Japan – Convenience Store (Konbini)

I love Japanese Konbini! They have everything you want! From food, to drinks, to umbrellas, to make up… it is always lovely at the end of the day to shop there. And the best thing is, they are found in abundance in most cities in Japan. Different company of konbini will have different products. I know that Family Mart even has a Muji counter that sells soap and moisturiser. Their bread and food is also cheap. 

If you go to Japan, don't forget to drop in at their konbini (all the different companies') and explore!

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Hiroshima – Okonomiyaki

 

Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki

Most of the okonomiyaki sold in Singapore seems to be similar to this. I purposely walked to  Hassei to try it, because some blogs actually praise it to the sky. 

I had to wait for about 20 min in the streets just to get a seat, but everyone else who was waiting, were all waiting patiently. It was a small and cozy shop that cooks the okonomiyaki for you. 

AND it was Fantastic! I have never tasted one in Singapore that taste better! It was definitely worth the 20 min wait.

They were the usual politeness, when the waiter realises that he has to speak "Eigo" (English), when he ask me what I want to order when rattering off Japanese questions and I went "wakarimasen" (I don't understand). Luckily I do know some nouns like "nomimono" (drinks) and "ocha" (tea or oolong tea according to many shops).

At the end, I went "Oishii desu" (It is tasty) when paying, while looking at the chef, and  he burst into a bright sunny smile, while bowing to me. It really was tasty. 

Hassei (4-17 Fujimi-chō)

 

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Hiroshima – Peace Park and A-dome

 

Leaving the hostel, I walked towards Peace Park. After walking across this bridge, I came across the gate of Peace Park. 

 

The Peace Park is to be a memorial for the people who died due to the atomic bomb that was dropped above Hiroshima, during the end of World War II. Today, it is a park that people jog  at, along with their dogs. 

 

 

Shown above is the A-dome, one of the few buildings found still to  be standing after the atomic bomb was dropped. Previously, Japanese built their buildings with wood and paper, thus this more westernised structure was still standing till now. 

At one corner of the park, there are some sakura trees. When I went at the beginning of April (1st), the trees were only budding, not having any blossoms. 

 

 

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Hiroshima – Reino Inn Hiroshima Peace Park

I decided that for my Japan trip, I was going to try to save some money. Transport and food is both rather expensive in Japan. So I was trying to save on accomodations. 

Hiroshima is a relatively small place. After doing some research on some hostels in Hiroshima by checking out the maps and the rates, I decided to book 2 nights in Reino Inn Hiroshima Peace Park. They got rather good comments online for the cleanliness, value for money and convenience. 

From Hiroshima Bus Terminal (if you take the Limousine Bus Service from the airport), it is a 15 min walk, or a 2 short Tram stops, and the tram stops right in front of the hostel. It is also about 5 min walk from the Peace Park.

Upon walking in, you are greeted cheerfully by the counter staff, and asked to fill in certain documents. (They, however, do not ask for your passport, very different from most overseas hotels.) Then you will pay for the room/bed type you ordered and then you will be given a keycard for the dorm/room you are assigned to. 

I ordered a dorm bed in the female dorm, costing 2500yen (about S$39) a night. The female dorm is the only dorm on that floor and there is a very small pantry outside (with water boiler, microwave and wash basin).

Upon opening the door to the dorm, there is a toilet with 2 shower cubicles, and 2 wash basins, and about 10 double-decked bunk beds, allowing 20 girls to stay in the huge room. Each unoccupied bed will have the bed curtains open, bedsheet and pillow case folded on the bed while the blanket was folded. You then layer your selected bed with the bedsheet and luggage can be placed in the metal cabinet space beside the bed, which comes with a hanger as well. Note: the top bunks have no curtains though.

 

Wifi is complimentary in the hostel. Each bed comes with  a reading light, and if you draw the curtains and switch on the reading light, it is rather cozy, and you can check your emails right on the cozy bed late at night. Lights-out is advised to be 10pm, so if you want to do internet video chat home, you can journey to the lobby cafe or even out in the corridors (where there are tables and chairs provided in the stariway area). Additional toilets are also provided in the outside corridor to the lift if you are in desperate need of a toilet and the room's toilet cubicle is occupied, especially in the morning. Hair-dryers are also provided at the wash-basins in the room as well. There is at least a power socket provided beside each bed for you to charge your electronics, and if you want to lock certain things in the complimentary lockers in the lobby area, the lockers have electrical sockets in them  as well, so you can lock them during the day and leave them to charge if needed.

Most of the guests were respectful and polite during the 2 nights I was staying there. The japanese (from other cities?) were especially courteous, often bowing and greeting me when they see me at the wash basin area. I, of course, bowed and greeted them back. Some even checked with the previous user of the shower cubicles whether they were done before they go in to use them. 

The cafe downstairs at the lobby provide breakfast if you pay. However, if you want to save money, the Lawsons convenience store right next door on the left provide a variety of bread, bentos (boxed food), and onigiri (rice balls). The store is also where you can buy your toiletries if you did not bring them, as well as umbrellas/ponchos if it rains. There is a small bookshop on the 2nd level of the hostel, allowing you to do purchase of stationery if you need. 

The hostel not only provide short term stays, but long term stay as well. One of the girls in the dorm is obviously a long term guest, as she was cooking instant noodles and typing reports on her laptop, in her corner of the dorm, where she made her home. She had a small corner of the dorm to herself and it includes a study table. 

 

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