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BE MORE THAN A TOURIST

Seasonal

Going Out

Visitors

Destinations

Festivals

Dining & Nightlife

Maps

Daisho-in Temple

Kaiseki Cuisine

Art & Events

Sights

Scarecrow Paradise

THE WINTER ISSUE 2017

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WELCOME Winter. That time of year when crawling out from under the futon is that much harder. When the pull of the heated kotastu table piled with mikan oranges is soooo hard to resist. But make the effort, and winter has much to offer. It may be more wrapped up, but it’s a great time to see the Real Japan™. Without the crowds too. This is our 16th issue and brings the 4th year of the GH Mag to a close. The harsh realities of pushing print in a small market mean that it’s our slimmest to date. It is, however, one of the issues I am most proud of. We take a very close look at one of the area’s most popular destinations, Daisho-in Temple on Miyajima, with interviews with two generations of the priests charged with caring for the 1200 year temple. You should, of course, check out the many festivals that punctuate the cold months, but we also encourage you to embrace the dark and take on winter like the locals do; by eating and drinking late into the night. Finally, we have the perfect place to enjoy astounding Japanese cuisine in very special surroundings.

Cover: Shoyu Yoshida Photo: Junpei Ishida

冬。一年の中で布団から出るのがこんなに辛いと思う 季節はない。あったかいこたつの上に盛られたみかんが ある時は、特にそうだ。でも、冬にできることもたくさん

Paul Walsh

Team Editor-in-chief Paul Walsh Art director NINInbaori (Judith Cotelle) Deputy editor JJ Walsh Copy editor Annelise Giseburt Sales manager Ayaka Terao

あります。人混みを避け、本当の日本を感じる素晴らし い季節です。

今号が16号目となり、マガジンを発刊して丸4年になり ます。小規模な市場の中で発行を続ける現実は厳しく、 これまでで一番ページ数も少ないです。それでも、今号 は一番誇りに思っている号の一つです。この辺りで知ら ない人はいないほど観光スポットとしても有名な寺院、 宮島の大聖院を特集させていただき、同院の1200年の 歴史を現代2世代に渡って守り続けるお二人にインタビ ューする機会をいただきました。季節の行事が目白押し の冬、お祭りも紹介しています。寒く暗い季節を受け入

As always, we’d love to hear what you get up to this season, so feel free to get in touch by email or tag us #gethiroshima.

GetHiroshima Mag Issue 16 December, 2017 Circulation 10,000 copies Published quarterly by GetHiroshima Next issue March, 2018 Printed by Nakamoto Honten Motoaki Tahara

れ、遅くまで飲み明かすことで地元民が楽しむ冬のあり 方を一緒に楽しみましょう。本誌ではついに、素晴らし い景色をバッグに、日本の高級料理を堪能できる場所も

Contributors Judith Cotelle Goto Izumi Matt Jungblut Matt Mangham Rio Sekimoto Paul Walsh JJ Walsh

Photography Judith Cotelle Goto Izumi Junpei Ishida Matt Jungblut Rio Sekimoto JJ Walsh Paul Walsh

紹介することができました。体をあったかくして、また春 に会いましょう!

CONTENTS 02 / Welcome 03 / GetHiroshima Picks 04 / Festival Focus 07 / Message From Hiroshima Hiroshima TV, sharing Japanese documentaries with the world 08 / To Nirvana And Back In A Minivan Matt Mangham takes a deep dive into Daisho-in Temple and Mt Misen with Daiyu Yoshida. 14 / Cover Feature: Shoyu Yoshida Head priest of Daisho-in Temple talks history, tourism and Miyajima.

16 / Maps 18 / Place Listings 23 / Art 24 / Eating The Stars Kaiseki by the sea at Hina-no-ryotei Jigozen 26 / Hiroshima Nightlife Guide Whatever your style, there’s a path for you. 28 / Goto Izumi’s Deep Hiroshima 30 / Drainspotting Rio Sekimoto is your guide to Hiroshima’s artistic manhole covers. 31 / Matt’s Moment

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All rights reserved © GetHiroshima 2017 As far as we are aware, all info correct at time of going to print. If you see something that has changed, we’d really appreciate you letting us know at info@gethiroshima.com Warning/Disclaimer GetHiroshima will not accept liability for any damages caused by the contents of GetHiroshima Mag, including, but not limited to any omissions, errors, facts or false statements. Opinions or advice expressed in GetHiroshima Mag are not necessarily those of GetHiroshima. No content published in GetHiroshima can be reproduced, republished, retransmitted or redistributed without permission.


GetHiroshima picks You’ve been to the Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima. What next?

PEACE PAGODA

FAN FANTASTIC

KAGURA

Walk up Mt Futaba from Tōshō-gū shrine along a path that takes you under 100 red torii gates through an old growth forest to great views from the Peace Pagoda at the top.

Love for the Hiroshima Carp is unequivocal. Baseball fan or not, a home game is always memorable. Soccer lovers can also enjoy the Japanese stadium experience at a Sanfrecce game.

Ancient myths and folktales performed in extravagant costumes to frenetic drum rhythms, complete with dry ice, fireworks and exploding cobwebs. City center shows at Kenmin Bunka Center on on Wednesday December 6, 13, 20 & 27.

MITAKI TEMPLE

EAT!

SHIMIZU GEKIJO

Cure Kyoto “temple fatigue” and calm the soul in the gorgeous verdant grounds of Mitaki Temple, 20min walk up the hill from Mitaki station (3 stops from Hiroshima on the Kabe Line).

Okonomiyaki is both a meal and a culinary performance. Oysters and tsukemen cold noodles in spicy dipping sauce are also local specialities. Wash it all down with some great local sake.

Step into the world of Japanese vaudeville performed by itinerant troupes with very loyal fans. 3hr shows at 12pm & 6pm (¥1900) or catch the 1hr finale for just ¥1000. http://bit.ly/shimizugekijo

SHUKKEIEN GARDEN

ISLAND HOP

OUT ON THE TOWN

Wander through the miniature landscapes in this city center garden or take a seat by the lake and watch the koi carp, turtles and birds. Lovely rain or shine.

Hiroshima Port is the gateway to the islands of the Inland Sea. Sleepy Ninoshima is the nearest. Don’t have great sea legs? Stroll the Ujina waterfront or walk over to Moto-ujina island.

We urge you to eat, drink, and yes, make merry with Hiroshima people. It’s only then that you can get a real appreciation of what a special place Hiroshima is and truly feel its message of peace. GetHiroshima / WInter 2017

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winter Festivals The people of times past knew what they were doing. Winter in Hiroshima, while not bitterly cold, is certainly chilly, and the days are short. So, why not pepper the season with a sprinkling of festivals? To rouse the spirits, give thanks and, of course, eat and drink.

After a seemingly interminable run up to Christmas that began the day after Halloween, the city’s Christmas decorations come down on Christmas Eve and are replaced with more understated New Year decorations. People take a well earned break during the New Year holidays which is generally a quiet, family oriented affair. Once back at work, traditional new year commemorations involving arrows, bonfires, demons, healthy herbs and stinky sardines continue through January and into February. Before you know it, hina dolls are being dusted off as spring approaches.

CHINKA-SAI / 12/31 - MIYAJIMA

A spectacular start to New Year celebrations on Miyajima. After a frantic battle to snatch flames from shrine priests, islanders parade huge flaming torches back and forth near Itsukushima Shrine. If you plan to stay on the island and hike Mt Misen for sunrise, places to stay warm are few, so plan accordingly.

HATSUMODE NEW YEAR SHRINE VISITS / 1/1-1/3

Some of the first New Year shrine visits are at Gokoku Shrine by clubbers after countdown parties. It can get quite lively! For the next few days, there are long lines at the city’s major shrines which do a brisk trade in votive goods, amulets and fortunes. More about New Year in Hiroshima http://bit.ly/NewYearHiroshima

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TONDO-SAI /

About 2 weeks after New Year, the lucky charms from the previous year are sent up in smoke on big bonfires at shrines, schools and neighborhood parks. Gokoku Shrine’s tondo is on Jan 15 and easy to blend in at. You’ll receive a warm welcome (and hot sake) at most local tondo though. More http://bit.ly/hiroshimatondo

MOMOTE-SAI / 1/20 - MIYAJIMA

Ritual archery, said to symbolize the wish to live the year without conflict, at Ōmoto Shrine on Miyajima involves shooting arrows at the image of a demon. Visitors then line up to receive shrine blessings and sacred sake. Things end on a fun note when the arrows are awarded to lucky visitors by drawing lots

SETSUBUN-SAI / 2/3

People across Japan don demon masks and scare the life out of little kids, throw beans to cast out misfortune, eat giant sushi rolls, spear stinky fish heads and fight for lucky bags of snacks. Check out Gokoku and Sumiyoshi Shrines or Daisho-in on Miyajima. More about Setsubun http://bit.ly/SetsubunHiroshima GetHiroshima / WInter 2017

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|| 11/17-1/3 Dreamination Illuminations, Hiroshima

ILLUMINATIONS / Winter illuminations are becoming a modern tradition. Christmas-themed lights at The Hiroshima Botanical Garden and Hiroshima’s city center illuminations continue until Jan 3. Further afield, Bihoku Hillside Park & Miroku-no-sato’s displays are more ambitious. More about Hiroshima’s illuminations http://bit.ly/HiroshimaIlluminations

DEZOME-SHIKI NEW YEAR FIREFIGHTER’S PARADE / 1/5 Held across Japan in early January, these dramatic events entertain the gathered crowds with parades, fire trucks, helicopter rescues, emergency drills and acrobatic stunts performed in period costume on bamboo ladders. Hiroshima’s event is held on the site of the old baseball stadium opposite the A-bomb Dome, kicking off around 10:30am.

MIHARA SHINMEI-ICHI DARUMA FESTIVAL / 2/9-10 This 3-day festival dates back almost 450 years to the construction of Mihara Castle. Conceived as a way of fostering trade and business, lucky daruma dolls began to be sold in the 19th century. Look out for the giant 180kg daruma doll. The festival is also known for its huge array of food hawkers. More http://bit.ly/miharadarumafestival

|| 11/25-12/24 (weekends and holidays) Christmas Illuminations, The Hiroshima Botanical Garden || 12/15-17 German Christmas Market, Urban View Grand Tower, Hiroshima || 12/23 Tencho-sai, traditional bugaku court dance Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima, 09:30 || 12/31 Chinka-sai Fire Fetival, Miyajima, 18:00 || 1/1-5 New Year Rituals & traditional bugaku court dance, Itsukushima Shrine, MIyajima || 1/5 Hiroshima City Dezomeshiki New Year Firefighters Ceremony, Site of old baseball stadium 10:00 || 1/7 Nanakusa-gayu Traditional 7 healthy herb soup, Toshogu Shrine, 11:00 || 1/7 Notohara Tondo Festival, Notohara Elementary School, Near Tomo-no-ura, 14:00 || 1/8 Saitogoma Hiwatari-shiki ritual fire walking, Saikoku Temple, Onomichi, 10:00-12:30 || 1/8 Traditional mid-winter swim, Motoyasu River in front of the A-bomb Dome, 11:00-12:30 || 1/13 Tondo Festival, Toshogu, 11:00~ || 1/14 Tondo Festival, Sorasaya Shrine 13:00 or 13:30~ || 1/14 Sanba Tondo Shinmei Festival, Sanba Elementary School, Onomichi, 12:00-17:00 || 1/15 Tondo Festival, Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine, 10:00 || 1/20 Momote-sai ritual archery, Omoto Shrine, Miyajima, 11:00

MIYAJIMA OYSTER FESTIVAL / 2/10-11 Hiroshima produces the vast majority of Japan’s oysters and winter is the season they are best enjoyed, fat and juicy! You’ll find oyster festivals along the coast every weekend from late January through February. Miyajima’s is one of the biggest where you can enjoy the tasty bivalves every which way. More http://bit.ly/OysterFestivals

TOMO-NO-URA HINA DOLL DISPLAYS / 2/8 - 3/18 Hina dolls usually come out just in time for the March 3 Girl’s Day Festival. The picturesque port of Tomo-no-ura, the inspiration for the location of the Ghibli animated movie “Ponyo”, dusts off their collection a little earlier than other places. It’s just one more reason to visit Tomo-no-ura, a lovely place at any time of the year.

|| 1/21 Oyumi-jinji ritual archery, Momoshima, 09:00-11:00 || 1/27 Ritual Archery, Utsu Shine, Ocho, Osaki-shimo-jima Island || Early February Futamado-no-shinmei-sai, Tada-no-umi, Takehara 14:00-18:00 || 2/3 Setsubun, Hiroshima Gokoku Shirine, 15:30 || 2/3 Setsubun, Sumiyoshi Shrine, 14:00 || 2/3 Setsubun, Daishoin Temple, Miyajima 11:00 || 2/3 Setsubun, Saikoku Temple, Onomichi, 11:00 || 2/3 Setsubun, Ikkyu-san Shrine, Onomichi 20:00-20:30 || 2/3 Setsubun, Oyama Shrine, Habu-cho, Innoshima 15:30-16:30 || 2/8-3/18 Hina Dolls Displays, Tomo-no-ura || 2/9-2/11 Mihara Shimei Ichi Daruma Festival, Mihara 9:00-20:00 || 2/10-2/11 Miyajima Oyster Festival, 10:00-15:00 www.gethiroshima.com/events

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S W E N

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

MESSAGE FROM HIROSHIMA

A-bomb documentaries streaming now To commemorate its 55th year, Hiroshima Television launched its “Message From Hiroshima” campaign - a selection of locally produced TV documentaries related to the A-bombing, streamed online for free with English subtitles - with an ad in the New York Times that coincided with the 2017 anniversary of the bombing. 5 films are currently streaming on the company’s website. U.S. POWs and the A-bomb explores the story of two of the handful of American servicemen who found themselves in Hiroshima on its most fateful day and the local man who made it his life’s work to track down their families and have their names officially registered as A-bomb victims. It’s a historical detective story with a strong message of reconciliation. It’s an excellent companion piece to the well received Paper Lanterns by U.S. filmmaker Barry Frechette that covers the same subject, the production of which is a major part of U.S. POWs and the A-bomb. Streetcars and School Girls focuses on the young girls brought from the countryside to keep Hiroshima’s streetcars running in place of the men sent to fight overseas. Many lost their lives in the bombing, but thanks to those who survived, the sight of trams moving across Hiroshima’s burnt plain a few short days after the bombing, brought hope to a devastated populace. Interviews with the women convey how excited they were to have the chance to work in the city in exchange for schooling, as well as their stoic attitude towards being sent back to their farms once men started to return from the

front. A moving and human account, Streetcars and School Girls offers an alternative and accessible perspective on the A-bombing and Hiroshima’s recovery.

Looking for meaty comfort food? Stylish diner Cantina 23 is the place. In addition to buildyour-own burgers, the menu includes Cuban, BLT, pulled pork, cheese steak and English Breakfast sandwiches. Vegetarians don’t despair — one of their burritos is meat-free, and they are happy to adjust the menu on request. We love the green ceiling, and Cantina 23’s vibe is certainly conducive to enjoying a few drinks or lingering over some pie.

YOKOGAWA OASIS

If you are looking for a dining option near bustling Yokogawa Station, Garden Dining offers Italian lunches and dinners in a relaxing atmosphere. Despite its compact size, a beautiful garden entrance extends its calming influence through the whole interior. 1969’s Ishibumi (Carved in Stone) offers no such moments of light relief. The stark telling of the story of 322 junior high school students working on a riverbank 500m from the bomb’s hypocenter, through letters by family members is well worth putting oneself through. The letters, calmly recited by Japanese movie great Haruko Sugimura, amply convey the horror of the event, the confusion of the aftermath and lingering guilt felt by parents and older siblings. An English translation of the letters and a new version of the film, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, on DVD and Blu-ray can be found in the Hiroshima Peace Museum shop. View these and two more films at http://www.htv. jp/hiroshima/ until the end of March, 2018.

SWEDISH MELODIC DEATH METAL!

Try out your live house manners (see page 26) at Hiroshima Club Quattro at the ARCH ENEMY JAPAN TOUR 2018. Tickets are a snip at ¥7500 (plus a mandatory drink charge of ¥500 on the door) and go on sale Dec 17. www.club-quattro.com GetHiroshima / WInter 2017

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To nirvana and back in a minivan Exploring Daisho-in with Daiyu Yoshida words: Matt Mangham / photos: Paul Walsh

With a 1200 year history, Daisho-in Temple is one of the most fascinating places on Miyajima Island. It takes a little more effort to get to than the famous floating torii gate and Itsukushima Shrine, but, as rave reviews testify, Daisho-in is a must see. Matt Mangham recently had the opportunity to spend the day with Yoshida Daiyu, who will soon to be taking over the running of the temple.

I first passed through Daisho-in’s Niomon Gate years ago, tiptoeing by its weathered and glowering guardians in an attempt to escape the crowds around Itsukushima Shrine. In the years since, the temple has become a favorite, so I was glad to have a chance to meet Yoshida Daiyu, Daisho-in’s 27-year-old Fukujyūshoku (assistant head priest). Over the course of a long Saturday, the young monk allowed three of us to join him on his rounds, answering endless questions about the temple’s history, practices and relationship to the more famous Shinto shrine down the hill. First things first. Daisho-in, by tradition, was founded in 806 by the famous monk Kūkai, newly returned from China, where he was recognized as a master of esoteric Buddhism. Back in Japan, Kūkai (also known by the posthumous name Kōbō Daishi) established the Shingon school of Japanese Buddhism. This included a visit to Miyajima, where he spent 100 days performing gumonji-hō (the Morning Star ritual) near the summit of Mt. Misen, which he believed to be an emanation of the mythical Mt. Meru of Buddhist cosmology. But what is Shingon? From the 19th through the mid-20th centuries, Western engagement with Buddhism centered largely on the Theravādan traditions of Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia and Japanese Zen. Daisho-in’s Shingon school represents another stream of thought and practice, Vajrayana, linking Shingon to the Buddhism of Tibet. In fact, the temple houses a beautiful sand mandala made by monks accompanying the Dalai Lama on a visit to celebrate the 1200th anniversary of Daisho-in’s founding. Shingon practice combines mantra, sutra recitation, and ritual gestures and visualizations. Teacher to student transmission of these elements and their proper use is a core feature of the school, which reveals many of its core rituals only to ordinands, and several questions to Daiyu met with gentle but firm limits to further explanation. This reticence and the fact that, according to some

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sources, not a single book on Shingon appeared until the 1940s, go a long way toward explaining the school’s low profile outside Japan. Yet Daisho-in is more welcoming to a casual visitor than many temples. The monks, ranging in age from 17 into their 50s, greet guests warmly and seem to enjoy a close, even playful relationship with one another. The head priest (Daiyu’s father) has a pragmatic view of the juggling act temples must perform to accommodate both their religious function and roles as tourist spots. Asked why there’s no admission fee, increasingly common across Japan, he shrugs, saying he hates the idea of people coming all that way just to be turned back for not having enough money. At any rate, a layperson or visitor still has much to explore, as well as some openly shared rituals and meditation to practice. You can begin just past the Niomon gate itself, turning prayer wheels as you climb the stone steps to offer a “recital” of sutra.

At the top, the first building that’s likely to catch your eye is the Kannon-do, and it’s an excellent place to jump in (after you’ve removed your shoes). The hall, Hiroshima’s largest Kannon-do, was built by Daiyu’s great grandfather. The hall is well worth exploring. The aforementioned sand mandala is here (two, actually), as well as other gifts from the Tibetan visit. A tainai-meguri (roughly, womb maze) snakes beneath the hall, the walls of its pitchdark passage punctuated by dimly illuminated bodhisattvas urging you on to your ritual rebirth at the far end. At the hall’s front left corner, an easily overlooked statue of the Archangel Michael subduing Satan serves as a link to France’s Mont Saint Michel, paired with Miyajima as a Tourism and Friendship City. But the fact that the building exists at all sheds light on the history of Japan’s two main religions.


The main object of veneration is an image of the Eleven-Faced Kannon, the bodhisattva of compassion and likely the most beloved figure in East Asian Buddhism. According to Daiyu, the statue was made around the year 700 with help from Gyoki, a legendary monk and cartographer who was also instrumental in building Todai-ji and its renowned Daibutsu. Until the Meiji Restoration, the Kannon was housed in Itsukushima Shrine. Shinbutsu shugō, a syncretic blending of the numberless Shinto kami with Buddhism’s equally bewildering hierarchy of Buddhas, boddhisattvas, manifestations, avatars and saints, was pervasive throughout Japan. The Sanki Daigongen (Three Awesome Deities of Misen), for instance, enshrined and worshiped in Daisho-in’s Maniden Hall and at the Sanki-do Hall near the summit, represent an indivisible fusion of folk belief and esoteric Buddhist devotion. Daisho-in itself was a bettōji, a now defunct term referring to temples whose monks performed rites on behalf of a shrine. The island’s temples divided labor done for Itsukushima. Traditionally, for instance, Daigan-ji (also a Shingon temple, though of a different branch) took care of maintenance, construction and other carpentry for the shrine, while monks from Daisho-in were in charge of the shrine’s principal festivals, including the New Year fire festival of Chinka-sai and summer’s Tamatori-sai. In 1868 the new Meiji government’s shinbutsu bunri edicts attempted, in several stages, to forcibly extricate all Buddhist elements from

Shinto shrines. The short-term result was chaos, as anti-Buddhist nativists and some local officials found license to go well beyond the letter of the new laws, leading to the loss of temples and their treasures. On Miyajima physical destruction was avoided, but relationships among the island’s religious institutions were forever altered. The Kannon was brought to Daisho-in’s newly built Kannon-do, while Daigan-ji took statues from the unfinished Buddhist Senjokaku and its adjacent five-storied pagoda, both converted for Shinto use. Daisho-in no longer had a hand in the shrine’s festivals. Most surprising to those who know Miyajima today, Daiyu says that for a brief time both the five-storied pagoda and the famous Torii itself were stripped of color, bare wood seeming a more unambiguously Shinto color than the shu-iro red of the present buildings. The impossible project of untangling the strands of Japanese spirituality was never completed. The Three Awesome Deities still receive their offerings.

This was my favorite stop of the day. In circles that rank such things, Okuno-in has a reputation as Miyajima’s number one “power spot,” and there was certainly a silence to the place, and a clean, cold fragrance in the air that defined its precincts as sharply as any wall might. The temple itself is a small, square structure, with an old rake tucked beneath the floor and an even older camellia tree for shade. Daiyu slid the doors apart, revealing a neat room with tatami floor, a kerosene stove and a well-kept altar. The image on the altar was of Kūkai, Shingon’s founder. This Okuno-in is related, in a way I didn’t quite understand, to the more famous mausoleum at Wakayama Prefecture’s Koya-san, where Kūkai is said to be in meditation awaiting Miroku, the Buddha-to-come. Nearby was a small hut, padlocked. A fading sign asked would-be hermits to inform the authorities and stay no longer than a week. It looked as though it hadn’t been opened in years, and Daiyu joked about the idea of one of us using it again.

After a tasty shojin ryori lunch prepared by Daiyu’s mother, we headed up the mountain in a temple minivan. With four of us, the little van labored up the steep and narrow road to Okuno-in. On the last unpaved stretch, when the van stuck fast in a rut, two of us got out to push. As we arrived, two Japanese hikers emerged from the forest, visibly curious at the sight of two foreigners, a Japanese woman and a monk clambering out of a car high on the mountain. Overhead, a derelict-looking cable hung above the trees, used to ferry equipment back and forth between Okuno-in and a higher point on Misen. We walked the short remainder of the way.

We took to the mountain paths. Twenty minutes or so up rugged stone steps brought us to the upper Niomon gate. Here we began to meet other hikers, though not many. Not far beyond the gate we stopped briefly at Miyama shrine, a graceful and airy arrangement of three small shrines to the goddesses worshiped at Itsukushima, though again Daiyu hinted that things had once been otherwise. Pre-Meiji documents show a shrine to Misen’s Three Awesome Deities here, with no mention of the goddesses (also sometimes referred to as Sanki, but with different Chinese characters). When Daiyu said, “No one really talks about this,” we passed over it and continued walking.


Finally we arrived at a cluster of buildings, and suddenly there were actual crowds. Not oppressive, but jarring after the forest’s silence. In the distance below, the ropeway terminal was visible, and it was clear that many had walked from there and would return that way as well. To our left stood the smoky Reika-do, where monks from Daisho-in take turns tending a fire said to have been burning continuously since it was laid by Kūkai for ritual purposes 1200 years ago. People entered and left, blinking against the pall as they made quick circuits of the narrow, soot-blackened interior. Facing the Reika-do, the Hondo is meant to mark the spot where Kūkai spent his hundred days in training, performing the ritual called gumonji-hō. There is also a bronze temple bell, dating to the Heian era and donated to Daisho-in by Taira no Munemori, son and heir of the more famous Kiyomori. A designated Important Cultural Asset, it sits today on the Hondo’s floor. Daiyu tells us that seeing the bell hung again is one of several key tasks he hopes to perform during his tenure as head priest. In a hut behind the Hondo, monks still undertake gumonji-hō. When we visited, a Chinese monk was several weeks into the ritual. Daiyu spoke about the trials of his own training. Among other challenges (including tantric visualizations he couldn’t describe in detail), the ritual involves internalizing a short sutra by reciting it one million times over the course of the training. Daiyu opted for a 50-day ritual, which meant 20,000 recitations each day. In a minivan-enabled 21st century, rather than the decidedly quieter 9th, his meditations were regularly disrupted by singing hikers, American fighter jets out of Iwakuni screaming overhead and couples stopping just outside his hut to picnic and exclaim over the beauty of their surroundings. Now he has strung a length of rope alongside the Hondo, barring passage beyond. A sign reads “Authorized Staff Only.”

with Shugendo, a collection of mountain-centered beliefs and ascetic practices whose roots entwine with Daiyu’s Shingon school. In fact, one small statue enshrined here depicts Shugendo’s legendary founder En no Gyōja. Altars display mirrors like those seen in Shinto shrines, and Daiyu tells us they conceal secret Buddhas, brought out for public viewing only rarely. When I ask him about this mingling, he tells me that while the separation held (in most places) for Shinto, Shingon Buddhism has largely ignored it. Dangers remain. In 1888, not long after the separation edicts were put in place, a fire swept through Daisho-in, reducing all its main buildings but one to ashes and resulting in a loss of both historical treasures and records. And there are other problems. One result of the Meiji separation of Shinto and Buddhism was an erosion of memory. In attempts to preserve endangered buildings and the objects they housed, false histories were created to justify their continued existence. Inevitably, some of these cover stories supplanted the truth. Additionally, post-war Japan found itself reluctant at times to talk openly about religion, and in sidestepping these questions, Daiyu finds an incoherence creeping into the country’s account of its past. “These days,” he says, “textbooks say this happened and that happened, and this thing is here and that person was there, but they often forget to say why any of that is true.” In many cases it’s likely that no one remembers. There are a hundred lenses one can turn on the past, a hundred sieves to pass it through, but only if something remains to be examined. Japan’s shrines and temples are crucial repositories of its history, tangible and otherwise. Daisho-in, and all of Miyajima, are a constant and beguiling reminder of this. Many thanks to Daiyu for a wonderful day on Misen, and keep that fire burning.

At the end of a flight of steps above these buildings stands the Sanki-do, where the Three Awesome Gods of Misen found themselves relocated after the 1868 separation laws evicted them from Miyama Shrine. The Sanki-do’s interior evokes a past age. The walls are hung with enormous Tengu masks, creatures that easily claim space on both sides of the imagined divide between Shinto and Buddhism, and are closely associated GetHiroshima / WInter 2017

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PEOPLE

Shoyu Yoshida words: Paul Walsh / photo: Junpei Ishida

Shoyu Yoshida, zasu of Daisho-in Temple on Miyajima, talks to GetHiroshima about history, tourism and the future of Miyajima.

Shoyu Yoshida is the 77th head priest of the Daisho-in Temple complex on Miyajima. With a history that goes back 1200 years, priests have been dispatched here from Ninna-ji Temple in Kyoto, the principal temple of the Omuro branch of Shingon Buddhism, for centuries. Yoshida’s grandfather, one of the first generation of Buddhist priests to be allowed to marry, took on the task of rebuilding the temple complex after a great Meiji era conflagration destroyed most of the complex. Since then, responsibility for the temple has been a family affair, passed on to Yoshida via his father, and now, his son, Daiyu, is preparing to take on the mantle. What was it like growing up as a child at Daisho-in? I lived here at the temple with my family and went to both elementary and junior high school here on the island. After entering high school, I made the trip back and forth across the water to Hatsukaichi. My childhood wasn’t really that different from that of my friends, though I had my head shaved in 3rd grade and, from that time, my days began by making offerings of tea to the temple’s various Buddha images before school. Did you ever think that you might pursue another path in life? Not really. I guess it was expected that I would take over, though it was never pushed on me. I started taking part in the fire walking rituals held here, and, as I got more and more involved in the temple rituals, I started to feel more and more attached to the life. Perhaps I was brainwashed over time.

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When it came to deciding where to go to college, I had to choose normal or Buddhist university. Most of my cousins had gone to Buddhist schools, so following suit seemed the natural thing to do. It was at university that I committed to pursuing a life as a Buddhist priest. It’s not uncommon for Japanese people to describe Japan as a non-religious nation. How is Buddhism in faring in modern Japan? I really don’t think that we can say that Japan is “religionless”. Take the end of the year, when we have Christmas, ringing in the New Year with Buddhist temple bells on New Year’s Eve and then visiting a shrine on New Year’s Day, all in one week! People put their hands together, offer prayers or make wishes, and I believe this shows a degree of faith, in something.

However, fewer people today can give a definitive answer to what religion they follow than in the past. Fewer people live in multi-generational homes, and youngsters don’t grow up seeing their grandparents practicing their Buddhist faith. The family butsudan altar itself is now widely thought of as purely a place where one’s ancestors are enshrined, rather than principally an object of Buddhist worship. The move from holding funerals, officiated by local Buddhist priests, to funeral homes has also reduced exposure. On Miyajima, for example, funerals would be held in the family home, after which the coffin would be escorted by the entire island population to the jetty from where it would be taken by boat to the mainland for cremation and interment. One reason we have so many cute Jizo figures in the temple grounds, as well as those of some much-loved animated children’s characters, mixed in among the more august statuary, is that he


would like children to have pleasant memories of the temple, which, at some point in the future, may spark a desire to return or to take another look at Buddhism. Creating opportunities for “light” encounters with the temple and its monks is also the purpose of the various flea markets and musical concerts, among other events, which aim at an older audience. Your son, Daiyu, talked to us about the separation of Buddhism and Shinto enforced in 1868. Can you give us a sense of Miyajima before the shinbustu-bunri edicts? The initial inspiration for the restoration and expansion of Itsukushima Shrine itself is said to have come to Kiyomori on Mt. Koya via a physical manifestation of the founder of Shingon, Kobo Daishi. Architecturally, Buddhist influence is everywhere. 108 is a highly significant number in Buddhism, and Itsukushima Shrine was built with 108 spaces between the pillars in the walkway, 108 lanterns and the distance between the torii gate and the main shrine is 108 ken (an old Japanese unit of measurement). Buddhist monks were intimately involved in every aspect of religious practice. The entrance to Itsukushima Shrine was actually where the exit is now. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the current exit is of far more elaborate construction than the current entrance. They were actually switched to improve the flow of people from the ferry terminal. The entrance, however, was to facilitate the coming and going of the monks of Daisho-in who were also stationed in 12 sub-temples along Takimachi Street, which still runs up to the entrance to the temple, and who would take care of the shrine rituals. Monks would chant sutras in the shrine as in the old days Buddhas were enshrined together with the Shinto kami gods. Senjokaku, the unfinished “thousand mat pavilion”, that sits upon the hill above Itsukushima Shrine, was to accommodate 1000 monks chanting sutras to the Buddha below. The 12th century Heike Nokyo scrolls on which sutras were penned by members of the Heike family, including the leader Taira no Kiyomori who is credited with the development of Itsukushima Shrine, were also stored in Itsukushima Shrine. All this would be inconceivable today. Even the “quintessentially Shinto” floating torii gate is highly influenced by Shingon and the stones

inside the upper part of the shrine that keep the gate grounded are inscribed with Buddhist sutras. The vermillion coloring now so often associated with Shinto was seen as so evocative of Buddhism that for some time after the split the paint was stripped from the torii gate and the 5-story pagoda that stands next to the thousand mat pavilion. Would you like to see a return to the old days? Even though we are no longer involved with ceremonies such as the Chinka-sai fire festival on New Year’s Eve and the summer Tamatori-sai that used to be under our purview, I am grateful that they continue under Itsukushima Shrine. Shingon has historically been very accommodating when it comes to other beliefs. Our view is that the Shinto kami are manifestations of the Buddha in the physical world. The lower position of the kami in the cosmological hierarchy is problematic for Shinto and makes a return to the syncretism unlikely. Daisho-in is now firmly on the radar of the growing number of overseas visitors to Miyajima. How do you view the change in the makeup of temple visitors? We are extremely gratified that visitors from around the world make the effort to visit us. There is extra wear and tear, but we are here to serve our parishioners and practicing Buddhists and have no intention of charging entrance fees. In return we hope visitors understand that those here to worship appreciate a quiet atmosphere. I can fully understand how Daisho-in is an exotic and unusual place for our western visitors and that on hearing the chanting of monks and the bagging of drums, they want to take a look. But it can be offputting for those trying to focus on their prayers, especially if people are talking loudly and snapping photos. We’ve considered putting up more signs, but visitors don’t actually seem to pay much attention to them! We are currently setting up a temple-wide, free WiFi service, and perhaps we can use that to help educate visitors without being too overbearing. As an active member of the Miyajima Tourism Association, are you concerned about increased tourism on the island as a whole? More than tourism, Miyajima is a microcosm of Japan’s population crisis. The island population is getting older and the younger people who leave for work no longer tend to return. Miya-sen-gen is an expression often used about Miyajima. It indicates

that there are only around 1000 households on the island. At its height, the population was around 5000. When I was in elementary school, it had dropped to 3000. Now it is down to only about 1600, with single person households increasing. I worry about the ability of temples and shrines to maintain the island’s many rituals and traditions. We rely on local people to help out, but when things are busy they are not always able to do so. A lot of the people commute back and forth for work tend not to get involved; I’d like to work on this. How do you feel about Miyajima providing incentives to the growing number of young city families looking to move to more rural places? We have to increase the population, but with only a limited amount of work available on the island and only a limited number of places where people can live, there are considerable challenges. There just isn’t much available land on which to build. Families who have left the island are not keen to sell the now-empty properties they have but have left behind. There is actually a lot of interest off-island in buying and renting vacant houses, but it hasn’t gotten much traction due to lack of local enthusiasm. What is in the future for Daisho-in? Well, next year is the 900th anniversary of the birth of Taira no Kiyomori. We will be hosting several events to commemorate this and there are plans to add some extra elements to the annual Kiyomori Festival in March. I will actually be taking up a position at Ninna-ji Temple in Kyoto in spring, so my son, Daiyu, will start running Daisho-in. He’s around the same age as I was when I took over from my father. I had around 10 years with him on hand to ask for advice and guidance before he passed away which made the transition much smoother than it could have been. I’ll still be attending important ceremonies at Daisho-in, and, with smartphones and LINE, these days, it’s easy to stay in touch even if I’m a few hundred kilometers away. The hardest part of taking over for me was constantly being measured in comparison with my father. I initially found it quite stressful, and it was some time before I realised that I would find my own way if I gave myself time. I’m sure Daiyu will experience similar frustrations. I haven’t talked to him about it, but we recently attended a lecture by the latest in a long line of renowned tea ceremony practitioners, and he expressed the exact same frustration, so I’m sure it stuck a chord. GetHiroshima / WInter 2017

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Bus Center (3F)

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10 Tennis courts

NAKAMACHI

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Prefectural Office East Office

Enryuji Temple (Tokasan)

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Chokakuji Temple

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Jogakuin High School

Shukkeien-mae

Jogakuin Junior High School

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KAMI NOBORICHO PARK

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Noboricho Primary School Memorial Cathedral for World Peace

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KYUGUCHIMON PARK Chuo Police Station

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Kencho-mae Prefectural Office (Kencho)

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Sumitomo Mitsui Bank

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FORMER BASEBALL STADIUM SITE

Sun Mall

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Tsuchiya Hospital

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Aster Plaza

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SAKAIMACHI Koami-cho Dobashi

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Hiroshima City Hall

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List of places CULTURE

RESTAUR ANT & CAFES

a

c

1

A-Bomb Dome - Map C [B-1]

1

Aitsuki - Map B

2

Children’s museum - Map C [B-2]

2

Artcafe ELK - Map C [B-1]

3

Former Bank of Japan - Map C [B-2]

3

Borrachos - Map B

4

Gallery G - Map A

4

Cantina 23 - Map B

5

Hatchoza Cinema - Map B

5

Choi Choi Ya - Map B

6

Hiroshima City International House - Map A

6

Graffity Mexican Diner - Map C [C-2]

7

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art Map C [D-3]

7

Kanak - Map C [B-2]

8

Hiroshima City Tourist Information - Map C [B-2]

8

Kissa Saeki - Map C [B-1]

9

Hiroshima International Center - Map C [B-2]

9

La Vague - Map C [B-2]

10

Hiroshima Museum of Art - Map C [B-1]

10

Mau - Map B

11

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum - Map C [B-2]

11

Micks - Map B

12

Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum - Map A

12

Nagataya Okonomiyaki - Map C [B-1]

13

International Exchange Lounge - Map C [A-2]

13

Otis! - Map C [A-2]

14

Rijo Kaikan Kenmin Bunka Center - Map C [B-1]

14

Rojiura Teppan Kotaro - Map C [C-3]

15

Salon Cinema 1/2 - Map C [C-1]

15

Sarii-chan Okonomiyaki - Map A

• Police 110 / • Fire and Ambulance 119

16

Shimizu Gekijo - Map A

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Tokaichi Apartment - Map C [A-1]

• Japan Helpline 0570-000-911

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Shukkeien Garden - Map A

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Vegan Cafe - Map B

24 hour non-profit, nation emergency assistance service in English.

18

Wabaru Tobira - Map C [B-2]

Anytime, from anywhere, about anything.

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Warung Matahari - Map C [B-3]

• 24h Emergency pediatric hospital (Funairi Byoin)

20

Yōin - Map B

ACCOMMODATION

b map p. 16

map p. 17

EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS

082-232-6195

1

Guesthouse Hiroshima Mange Tak - Map C [1-A]

• Multilingual Interpreting Service (Trio-phone)

2

Hana Hostel - Map A

3

Hotel Flex - Map A

4

Ikawa Ryokan - Map C [A-2]

1

Don Quijotte - Map B

• TELL English counseling service 03-5774-0992 (09:00-23:00)

5

J-Hoppers Hiroshima - Map C [A-2]

2

Mono Koto Store - Map C [C-2]

• Resident Consultation & Interpreting Service

6

Simple Stay - Map C [A-2]

3

Outsider Book Nook / Global Lounge - Map C [C-1]

(Monday to Friday / 9:00 a.m. ~ 4:00 p.m.)

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Tsuruya Guesthouse - Map C [A-1]

4

Tayama Bungu - Map C [B-2]

082-241-5010

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Washington Hotel - Map B

5

Yamatoya - Map B

SHOPPING

082-247-9715 09:00-19:00 (April-September) / 09:00-18:00 (October-March)

• Immigration Information Center 0570-013-904 • Human Rights Counseling Center for Foreign Citizens

NIGHTLIFE

HE ALTH & BE AUT Y

1

Bar Edge - Map B

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Green Arena Gym & Pool - Map C [B-1]

2

Bon Voyage - Map B

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Hiroshima Stretch - Map C [B-2]

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Bourbon Square - Map B

4

Centre Point - Map B

5

Hallelujah Kitchen & Bar - Map B

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Kemby’s - Map C [B-2]

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Koba - Map B

8

Lotus - Map B

9

Merchant of Venice - Map B

10 Molly Malone’s - Map B 11 New King - Map B 12 Organ-za - Map C [A-1] 13 Raku Beer - Map B 14 Tropical Bar Revolución - Map B

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INTERNE T 1

Global Lounge - Map C [C-1]

082-228-5792


HALLELUJAH KI TC HE N

&

B AR

www.facebook.com/hallelujah.kitchen.bar

Have a drink and some light food while enjoying the reggae, ska and rocksteady soundtrack or enjoy a full dinner. Western and Japanese food (fish, meat, salads, pasta etc is available). The staff don’t speak a lot of English, but are very friendly and welcoming and there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself laughing with them until well into the early hours. 18:00-05:00 Closed on Monday | Tel: 082-247-0199 Nakagawa bldg II 1F, 8-11, Nagarekawa-cho, Naka-ku, Map B p. 16 5

MAU Stylish, relaxed and friendly Japanese restaurant with counter seating and 2 private rooms serving seasonal Washoku cuisine and excellent sake. Enjoy a full meal or drop in for drinks and sample some Japanese flavors. Order a la carte or let Chef Hanabusa delight you with an omakase course (starting at ¥4500 for 9 dishes). 18:00-2:00 (closed Sun & Nat Hols) | Tel: 082-240-9030 1F Nakashinchi Bldg, 4-3 Nagarekawa-cho, Naka-ku Map B p.16 10

Guesthouse Hiroshima Mange Tak

Hana Hostel

Scandinavian and Japanese design meet at Mange Tak. Mixed & female only dorms (from ¥3800). Laundry & kitchen facilities. Stylish cafe-bar & roof terrace. 082-533-7655 map C p.17 [1-A] 1

Clean and friendly. 3min from Hiroshima Sta. Common lounge and kitchen. Dorm beds from ¥2500, Private twin rooms from ¥3200/person. No curfew, Free LAN/WiFi, Rental cycles 082-263-2980 http://hanahostel.com/ map A p.16 2

Hotel Flex

Ikawa Ryokan

Stylish riverside hotel, rates include breakfast Singles ¥6825, Doubles from ¥11,555 The upper floor suites are really cool. 082-223-1000 www.hotel-flex.co.jp/english/ map A p.16 3

Cozy, home-like atmosphere. Japanese and Western rooms. Coin laundry. S from ¥5940 / Twin ¥9720 / Tr ¥14,580 Quad ¥17,280 / Breakfast ¥756 www.ikawaryokan.net info@ikawaryokan.net 082-231-5058 map C p.17 [A-2] 4

J-Hoppers Hiroshima

Simple Stay Peace Park

Friendly base in an interesting neighborhood near Peace Park. No curfew, Kitchen, Rental cycles Dorm beds from ¥2500, Private rooms from ¥3000/person http://hiroshima.j-hoppers.com/ map C p.17 [A-2] 5 082-233-1360

5-min walk from Peace Park, Hiroshima’s biggest hostel has mixed/single sex bunks, single sex dorms & Japanese rooms. No smoking, communal kitchen, coin

Tsuruya Guesthouse

Washington Hotel

More than a guesthouse, Tsuruya has a lovely cafe bar looking out to the Ota-gawa riverside near Peace Park. Great place to trade travel tales and meet locals of all nationalities. Full bar, good coffee & light food. Dorm beds ¥3000. 08:00-24:00 / 082-942-5500 map C p.17 [A-1] 7

Hospitality, amenity and security right in the heart of Hiroshima. All rooms equipped with great bathrooms and separate lavatory. WiFi in all rooms. http://washington-hotels.jp/hiroshima/ 082-553-2222 map B p.16 8

laundry and a lounge equipped with a massive manga collection and table tennis table. ¥3000~. Cash only.

082-258-1881 map C p.17 [A-2] 6 www.simplestay.biz


Aitsuki あい月

Artcafe ELK

Modern izakaya with traditional Japanese touches run by husband and wife team. Horigotatsu seating so you can sit Japanese style in comfort. Save room to round off your meal with Niigata style hegi-soba. 18:00-24:00 (L.O 23:30) Closed Tuesday, 082-231-9865 map B p.16 1F 1

2nd floor cafe near Peace Park. Good sandwich lunches, drinks, vegetarian menu. Ask about vegan and gluten free dishes and their vegan desserts. International exchange spot. 10:30-22:00 (L.O. 21:30) 082-247-4443 map C p.17 [B-1] 2F 2

Ayur English-speaking Katsu’s modern washoku bistro won the GH best Japanese restaurant award for its warm welcome and imaginative combinations of local ingredients. 18-5 Higashi-hakushima-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima 18:00-23:00 Closed Sun (1 min from Hakushima Streetcar Stn)

Cafe Lente Escape the Miyajima crowds at this beautifully designed cafe. Wooden terrace. Great view of the floating torii gate, especially after dark. From 11:00 Tel: 082-944-1204 Located along the water inlet between Kiyomori Shrine & Miyajima Aquarium.

Borrachos Mexican food (with a touch of Okinawa) in the drinking district, sunset till dawn. Traditional Mexican tacos and Tex Mex Dishes with quality meats and seafood. Great decor and amazing tequila selection. Good for groups. No smoking until 9pm on the 2nd floor. Show this mag to waive the ¥300 per person table charge! Monday to Saturday 18:00-05-00, Sunday 18:00-02:00 082-241-3911 map B p.16 1F 3

Cantina 23

Choi Choi Ya

Stylish diner serving tasty comfort food. Burgers & sandwiches incl pulled pork, English Breakfast, roast beef, Cuban & cheese steak. Ribs, salads and tasty sides. Don’t forget to leave room for pie! 12:00-24:00 082-576-2217 map B p.16 1F 4

Shiho serves Hiroshima tsukemen, yaki-ramen (fish stock base), side dishes and drinks in a relaxed atmosphere. Eat, drink or both at the counter or a street-side table. Can get quite lively late at night. 20:30-03:00 Closed Sundays & hols that fall on a weekday map B p.16 1F 5

Garden Dining

Graffity Mexican Diner

Bright and airy Italian restaurant serving classic dishes near Yokogawa Station. Enter through the lovely garden and leave the traffic behind. 082-296-0112, 12:00-15:00, 18:00-22:00. Closed Sun. 200m east of Yokogawa Station, next to GINZO 10-26 Yokogawa 3chome Nishi-ku Hiroshima

A spacious family-run diner serving homemade Mexican and US style foods. Great fresh salsa, highly rated margaritas and a good selection of tequila. 11:30-14:00 (L.O. 13:20), 18:00-24:00 (L.O. 23:00) 082-243-3669 map C p.17 [C-2] 4F 6

Kanak

Kissa Saeki organic cafe & kitchen

Delicious, additive-free Indian food, right next to Peace Park. Excellent lunch sets. Set meals and many a la carte dishes in the evening. Excellent understanding of vegetarian, vegan & halal needs. 11:00-15:00 (L.O. 14:30) 17:00-22:30 (L.O. 22:00) 082-236-7308 map C p.17 [B-2] 1F 7

A delightful family-run retro style kissaten coffee shop serving breakfast until 11:00, great lunches (including many vegan options) throughout the day and raw desserts. 100% local, organic veggies. 7:30-20:00 (L.O. 19:00) Closed Sun & Nat Hols 082-246-9339 map C p.17 [B-1] 1F 8

La Vague

Micks

European course lunches (¥1500 or ¥2300) & a la carte dinners in this basement restaurant near Peace Park. Subdued rustic chic interior. Wide selection of wines by the in-house sommelier. 11:30-15:00, 17:00-24:00 082-247-0989 map C p.17 [B-2] B1F 9

Lively and friendly izakaya. Casual atmosphere with good food, Japanese & western. Great selection of local sake.

Nagataya

Otis!

Great okonomiyaki and plenty of space to sit, a stone’s throw away from Peace Park. Excellent understanding of vegetarian needs. 11:00-21:00 (L.O. 20:30) (Closed Tue & 4th Wed) 082-247-0787 map C p.17 [B-1] 1F 12

Tex Mex and home-cooked food for meat eaters & vegetarians. Their vegetarian menu is one of the best in the city & includes vegan and gluten free dishes. Kids very welcome. Eclectic BGM & live music. 11:30-22:30 (L.O.) 082-249-3885 map C p.17 [A-2] 1F 13

Sun-Thur 18:00-3:00, Fri, Sat, days before Hols 18:00-5:00 082-249-6231 map B p.16 1F 11


Rojiura Teppan Kotaro Young grill master Kotaro serves delicious seasonal dishes & drinks just off Peace Blvd.

Sarii-chan Okonomiyaki

17:00-02:00 (L.O. 01:30) Closed Tuesdays 082-249-1953 map C p.17 [C-3] 2F 14

Affable, soccer-loving okonomiyaki-ist serving Hiroshima’s favorite dish and drinks near Hiroshima Station. 11:30-14:00, 17:00-23:00 Closed Saturdays 082-236-7303 map A p.16 2F 15

Tokaichi Apartment

Vegan Cafe (until end of Dec)

Quirky, smoke free cafe in Tokaichi with some very interesting seating options. ¥850 set lunches served until 16:30. 11:30-23:00 (lunch L.O. 16:30) Closed Tuesdays 082-231-9865 map C p.17 [A-1] 1F 16

100% vegan food made with fresh local vegetables and all natural seasonings. Our multi-dish set meals are heavily influenced by traditional Buddhist temple cuisine. 12:00-17:00 Sat-Sun, 12:00-16:00 Tue-Fri. 082-247-8529, map B p.16 3F 17

Wabaru Tobira

Warung Matahari

Traditional Japanese style, great food and lively vibe at this street level izakaya. Counter, table and tatami seating. Good selection of sake, both local and from other parts of Japan. 11:30-14:00, 17:00~ 082-244-3883 map C p.17 [B-2] 1F 18

Excellent Indonesian cuisine prepared by Balinese chef Surasna. Vegetarian and Halal friendly. If you like it really spicy, ask Surasna to let you have it! 17:30-22:30 (L.O.) Closed Mondays 082-240-2082 map C p.17 [B-3] 1F 19

Yōin 陽陰

Bar Edge

washoku bar

Easygoing and cheerful “Take” Shimosaka has created something remarkable in Yoin. Relaxed enough for drinks, but also offering meticulously prepared, modern washoku created with all-natural ingredients. 20:00-05:00 facebook.com/youin.hiroshima 082-249-7129 Map B p. 16 2F 20

Long-running underground club on Nagarekawa. Small, but with a good sound-system, nice bar and DJs spinning every night (closed Monday if no event scheduled). Usually free entry on weeknights. 082-248-8146 22:00~ map B p.16 B1F 1

Bon Voyage

Bourbon Square

International bar with counter and 2 discount rooms in which to chill. Nice cocktails and some great food too.

Relaxed counter bar near Shintenchi Park. Great selection of bourbon, whiskies and fresh fruit cocktails. Plus some of the best tasting draft beer in the drinking district. Mon-Sat 18:00-03:00 082-242-3668, map B p.16 2F 3

Mon-Thur, Sun 18:00-02:00, Fri, Sat 18:00-04:00 082-249-2380 map B p.16 3F 2

Centre Point Nagarekawa bar catering to a late night crowd that prides itself on its whiskey selection. DJs spinning at weekends, good source of local nightlife info. Mon-Thur 20:00-03:00, Fri, Sat 20:00-05:00, Closed Sunday map B p.16 5F 4

Koba Rock loving BOM is one of Hiroshima’s most welcoming and entertaining bartenders. He whips up some very tasty food too. 18-00-01:30 (L.O), Closed Wednesdays 082-249-6556 map B p.26 3F 7

KeMBY’S www.facebook.com/kembyshiroshima

Burgers・BBQ・Smoked Meats Deep Dish Pizza ・Tex Mex・Craft Beers・Wines ¥200 off draft beer & other drink specials Mon-Thurs 11:30-14:30, 17:00-00:30 (Wednesday Lunch closed). Friday 11:30- 14:30, 17:00 -01:00, Saturday 11:30-01:00, Sunday 11:30- 23:30 082-249-6201 map C p.17 [B-2] 1F 6

Lotus

Merchant of Venice

5th floor bar with large windows on Namiki-dori St. Kick off your shoes and lounge at the low tables, take a seat at the counter or sit at a fourtop. ¥300 drinks during happy hour 6-8pm, light food and mellow BGM on a nice JBL system. 18-00-02:00, Closed Wed 082-246-0104 map B p.16 5F 8

Chilled out drinking space with subdued lighting offering some interesting Japanese themed cocktails at the bar counter or in the darts lounge. 19:00-04:00 (L.O. 03:30) Closed Mondays 082-240-1155 map B p.16 3F 9


New King Trendy and Pink, 2F bar run by the guys behind local hip men’s underwear boutique.

21:00-05:00 082-247-4487 map B p.16 2F 11

Organ-za Bohemian queen, Goto Izumi's avant-garde center of operations. Great decor, food, drink and bizarre stage shows. Tue-Fri 17:30-01:30 (L.O.), Sat 11:30-01:30 (L.O.) Sun 11:30-23:30 (L.O.) Closed Mondays 082-295-1553 map C p.17 [A-1] 2F 12

Molly Malone’s

www.facebook.com/mollymaloneshiroshima Hiroshima’s authentic Irish pub. Great beer, great food, great service. The place to watch Premier League soccer. Tues-Thurs 17:00~01:00 / Fri 17:00~02:00 / Sat 11:30~02:00 / Sun + Nat Hol 11:30~24:00 / Closed Monday / 082-244-2554 map B p.16 4F 10

Raku Beer

Tropical Bar Revolución

Discover the world of Japanese craft beer with 15 taps of the finest Japan has to offer! (Other drinks also available.) Full food menu with great appetizers, handmade pizzas, weekly curry specials, and more. 17:00-24:00 (L.O. 23:30), Weekends & Hols: 12:00-24:00 (L.O. 23:30), Closed Tue / 082-247-6768 map B p.16 1F 13

Nobu’s popular 8F hangout, friendly and relaxed complete with balcony.

Don Quijote

Mono Koto Store

Huge discount store open every day until 5am. Snacks, groceries, alcohol, medicines, souvenirs, cosmetics, electronics, costumes, household & sporting goods; you name it, they have it!

Unique, high quality products from upcoming Japanese artisans and creators at reasonable prices. Feel free to browse or order a drink from the coffee bar. http://www.monokotostore.com/ 10:00-19:00 Closed Thursday 082-545-1115 map C p.17 [C-2] 2

10:00-05:00 082-543-6711 map B p.16 1

TAX FREE 8%

Outsider Book Nook/Global Lounge

Mon,Wed 20:00-03:00, Tue,Thurs 18:00-03:00 Fri,Sat 18:00-04:00, Closed Sun & Nat Hol map B p.16 8F 14

Tayama Bungu

Used English books to buy and exchange. Internet, cafe & meeting place. Bar from 19:00 Fri & Sat. Mon-Thurs 12:00-21:00 Fri & Sat 12:00-23:00, Closed Sun, hols 082-244-8145 map C p.17 [C-1] 2F 3 1

Tayama Bungu has been selling quality Japanese stationery on Hondori shopping arcade since 1897. From sushi erasers & quality postcards to fountain pens that will make pen aficionados drool, including some Sailor originals. 10:00-20:00 3F Hondori Hills (above the Adidas on Hondori 13 arcade) 082-248-2221 map C p.17 [B-2] 4

Yamatoya

Hiroshima Stretch

Produced in limited quantities yet reasonably priced, a bottle of Hiroshima's top quality local Japanese sake makes for a great souvenir. www.e-yamatoya.jp/ 10:00-22:00 Closed Sundays 082-241-5660 map B p.16 5

Relieve stiff muscles or travel stress at Hiroshima’s centrally located Stretch salon. Director Masamoto-san speaks English and has a deep understanding of how to help with muscle pain, sports injuries and posture. Mention GetHiroshima for a ¥5000 60min session map C p.17 [B-2] 3F 2 11:00-22:00 / 082-240-2077

は 、“ ひ ろ し ま ” の 魅 力 を 、世 界 に 発 信 し て い ま す 。

GetHiroshima Web

GetHiroshima Map

世界 100 ヵ国以上からアクセス!

広島中心部の情報をコンパクトに まとめた英語版マップ!

GetHiroshima Mag 広島の「今」をぎゅっと詰め込んだ英語版季刊誌。


ART

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art

Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum

Hiroshima Museum of Art

Well-designed building in Hijiyama hilltop park. Interesting

One of the largest art museums in Western Japan with a

Works by Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and many more great

sculptures and statues are dotted around the outside of the

large collection of Japanese nihonga painting, traditional

modern European painters in this small, but perfectly

museum that can be viewed for free. Map C p.27 [d-3] 7

Asian art crafts and 1920s and 1930s art. Map A p.26 12

formed museum near Hiroshima Castle. Map C p.27 [B-1] 10

082-264-1121 https://www.hiroshima-moca.jp/

082-221-6246 http://www.hpam.jp/

082-223-2530 http://www.hiroshima-museum.jp/

Closed Monday. End of year holidays: 12/27 to 1/1

Closed Monday. End of year holidays: 12/25 to 1/1

Closed Monday. End of year holidays: 12/29 to 1/2

SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS

Collection Exhibition 2017-3

William Morris

Collection Highlights & Special Feature:

Okuda genso Sayume Art Museum

The World of Hiroshige: Fifty-three Stations of the

“Recollections”

Nov 14 - Jan 8 / Adult ¥1000, pair ticket ¥1800, High

Tōkaidō Road and Four Seasons in Edo

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art

School & College ¥500, Elementary School & Junior High

Hiroshima Museum of Art

Oct 28 - Feb 4 / Adults ¥370, University Students ¥270,

School free. (Closed Dec 13, Dec 30-Jan 1)

Jan 3 - Feb 12 / Adult ¥1300, College & High School ¥1000,

High School & Seniors [65 and over] ¥170, Junior High

Elementary & Junior High School ¥600 / Including admission

School and younger free.

to the general exhibition of modern European art.

“Strawberry Thief” Photo © Brain Trust Inc.

Modanist INSHO DOMOTO and his followers Fukuyama Museum of Art Jan 13 - Mar 4 / Adult ¥1000, High School and younger Hiroshi Akana, Expanding City, 1959

Play with Ukiyo-e: Children’s and Toy Ukiyo-e in

Binding Threads / Expanding Threads:

the Edo period from the Collection of Kumon

The Art of Creating “Between-ness”

Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art

Jan 5 - Feb 12 / Adult ¥1200, High School & College ¥800,

Dec 22 - Mar 4 / Adults ¥1,030, University Students

Elementary & Junior High School ¥500.

¥720, High School & Seniors [65 and over] ¥510, Junior High

free. (Closed Monday, Dec 28 to Jan 1) “Le Métro” 1953, Kyoto Prefectural Insho-Domoto Museum of Fine Arts

Hiroshige Utagawa Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road Nihonbashi: Morning Scene c.Tenpo4-5, Hōeidō edition

School and younger free. The 35th Anniversary Exhibition: History of Kure Municipal Museum of Art Kure Municipal Museum of Art Jan 6 - Feb 12 / Adult ¥800, High School & College ¥500, Elementary School & Junior High School ¥300, Seniors ¥400.

Keisuke Nomaguchi (nui project), Shirt, 2004-06, Shobu Gakuen

Auguste Renoir “Girl with a Strawhat”

(Closed Tuesday, Dec 29 to Jan 3)

GetHiroshima / WInter 2017

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eating the stars Words and photos: Matt Jungblut

Many of Japan’s best restaurants are not listed in guidebooks; my favorite local restaurant is “ichigen-san okotowari” style, which translates as “no first time customers” - someone has to introduce you to the restaurant before you can eat there. If I write about the place, I’ll be banned, but I can bring you personally. This means that many of the best dining experiences in Japan are not in the Michelin guide, because they chose not to be. This time, I venture slightly outside Hiroshima for Japanese haute cuisine along the seaside, on the way to Miyajima, at a place that you won’t find in the guidebooks.

with candles incorporated into the fare itself. Meals here are ever changing, as Jigozen has a new menu monthly, which can be, depending on the availability of certain special items, updated weekly.

A ryotei is a restaurant specializing in kaiseki-ryori, without being attached to an inn (ryokan). Kaiseki is generally considered the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine, and as such I was apprehensive about my meal at Jigozen. Some people like formal dining. I like fine dining. There is a difference, and often kaiseki falls on the formal side, and the ritual of it leads me to not appreciate the flavors of the meal. To my great relief, Jigozen has little pretense and a lot of flavor. Hina-no-ryotei Jigozen is where I would celebrate a milestone birthday, where I would bring visiting relatives who want “real” Japan, and where I would impress my mother in law or a business partner. It’s also where I would bring my five year old and her friend’s family visiting from Tokyo without fear of disturbing other diners. About half of Jigozen’s dining areas are beautiful private rooms, where kaiseki course menus are served in a refined yet relaxed fashion. The other dining rooms are beautiful, especially for lunch, but even so, try the one of the tatami rooms.

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Shortly after we had gotten accustomed to our room and looked over the guide to our preplanned nine-course meal, our host, Ms. Naito, returned to take our drink orders. She was able to efficiently recommend both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks that paired with our meal perfectly. And then we were alone again. Kaiseki meals come in a set pattern and generally reflect the seasonal foods of the region, as well as give the chef the opportunity to blend Heianperiod imperial court cuisine, Muromachi-period samurai cuisine, Kamakura-period Buddhist cuisine, and 15th-century tea ceremony cuisine — all of which Jigozen does as well. Yet Jigozen’s chef, a Hiroshima native, does this with a playfulness and sense of humor that relieves any tension that the diner might have when eating what could be an otherwise pretentious and stiff meal. Every course brings a new surprise and experience, stimulating the senses and the conversation. Halfway through our meal, the room went dark. Just as we were wondering what had happened, the door slid open and, much to our delight, the next course, designed to look like a small village, was presented

Our meal was decidedly autumn themed and featured Hiroshima’s local ingredients, ranging from a steamed soup presented in earthenware pottery with some of the best Matsutake mushrooms I’ve ever had, beautifully presented sashimi, bonito tuna slow cooked all day in dried wara grass, the yakimono course with its fish grilled over cedar planks at our table, and an amazing taro stuffed with a yuzu flavored miso beef. I could go on about the food, but it will be different when you go, and you should go, and when you do, bring a Japanese speaking friend. Jigozen is a restaurant where you could do alright with minimal Japanese: There is an English language web page, and they will undoubtedly do their best to make you feel welcome. However there are stories behind the different courses and explanations of why the chef is using certain ingredients, and even suggestions of the order in which to eat certain items to have the best balances of acidic, sweet, and savory. The interaction with our host was an essential part of the meal, as she guided us through the meal, answered our questions, pointed out the views outside, and entertained us with various anecdotes related to the local foods, kaiseki traditions, and insights to the chef’s choices and techniques. When the meal came to its conclusion, we were not rushed out but rather offered more tea and a tour of the lovely grounds and various salons and dining areas, each with a different theme. And when we finally left, of course Ms. Naito accompanied us to the gate at the parking lot, seeing us off personally and waiting there until we were safely on our way, much like when you visit a Japanese home. The combination of service, food and atmosphere, compels me to recommend Jigozen, even over several local Michelin starred establishments.


Hina-no-Ryotei Jigozen 鄙の料亭 地御前 5-19-14 Jigozen, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima 0829-36-4832 Less than one kilometer from Jigozen Hiroden Streetcar Station on the Miyajima Line and a 5-min taxi ride from Miyajima-guchi. http://www.v-style.co.jp/shop/ryotei/jigozen_en/ Rating* Atmosphere Tranquil, private, sophisticated, and relaxed. There are larger dining rooms for lunch and parties; however the true experience is in the private dining rooms. Surprisingly kid friendly, without fear of being interrupted or interrupting others. Sound Whatever the mood of your party, within your room; quiet elsewhere. Recommended dishes The Kaiseki-ryori set courses. There are three options, at the following price points per person: the Seto at ¥6480, the Itsukushima at ¥8640, and the Misen at ¥10,800. These prices include tax, but not beverage. We had the Hana Omakase course of dishes selected by the chef (¥8640). Drinks and Wine An excellent selection of sake to compliment your meal, also other wines, spirits, beer, and soft drinks. Open Lunch: 11:00-15:00 (Last order at 14:00) Dinner: 17:00-22:00 (Last order at 20:30) Open year-round (excluding year-end and new year holidays). Reservations are required. Accessibility Street level, no major obstacles or stairs. There is a step to the tatami rooms. Reservation assistance Contact GetHiroshima at jigozenreservation@ gethiroshima.com if you would like us to help you to make a reservation. *What the Moons Mean Ratings range from zero to five moons. One moon is awful or some major problem. Two moons, satisfactory, but not worth a long trip. Three moons, very good, worth making an effort to eat there. Four moons, excellent, well worth making reservations far in advance. Five moons, life changing.

GetHiroshima / WInter 2017

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Check our listings p.18-22 for more about these places.

Japanese Food

Intl. Food

Koba

Bar

Open until very late

Music

INTERNATIONAL VIBE

MOLLY MALONE’S KEMBY’S

ALL AGES 10

TROPICAL BAR REVOLUCIÓN 14

6

Irish Pub American Dining bar

KOBA

7

Bar

Rock Dining Bar

YOUNG & CASUAL 20+

MICKS

11

Lotus Micks

Izakaya

YÕIN

LOTUS

20

Izakaya

BON VOYAGE

Bar

8

Zashiki Lounge Bar

NEW KING

11

Bar

2

New King


MAU

LA VAGUE

10

WABARU TOBIRA

9

French Restaurant

Japanese Restaurant

RAKU BEER

A TOUCH OF CLASS

18

Izakaya Raku

13

Japanese Craft Beer

MERCHANT OF VENICE

40+

9

Cocktail Bar

BOURBON SQUARE

Merchant of Venice

13

Whisky Bar

Wabaru

DEEP HIROSHIMA

ORGANZA

12

ALL AGES

Organza Bar with lives & shows

BORRACHOS

3

Mexican Restaurant Borrachos

HALLELUJAH

CHOICHOI-YA

5

Dining Bar

CENTRE POINT

5

Noodles & bar 4

Dj Bar

EDGE

Club

ChoiChoi-ya

1

Edge

NAGAREKAWA


vol.

16

goto izumi's deep hiroshima

Discovering the cultural habits of a new place is one of the great joys of travel. It is my sincere wish, dear reader, that those who, out of all the world’s attractions, have chosen to grace our little corner of the globe with their attention enjoy it to the full. It is in this spirit that I humbly pass on the thoughts of some of those working on the front line in our cafes, bars and live music venues.

Bom-s an (KOBA) • Many Japane se bars (unlike Koba) have a seating charge. I wonder if this is becaus e Japane se customers tend to stay in one place for a long time. Non-Japanese customers on the other hand seem to hit more places in one night. • Bringing in your own drinks really isn’t on (surely this is true everyw here...) • Japane se sake is pretty strong. You have been warned. Please pace yourself accordingly. • You pay as you go in some places, otherw ise you will be given a bill at the end. If you are in a group, we would really apprec iate it if you would all pay together rather than separately! • It’s not essential, but it’s common to order a little something to nibble on while you drink, and Japane se people will almost always share the food they order at a bar among their group.

Hirao ka-sa n & Kokoro-san (Toka ichi Apart ment) • Outside of Tokyo a lot of cafe staff don’t speak much English so please try out your Japane se! • Please try to make it clear what you like to eat and any dietary restrict ions or things you really hate to eat. Use the GetHiroshima dietary checklist at Tokaichi Apartment! • At a lot of individually owned places you can take leftovers home in a doggy bag. • Please make sure that everyone in your party orders at least one thing off the menu. • Not the case at Tokaichi Apartment, but there are cafes where they really don’t like you to order only desser t.

Arima -san (Club Quatt ro) • You‘ll be hard pushed to find staff at a live house outside of Tokyo who speak English :) • Most gigs require that you pay for a ticket that you can exchange at the bar for a drink in addition to the ticket price as you enter. • You can use your drink ticket at any time during the event. • Sometimes the serving size of these “mandatory drinks” is smaller than usual. Sorry. • Live gigs in Japan don’t usually require an ID check. • Photog raphy is not allowe d at quite a lot of gigs in Japan. If you are unsure if it’s allowe d, please check with staff.

Do you sense a theme, dear reader? It does seem that most misunderstandings could be avoided with a little more foreign language ability. Alas, I do not believe that this is situation that will be remedied any time soon. Fortunately we are blessed to live in an age in which we can speak though little black boxes rather than have to flip through the pages of a mangled compendium of words and phrases. Also, in difficulty there is always opportunity. There is surely no place in the world where the hosts are more gratified when visitors attempt to speak the local tongue than in this land we call Nippon. Ganbatte kudasai!

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goto izumi's new year holiday travel guide: ka ka sh i pa ra di se

How will you be spending the end of year holidays? To be quite frank, I find this time of year to be quite dull. The department stores may be packed with bargain hunters, but I find it difficult to believe that you, most esteemed reader, will be satisfied by such activity. So, with a little time to spare, let’s head out into the country. The 1.5 hour trip to a weirdly wonderful little village populated almost entirely by scarecrows is my current favorite.

are the creation of local couple, the Morimotos. Ms Morimoto’s father first started making the dolls in 2011, and since then the scarecrow population has grown to 160, which exceeds the human population by 60. Walking around the village, at first glance it is quite impossible to determine if a figure is human or scarecrow. It is a kakashi paradise. Mr Morimoto makes the bodies, and his wife works on the faces. In response to an increase in requests, they have started making images of famous people too. The couple works on the scarecrows in the evenings after finishing the day’s work. Each figure takes about a week to finish, and the population is currently growing at around one scarecrow per month. They hope that their scarecrow paradise continues to attract visitors and enliven the sleepy village. With onsen hot springs, famous konyaku countryside cuisine and even accommodation with English speaking staff available nearby, why not see the new year in at Kakashi Paradise?

On approach, Kamitada [上多田] in Yuki-cho appears to be a bustling little village, but on closer inspection, they are not lifeforms as we know them, but scarecrows [kakashi]. More like life-sized dolls than your common all garden scarecrow, they

Access: To get to Riaru kakashi no sato [リアル かかしの里山] head for the Midori-kaikan [み どり会館] in Kamitada by bus from Itsukaichi JR Station.

GetHiroshima / WInter 2017

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Drainspotting Photos by Rio Sekimoto

Former Hiroshima Goodwill Ambassador and GetHiroshima Mag summer 2015 cover person Rio Sekimoto is one Japan’s growing number of manhole cover afficionados. She has been keeping her eyes to the ground and capturing colorful and inventive manhole covers on her travels around the country. Here are a few of her local favorites. Can you track them all down this winter?

Hiroshima

Yokogawa

Mihara

Saijo

Kure

More details: http://bit.ly/HiroshimaManholes

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Higashihiroshima

Takehara

Miyoshi

Onomichi

Fuchu

Kurahashi

Kaita


Matt’s Moment Abby’s Road: The Largish Dreams of a Small Dog

Hello. Hi. Yes, over here. Hi! Oh, hey, hello! I’m Abby. Abigail Bonecrusher. Dog. And I am glad you are here! Would you like to hold the other end of this sock while I...yes? No? Ah, well. I live at the top of the stairs with these people. The two girls and a busy woman. Also the fat man on the sofa, just there. The one who, plainly, isn’t playing with me. Who is instead putting words in my mouth. The wrong words, naturally, and he has no excuse. He read Thomas Nagel in college. For that matter, he has read Black Beauty. He knows he’s not about to stumble through an opening onto the singular consciousness of a sleek brown puppy. But there he sits, making fools of us both. Can I just say, your crotch smells amazing. What is that? Butterscotch and kelp? Do you mind if I shove my nose in...oh, all right then. You are dull, aren’t you? I am a mongrel, but I am probably mostly very fierce and exotic. Probably 72% Brazilian Mastiff. Once I lived somewhere else and now I live here. In an hour or so, one of these people will take me out by the river where they have put these cracks in the pavement that are extremely interesting. That is where I pee. In the cracks. Other dogs walk and pee there too, trailed by the most oblivious women and men who have no conception of the time needed to properly catalog the odors rising from a really first-rate pavement crack. While out walking, if a dog is small I will say hello, but if a dog is big I will not! I will lie on my back and hope not to die. My physician says I am

probably already six months old, but I am still growing. I eat what I can. You can eat loads of things. For instance, a dead bird is nice. So is a bit of carrot, but you have to bite it. A lot. It helps if you spit it out and pick it back up several times.

a trick to opening these old puzzle boxes. You have to seize them between your teeth, then shake and shake and shake and shake and then smash them against the edge of the coffee table. Et voilà. Such fun.

Speaking of things to bite, the littlest girl who lives in my house has the tenderest hands! The bigger one has hands that smell like electricity and old coins, which is an awful lot of fun. If I bite too many times, though, I have to go to my crate. I am trying to work out the precise number of times that I am allowed to bite hands. It seems quite low. I like to bite because I am probably mostly a bitey dog, probably a Patagonian Pfaffenschnapper. There are other things in my house that are good to bite too: table legs, Princess Elsa underpants, a girl’s toes, the wicker laundry basket, Stieg Larsson novels, and my tail.

Also, here is my belly if you like to scratch something soft and fuzzy. Oh, you’re kind.

Is that a rubber ball with treats in it? IS THAT A RUBBER BALL WITH TREATS IN IT!? Thank you. I enjoyed that very much. And I think I learned a little something too, which is always welcome. Since I’ve been offered this forum, there is this one thing I want the world to know: I am a practically perfect family pet, but there is more to me than just this pretty face! When I am a bigger and more alarming dog, I hope to become an antique appraiser. I just love old things, don’t you? I keep an eye on all the auction sites. I can’t bid, yet, but it’s important to acquire a sense of what things go for. At the moment, I’m watching an especially fine Hakone puzzle box. I like Japanese things best. I’m probably at least 80% Akita, is why. The marquetry on this piece is exquisite. There is

I absolutely adore Itō Jakuchū. Do you know Jakuchū? He’s my favorite of that whole 18th century Kyoto crowd. He painted lots of birds, which I like because I am mostly Pointer of some kind, although strictly speaking I am not allowed to chase birds. He painted chickens, mostly, which I love. He also painted some phoenixes. Personally, I wouldn’t like to chase a phoenix. They explode. His painted scrolls are almost never up for auction, but oh! I would love to own one. I would unroll it and drag it round and round the carpet with my head up, growling savagely, and then lie down on my beanbag chair and tear the silk into long, colorful strips. Then I’d eat them. I don’t care for ceramics, do you? They are very clattery, and as I am practically 100% Silky Moravian Nackthund I have the most tremendously sensitive ears. Oh, was that all our time? But there’s still so much to tell you. Please don’t go. Please? No, really, where are you going? Can I come too? I’ll go too. Yes? Oh thank goodness. I’ll lead the way. Do try to keep up. Words: Matthew Mangham

GetHiroshima / WInter 2017

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GetHiroshima Mag Winter 2017  
GetHiroshima Mag Winter 2017  

The best of Hiroshima. In English.

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