Sunday, December 26, 2010

Humbled in Hiroshima

I hadn't been to Hiroshima for years so whilst in Kobe I thought I'd duck down on the Shinkansen for a day. While the morning was whittled away on Miyajima I spent a couple of very pleasant hours walking around town in the afternoon. It wasn't long enough.  
The Peace Park's sombre A- bomb dome monument was eerily beautiful in the softening light and a respectful quiet was maintained by all. As I strolled along the Seine-esque river, and over elegant bridges designed by Osamu Noguchi,  I considered the atrocities of war and found it incredibly difficult to reconcile how a city that had been through so very much could emit such an effusively welcoming energy.  Having long ago viewed the harrowing exhibition at the Peace Memorial Museum and not wishing to repeat the experience I chose to head instead towards the bustling shopping and dining area - however  I do highly recommend that any visitor to Hiroshima make the effort to witness the memorial - if only once. 
Before I hopped back on the train I grabbed a not-so-little sumpthin' for dinner. I have never been a huge fan of Okonomiyaki but being in the town that reportedly invented the hearty buffet masquerading as a pancake masquerading as an omelette - I gave it another shot. I am so damn pleased with myself for stepping up to take one for the team.  It was 10 times lighter than any other version I have ever encountered, not stodgy at all, full of flavour, texture and I'm pretty sure an illegal substance as it definitely displayed the elements of a seriously addictive dish.  This version, containing yakisoba noodles (a thin chinese style egg noodle) was insanely good. Although the flavours are quite different I couldn't help but be reminded of a really good Bangkok Pad Thai -  crisp in areas, slightly chewy noodles, sharp but sweet seasonings, layering of textures....  now consider that bland, gluggy version from your local takeaway  - that would demonstrate my past Okonomiyaki experience...   If you are in Hiroshima - do try this local specialty and give yourself a good couple of days to enjoy this unique town. 

No comments:

Post a Comment