14 November 2007

Mominoki & Miyajima

kLast weekend was quite full. Went for a bike ride (cycling) up into the mountains north-west of Hiroshima city. Up early. Left at 8am from Hiroshima. Went on Route 2 to Itsukaichi city, about 15 km south-west on the coast line. Took route 41 inland (under a Shinkansen line) and followed signs to Yuki. Plenty of up hill from here on. One lane each way. Stopped by a nice dam on the way.

Followed on to Route 433 and headed west onto Route 488. Came to Yuki, one of the best onsen places in Hiroshima. Hiroshima does not have excellent onsens (better ones south of here in Kyushu or further east or north in Kansai, Kanto regions).

Didn't stop for an onsen here, but kept riding up to Mominoki Forest Park. The autumn leaves were just beautiful. I'd say early to mid November is the best time to see the leaves near Mominoki. On the ride to the park, I rode through between, over and through some really steep mountains with tall pine trees, beside some fresh, clear water streams, under the canopy of rainforest and autumn leaf trees.

Had lunch at Mominoki and had no time to spare. Took 5 hours to get there from home. The ride down the moutains was so fun! Just wished I could have captured on video what I saw. Cruizing down the mountains past the different coloured trees, clear blue skies, and streams.

Enjoyed a nice onsen at Yuki. Nice onsen, but the one at Geihoku Oak Garden is better. Rode down the rest of the mountain back into the city and then back home. Just over 100km riding for the day. Slept for more than 12 hourse after that. A nice, inexpenseive day trip... only paid for food and onsen (less than 1500 yen).

Sunday, went with English school students (kids and parents) to Miyajima, one of the most famous islands or shrines in Japan. Very nice place. Interesting shrine and torii. I want to go back and take a bit more time to look around the place. Only got to see just a small portion of it. I really enjoyed it, hanging out with the kids. Went to the aquarium. Fed some fish. Saw the shrine, ignored the deer, and ate some sweet bean cakes... yum!

Next weekend won't be so busy (at least in the "touristy" way, anyhow)!

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