hours but time passes by quickly. We had our bento lunch, music and beauty sleep.
The transfer from Shin Osaka to Hiroshima take about 1.5 hours and we finally arrived at Hotel Granvia Hiroshima. 

We were pleasantly surprised when a station master at Hiroshima station approached us and asked if we needed help. We were trying to figure out the location of our hotel and were staring at the map. It was indeed a first in Japan ever to have someone approach us offering assistance. It could be possibly the fact that Japanese are daunted by having to speak English. Many of them do learn English in school but they don't dare to speak very much due to the fear of embarrassment.  This is very unlike us, we just heck care and just hantam lah! Hahah. Really, if hubby and I live in fear of embarrassing ourselves, we would be very hungry and lost in Japan. I mean I do get embarrassed when I get unfriendly stares or look when I open my mouth and they hear  an obvious foreign accent speaking (broken) Japanese, but I do get overjoyed when they understand my questions and vocabs! If nothing else works, we will point and order. Something we often do in Japan, when we look for food, we would look for places that are cheap and good. This means we have to be contented with no English speaking staffs or menu. We would have  to point at pictures and order "hitotsu kudasai" (one please). Unfortuantely, loal eats means lots of locals would be in the shop and they would look at us in amusement as we order. 

Anyway, Hotel Granvia Hiroshima was nice, high thread count bed sheets, firm mattress, tempur memory foam pillows. Sigh, it was a good night sleep.

Our view from the room was pretty gray, view of carpark. Because we were hungry, we decided to have dinner at the shopping centre next to the train station and had Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki. Made with yellow noodle and lots of veg, it's different from the Osaka style where the ingredients are mixed with batter. According to the tour guide lady we met on Day 13, apparently Hiroshima won 9 times when pitted against Osaka style Oknomiyaki!
It's certainly healthy but since  Okonomiyaki is not one of my "must eat"  Japanese food, it's not something I would crave again.

At the Okonomiyaki store, I smiled at a young pretty lady inside as she calls out "Irashaimase" (welcome!). I coaxed her out of the store, point and order, followed her in, stared at her as she clarifies the order, guessed a few words, exchange hand gestures, feels shy when so many eyes are on you as I become the current entertainment and sigh in contentment when the food arrives, smelling so good and we leave full and happy. =D

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