• Maria Nightingale

October Half Term Trip

Good morning,

Half term, I\’m not sure if I told you but Shaun came out for the holiday; so that was super exciting. Definitely a long awaited trip. I was so excited to show him Japan.

Queue another mini road (train) trip! This time we expanded our horizons with less time so it was jam packed. If you ever travel to Japan I can\’t express how important the rail pass is, but also; quick tip – go the furthest away and make you way back to the centre/home. As it was a short trip we narrowed it down to two main places; Hiroshima and Kyoto (yes again, but I\’ll explain)


As with most travelling in Japan, especially when we are departing from Utsunomiya it involves getting an early train if you don\’t want to waste a whole day travelling. So as with most trips I did most of the planning but apparently my brain wasn\’t 100% plugged in because as we started our journey we realized to get to Hiroshima it was going to take 6 hrs. We did some calculation and although it seems a long time, if you compare the mileage to drive in Europe it’s like driving from London to Barcelona. We may be in the same country but it’s a bloody long way.

Once we arrived after the long journey it’s only fair to eat and what better to eat than the local speciality; Okonomiyaki. Although I fear we may have gone to entirely the wrong place. As I\’ve said before it is quite common for shopping centres to be on top of the station and they normally have good restaurants on the top floor, I\’m not saying it was bad but I\’ve had better in Utsunomiya.

I think it was safe to say that after that it was time to find the hotel; it had been a long day. We were in fact quite lucky on our trip to the hotel, we jumped on a train and when we got off at our stop there was a shuttle to our hotel just about to leave. This hotel let us eat dinner which was a bonus! Our room was really nice but I had obviously forgotten to tell Shaun that we were sleeping on tatami on the floor the whole week, that didn\’t go down so well (He got used to it in the end).

The next day we woke up and we went to the island called Miyajima, it’s a little island just a smidgen of the coast of Hiroshima, you\’ve probably seen picture before, it is home to the Red Torii gate in the middle of the ocean. So of course we had to see that, I did some ballet in unusual places as usual.

Took in the atmosphere and then we decided to go up a mountain! That caused some issues. Typical boy, he said he didn\’t want to walk up the mountain so we said he could stay at the bottom and wait for us. Then around half way through he decides to come and find us … long story short he ended up walking up twice trying to find us.

After we got back down together we decided to go get some lunch, on our map – a pictorial map I must add – was a path that led down to the town centre past a beach. BAD decision! The pictorial map neglected to show that there was a mountain ridge in the way. And once we had realised it was too late to turn back, well it’s definitely not something we will forget.  


 The main part of the trip was to see Kinkaku-ji or as most people know it The Golden Pavilion. It’s a Zen temple, although not very Zen when trying to get a photo; it was rather crowded. However we stayed in the gardens for a while and it was very tranquil.

Of course the next day before catching the train again we went to the bamboo forests, because why not. I think he really enjoyed it as he’s seen quite a few movies that have been filmed there.

The night we spent in Kyoto however was a bit of a flop, we had gone to the Geisha district, but there had been a fire perhaps and there were fire trucks everywhere. I don’t know if that contributed to the fact but we didn\’t see any Geisha\’s at all. The food was really good though.

It was a rather exciting but also very tiring trip. Full of lots of little memories I won’t forget. One to remember for sure.

I apologise to all you readers that I took so long to write this post. But as you can see a lot happened so I hope you enjoyed the read

Thank you,

Maria x

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