Hiroshima,  Japan,  Solo Travel,  Travel

Guide to Onomichi Cat Alley and Senkoji Temple in Hiroshima

Konnichiwa! 😀 I am so ashamed to say that I did not update my blog diligently for months. Anyway, I can’t believe that we are already halfway through 2018! It indeed feels like a blink of an eye, so what have I done so far this year? 🙂

Bucket List Checked in 2018

✓ Solo travel for the first time

✓ Visit Miyajima Giant Tori Gate

I’ve been dying to visit Hiroshima because of the gorgeous Miyajima Giant Tori Gate! My two elder sisters, as well as many of my girlfriends, did solo travelling to Japan and Taiwan, so I was also totally enticed to try it! I only dare to travel alone in Japan and Taiwan (How about you), but I was pretty scared for staying alone in the hotel. Thank goodness nothing spooky happened for all the 7 nights. I actually enjoy watching horror movies a little too much.

I was a little bummed because this year’s Sakura bloomed 2 weeks earlier than expected! I missed the peak season even though I reached on 9 April 2018. 🙁 However, I was still delighted that I visited all the places I planned and immersed myself in beautiful flowers and sceneries.

For this post, I’ll share about my 1/2 day trip to Onomichi, which includes the super cute “Cat Alley”(remember this CAT STREE VIEW google map??) and Senkoji, one of the top 100 sakura viewing sites in Japan! How can a #CrazyCatLady not visit this cat site!

Things to book/ buy before jetting off to Hiroshima alone:

  1. JR Shikoku Pass – S$110 for 4 days (ChangiRecommends was the cheapest when I checked in March)
  2. Changi Wifi – S$29 for 8 Days in Japan, but the cable is faulty. urgh!
  3. Silk Air Direct Flight to Japan – S$749
  4. Research, research and more research – Japan-guide.com
  5. Hyperdia for train schedules in Japan
  6. Booking.com – I will share the hotels that I stayed in again 🙂

Things to buy when you reached Hiroshima airport. Visit the “Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass” office just in front of the arrival:

  1. Aiport Bus to Hiroshima Bus Centre (or Hiroshima Shikansen Station): 1,340yen
  2. Hiroshima Pass: 3000 yen (3 days WIDE that includes trams and bus to Onomichi)
  3. Bottled drink and bread in combini! 😀

After I left my luggage at Capsule Hotel Cube Hiroshima, I made my way back to the Hiroshima Bus Centre, SOGO level 3, to confirm the bus timing for Flower Liner Bus no.6 to Onomichi. It was around 12.05pm and I had planned to take the 1.05pm bus but the timing was cancelled so I had to wait for the 2.05pm bus. Since I had 2 hours to spare, I walked over to the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome via the underpass! I will share about the Hiroshima Memorial part in another post.

It took 90min to travel from Hiroshima to Onomichi and it would have cost me 3000 yen for a round trip! I bought the super worth-it Hiroshima Pass WIDE AREA, 3000 yen which is valid for 3 days that included the trams and even the ferry to Miyajima! 😀 The first thing I checked when I reached Onomichi was the bus stop to return to Hiroshima.

TIP: I took a photo of the timings in case it defers from what I found online. One of the things I made sure of was to check the second last and last bus or trains as I travel from cities to cities almost every day.

Onomichi, a hilly port city, is most famous for Temple Walk, a network of paths connecting 25 temples. It is a cute little town with mostly old rustic looking building.

A scene from a Jdorama. 🙂

After a casual walk in Onomichi Shopping Street, I only saw a cat in one of the shops. lol. Most of the shops were also closed so I had no idea if they were permanently closed or what. 😛

There are two ways to go up to Senkoji Temple, either by taking ropeway or via the “CAT ALLEY”. It is definitely cat over sakura for me so I chose to climb up the hill. *REGRET*

This board shows that these kitties are often spotted at the particular area, but I saw none. LOL!!!!!!!!! But it was definitely a kitty paradise for me because everything was just so cute!!!

These kitty patterns on the floor were all so very cute!!!

There was even a real owl which gave me a shock in one of the houses!

After climbing up the hill, I finally had a good look over Onomichi and as well as meet some kitty friends!

OMG!!!! This fluffy kitty totally stole my heart away!! I don’t understand why are cats even more extra kawaii in Japan???

Look what I saw at Senkoji temple!! Rilakkuma ema (small wooden plaques)!! Cat + Rilakkuma = ME!!!! ^^

After visiting Senkoji Temple, I visited the Senkoji Garden located at the top of the hill. I was kinda blind and didn’t see the way to go up (about 15 minutes walk) and it was 5 pm so I panicked as I really want to see the remaining sakura! I dashed down the hill and managed to catch the last ropeway at 515pm while catching my breath. *SWEATS*

There were only another couple and a man in the same ropeway. One scary thing was the huge garden was SO EMPTY. I saw only that same couple, same man and probably another 4-5 people. I was planning to stay until 6.45pm so that I can see the lightup but I quickly changed my mind. 😛 But I must say that Senkoji Garden is really beautiful!! I can’t imagine how beautiful it must be during the peak period!!

Hur hur…. #foreveralone but this cat couple was really cute!

Next entry will be about the first “capsule hotel” that I stayed in! 😛

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