Road Trip on from Kagawa to Hiroshima Prefecture (Part 2)

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ep1: Road Trip on from Kagawa to Hiroshima Prefecture (Part 2)

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Road Trip on from Kagawa to Hiroshima Prefecture (Part 2)

Our three-day journey of enquiry and discovery on the JR Seto-Ohashi Line, JR Sanyo Main Line and the JR Kure Line continues. On the first day, after checking into Anchor Hotel Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture, we have dinner at a grilled chicken restaurant. It is popular among the locals and we order some chicken wings and meatballs. 

The next morning, we catch the 9.25am train from JR Sanyo Main Line’s Fukuyama Station. We alight at Onomichi Station at 9.40am and have until 11.10am to explore the area. Onomichi is also known as a “cycling capital”. There is a famous cycling path called Shimanami Kaido from Onomichi to Ehime in Shikoku. The city has also appeared in many films and is popular among movie lovers. Cinema Onomichi is located in front of the station. It opened in 1947, closed in 2001 but reopened seven years later. It displays autographs of people in the film industry who have visited the city. 

We drop by a clothing store to ask about famous spots. The owner mentions a traditional cafe called Lloyd. It has been loved by the people of Onomichi for many years. Its spaghetti napolitana is its most popular item and has been on the menu for about 50 years. It is made with a lot of butter and ketchup, is topped with an egg and served on a hot iron plate.  

Our next destination is Takehara Station. However, we first have to alight at Mihara Station, two stops after Onomichi, and transfer to the JR Kure Line. A passenger tells us he is going to Okunoshima Island, where wild rabbits live. There is a ferry from Kure Line’s Tadanoumi Station that goes to the island in the Seto Inland Sea. 

We get off at Takehara Station and meet an elderly resident. She suggests we check out the townscape preservation district which is called the “small Kyoto of Aki”. Its traditional atmosphere and Hina doll festival decorations are what draws many visitors. We visit a house in the preservation district where we see several Hina dolls. They include the Kyoho Bina and Goten Bina, which are dolls that became popular in the mid-Edo period and Showa period. 

After this, we head by train to Akitsu Station. A resident tells us Akitsu is known for having one of the cleanest seas in Hiroshima Prefecture, so there are many oyster farms here. Fresh oysters are also sold at direct sales store Maruko Suisan. We get to taste some of the oysters at the shop.

We also visit a sake brewery which was established in 1871. Imada Shuzo has won many awards both within and outside of Japan. Known as the home of sake brewers, it is one of the most famous breweries in Akitsu. We try its speciality pure rice sake called Shifudo. The brewery makes sake which goes well with the area’s famous oysters. 

Our next stop is Ato Station, 20 minutes away from Akitsu. We visit a beauty salon, which is located in a building that was formerly the Shinkin Bank. 

Tips:

1)    The city of Onomichi is popular among cyclists and also movie lovers
2)    Fans of Hina dolls should visit the preservation district near Takehara Station


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