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Trip report -- part nine (Sunday afternoon/evening 19th August in Onomichi) - The Kilt Nihonside
April 18th, 2008
12:42 pm

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Trip report -- part nine (Sunday afternoon/evening 19th August in Onomichi)
After my trip up to the top of the hill by cablecar and down again I decided I wasn't that tired so I went for a wander around some of the local temple complexes near the waterside.

As I've mentioned before Onomichi was a favourite place for rich visitors to build holiday homes and such in the previous centuries (a bit like Brighton in England) and they also endowed temples and shrines there too. Many of these have fallen into disrepair somewhat (especially the smaller standalone shrines like the one down by my hotel) but several of the larger complexes have maintained their grandeur while still, in an odd way appearing quite rural and everyday compared to the manicured perfection of locations like Kyoto.

Trees. I'm not knowledgeable about green stuff generally, but even I was impressed by this one. My camera's wide-angle setting wasn't enough to capture its complete majesty side-to-side sadly... It's traditional to have a tree like this in temple grounds, and it's regarded as sacred and important to the wellbeing of the place. It also offered some pleasantly green shade on an otherwise scorching-hot day. The main temple building was accompanied by other smaller shrines, some traditional and some using more modern materials. Land is at a premium in Onomichi like most other places in Japan, so even venerated holy places are overlooked by domestic housing.

It was getting late now and I headed off back into town to find a place to eat. One of Onomichi's other features, and something that appears in the films, manga and anime series that have been set here, is the covered shopping arcade that runs east from the railway station though the built-up area of shops and houses. On a hot sticky evening (mid-30s) it was the cool route to take. Most of the stores were shut and the eating places weren't open yet. I briefly considered stopping off for a bite here but I decided I wasn't that hungry. Quite.

 I hit the doughnut shop near the station for a quick sugar-rush snack before getting back to the hotel and resting up in airconditioned luxury for a bit. I took the opportunity to back up the pics from my camera onto a spare SD card, a paranoiac practice I repeated often during my stay in Japan. After that I headed back out and found a fast-food place to load up on calories (some vegetable dish I didn't recognise with bits of daikon, green stuff and carrot in a udon soup base) along with more icewater. The sun was now down so I spent a while wandering around the waterfront in the cool(er) air while the pachinko parlour's neon strobed across the strait from where I was standing, and then back to the hotel, a shower and bed.

Current Location: Lotsa places
Current Mood: wandered
Current Music: Temple Bells
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