(“A Trip to Shimanami Kaido in the Autumn 1” is here: http://wp.me/p16bjt-oQ)
“Oh, I forgot my eyelash curler!”
“You can use mine. Here you go.”
Next morning we got up around seven and had simple breakfast at the hotel in Imabari. We were discussing where to go while eating bread.
We almost decided to visit the castle after the meal. But Nakako found interesting information on the magazine which she was scanning. That was about a shop where local specialty products are on sale in an island called Oshima. So, we left the hotel and headed for the island through “Shimanami Kaido” expressway again.
Actually, we found out the shop was not so attractive when we arrived at the island. There were not so many things to buy or look at inside. We were disappointed and began talking about our next destination. Motoko said, “I saw a signboard of an observation deck along the way. It’s near the tollgate. Why don’t we go there?” We unanimously agreed to go there.
The observation deck was on top of Mt. Kirozan, which is over 300 meters high. A big stone turtle greeted us when we climbed up the mountain. There is a legend about a turtle in the mountain: One night a traveling monk came across a turtle carrying a golden Kannon statue on its back by the sea. He enshrined the statue on a mountain. And the mountain is, as you see, Mt. Kirozan. Now we can’t see the statue anywhere, though…
The view from the deck was spectacular! We were able to see 360 degrees of the panorama of the Seto Inland Sea from there. The mountains’ green, the blue sky and white clouds, and the blue and shining ocean under the sun. That was breathtaking scenery. We were really glad to come to the place. We enjoyed the landscape and then had ice cream with salt because the area’s one of specialty products is salt. Ice cream and salt sound strange, but interestingly they go well.
Then we headed for Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. You know, the rest of our three purposes was to see cats there. We rode a cable car at the town. There is a mountain called Senkoji-san. Interestingly there are two Buddhist temples and a Shinto shrine on the mountainside. You can go up to and down from the mountain with the cable car. Luckily we were able to see cats on top of the mountain. We were able to fulfilled our three intentions of this travel.
After the mountain, we had lunch in Mihara, which had been our rendezvous point. Hiroshima area’s popular food is okonmiyaki, or pancake cooked on the hot plate with pork, an egg, shredded cabbages, and sea food and etc. So, we had okomiyaki for lunch. That was delicious.
Actually after lunch, I had to leave for Nagoya. They kept traveling in Hiroshima next day, but I had to say good-by to them in Mihara. I relaxed and fell asleep soon when I got on the Shinkansen and found a vacant seat.
Next time I woke up, I didn’t know where I was. The train was stopping at a station, which I had never heard of. Out of my trance, I suddenly noticed that I had got on a train going to the opposite direction. OMG! I was in Yamaguchi Prefecture! Well, travelling often involves troubles…Right? Anyway, I had a great time with my friends through the trip to Shimanami Kaido!