To cut the story short – our flight from Fukuoka going back to Manila got cancelled and the only way to go home was fly from Osaka, Nagoya, or Tokyo. Osaka was the nearest so we had our rerouted flight be there.
MARCH 18, 2020
For our last breakfast during this trip, Hisako-obaasan prepared different dishes with mentaiko: pure mentaiko, grilled fish with mentaiko, and mentaiko mayonnaise. She gave us melon and her signature yogurt with honey for desserts!
Before leaving, we had a quick pictorial with them. I already miss our Japan grandparents while typing this. Whenever we would leave their home, we would say “Ittekimasu” while she would say “Itterasshai”. Then every time we went back, we would greet her with “Tadaima” and she would reply “Okaeri”. T_T
They drove us to the train station and Hisako-obaasan even went with us inside and made sure that we would be able to ride the train on time. Even in the previous days, she made sure that we would ride the bus and would always wave us goodbye once the bus left.
So from Hakata, we rode the shinkansen going to Osaka. To cut the story short – our flight from Fukuoka going back to Manila got cancelled and the only way to go home was fly from Osaka, Nagoya, or Tokyo. Osaka was the nearest so we had our rerouted flight be there.
It was C’s first time in Osaka so I brought her to Dotonbori for late lunch – Ichiran’s ramen and Creo-ru’s takoyaki. C was able to research a café selling Cremia (¥550).
We went to DEN DEN TOWN afterwards because I was not satisfied with the anime shops we visited in Fukuoka. Even here, there was not a lot of Kimetsu no Yaiba merch.
We went to KIX afterwards by boarding the airport limousine bus in Hankyu Hotel stop near Osaka Station.
We were lucky that there was a Botejyu branch in KIX so C was able to eat more food well-known in Osaka – kushikatsu and okonomiyaki.
This trip was nerve-wracking as we travelled during COVID-19 crisis (not yet super bad in Japan at that time) but definitely a memorable one with all the nice people we met and the good experiences we had. ❤
A short walk from Maizuru Park, we reached Fukuoka Castle Ruins. I was expecting to see remnants of the main keep but there was not so much to see.
MARCH 17, 2020
We passed by MAIZURU PARK but none of the trees had any flower blooming.
A short walk from there, we reached FUKUOKA CASTLE RUINS. I was expecting to see remnants of the main keep but there was not so much to see. What survived were some turrets and guard towers in the castle grounds. Portion of the moat was also noticeable.
We went to ICHIRAN TENJIN NISHIDORI afterwards and ordered the premium tonkotsu (kamadare style) again. This time, we did not buy the set because we were still full from breakfast. I bought extra osukaran vinegar (¥120), Ichiran’s original premium vinegar, and added it to the broth. That brought out a nice touch of sourness although my conclusion is not adding the vinegar is still better.
I shopped for tea bags and tea leaves in the store recommended by Hisako-obaasan. It was difficult to spot because there was no English sign but good thing she sent me a picture of the store.
We went back to Canal City and spotted a Studio Ghibli shop…
…then went to HAKATA GION TETSUNABE for early dinner. We ordered the bestselling tetsunabe gyoza, which were bite-sized pieces of gyoza served in hot skillet.
We went back home afterwards because Hisako-obaasan and Masanobu-ojiisan prepared a yummy light dinner for our last night in Fukuoka.
They served us okonomiyaki, homemade umeshu, sake, and a side of salad with prosciutto.
What a perfect way to cap off our last night for this Kyushu region trip!
We walked going to Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park after our late lunch. This park was established near the hypocenter of the atomic bomb dropped in 1945.
MARCH 5, 2020
When we got back to the city center of Hiroshima, we went to SENMON KING KEN. This shop is famous for its shiru nashi tantanmen (soupless tantanmen).
We ordered the smallest size of shiru nashi tantanmen (¥630) since we were still full from our brunch in Miyajima. The dish looked simple but it was packed with meaty and spicy flavors. The taste was not close to tantanmen but not a negative for me.
We walked going to HIROSHIMA’S PEACE MEMORIAL PARK after our late lunch. This park was established near the hypocenter of the atomic bomb dropped in 1945. Before the bombing, this area was the political and commercial heart of the city.
The Peace Memorial Museum was, unfortunately, closed due to COVID-19. Near the museum was the Cenotaph for A-Bomb Victims, an arch structure dedicated for those who died because of the bomb – either due to the initial blast or radiation exposure.
Walking a bit more and we saw the Flame of Peace, a symbol of the citizens’ desire for a world free from nuclear weapons. It is said that the flame will burn up until the day when all nuclear weapons have disappeared.
Some more memorials we encountered before reaching A-Bomb Dome…
Our last stop in the park was the Atomic Bomb Dome, the remains of the former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. This is one of the few buildings that remained standing after the bombing. A-Bomb Dome is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it serves to be a tangible memory to the tragic event in Hiroshima.
We visited HIROSHIMA CASTLE afterwards but we can only see the outside as the operating hours were affected due to COVID-19 as well.
Before going back to Fukuoka, we had to eat the famous Hiroshima okonomiyaki at NAGATAYA. We ordered their bestseller (¥1,380) and had the egg cooked instead of raw (my sister doesn’t like it). Good thing we shared one order because the serving size was generous. Highly recommend this!