To come to Hiroshma and miss this place out would be a crime. Six years, I’ve traveled Japan far and wide and it’s all been building up to this moment. Pizza vending machine. Good morning guys, welcome back to Journey Across Japan. This morning, we’re in Hiroshima and we’ve got just one day to check out the city, from the scenic beautiful island of Miyajima, to the most delicious okonomiyaki savory pancakes in the whole country. Now I’ve been really lucky to visit Hiroshima 3 or 4 times in the 6 years that I’ve lived in Japan and as well as being one of my favourite cities in the country, to stand just 600 meters below where the atomic bomb went off and see the atomic bomb dome, it’s always a very kind of powerful experience for me. And in fact if it wasn’t for the A-Bomb Dome, if you look around today, if you look around at the tall skyscrapers, the luscious Memorial Park, people just enjoying themselves alongside the river.
If it wasn’t for that dome, it’d be hard to comprehend the scale of what happened here. And for that reason, I think the A-Bomb Dome is incredibly important to Hiroshima. In another life, the Atomic Bomb Dome was known as the Hiroshima Industrial Promotion Hall, built in 1915 to showcase artwork and educational exhibits. On the morning of August 6, 1945, despite being just 600 meters beneath the center of the blast, it’s sturdy brick design was able to resist the downward force of the blast wave, and when the dust settled, was one of the last standing structures in the city. After the war, it was initially planned to be demolished. However, many saw the dome as a symbol of hope, and in the years that followed, instead, the sprawling Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park emerged around it.
Alongside the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and in the center of the park, the peace flame, which will remain lit until the planet is free of nuclear weapons. The Peace Museum in particular is essential viewing, visited by over a million people a year, with photos and chilling testimonials from citizens that witnessed the devastation firsthand. And regardless of your views on the use of the atomic bombs in World War II, once you’ve wandered through the museum’s exhibits, you’ll certainly leave hoping that nuclear weapons are never used again. So guys, throughout the last month and a half of this trip, I’ve been joined by a variety of guests, usually fellow YouTubers, and vloggers. But today our next guest who’s going to be joining me from Hiroshima to Fukuoka on the cycle is actually just a real person, a friend from university who’s currently travelling around Japan. So, let’s go and meet her now. Good morning Ellen! How are you doing? Ellen: Hello, nice to see you! A formal handshake for someone I’ve known for 9 years. That’s awkward. So Ellen and I lived together at university for 2 years, and she’s new to Japan. You’re here for 1 or 2 weeks. Why have you met with me? Uhhh, to exploit my friendship and get a free tour guide. Exploit your friendship. Well, you’ve got the best goddamn tour guide money can buy. That’s for sure. There’s no question there. So what’s the first thing you want to do in Hiroshima? Probably get some food, I’m pretty hungry. Okay, so the local dish in Hiroshima is okonomiyaki. [Ellen struggles to say okonomiyaki] Okonomiyaki, it’s a bit of a tongue twister. It’s a savoury pancake dish, and it’s bloody amazing. Chris: Let’s go and get one right now. Away we go!
Ellen: Let’s go! Okonomiyaki quite literally means what you like and cooked. A testament to the customizability of the dish. Something that’s surprisingly rare in Japan, where the chef always knows best. The dish comes in two varieties Osaka and Hiroshima style, with a few notable differences Unlike Osaka style where all the ingredients are mixed together first. Hiroshima style is far more chaotic in appearance. I mean, it looks like a fucking bag of ingredients just exploded all over the grill. But unlike Osaka’s premixed pancakes, here each of the ingredients are gradually layered on top of one another with a layer of fried noodles packed inside as well. For me, there’s no contest. I’m a Hiroshima okonomiyaki guy through and through Not only because the noodles add a welcome variety of flavors, the best of all there’s a theatrical quality to the dish there’s no better way to work up an appetite than sitting before the grill watching layer by layer as the pancake slowly takes shape in front of you. My only advice when choosing your base is probably avoid the organyaki! How’re you finding it? Ellen: Yeah, really greasy! Why isn’t it in the UK?! Chris: Why isn’t it in the UK? I don’t know. Basic – I ask myself that every day with pretty much most Japanese foods. I think it’s really popular in the UK So incredibly filling. It doesn’t look that much when it’s right before you, but there’s so much going on in it and it does fill you up really quickly. I’m a quarter of the way through mine. I’m already feeling it hit me, y’know. Ellen: Yeah, there’s even a blowtorch at one point to melt the cheese. I mean that’s pretty impressive. Where else y’gonna get that? Chris: Where are you gonna get blow torches? You know something’s good if it uses a blowtorch. Ellen: Exactly! It’s a pretty cheap meal as well, but you get a lot of bang for your buck with okonomiyaki. It’s about ¥700. This one was ¥900, because I put a load of cheese on it So throughout Hiroshima, there’s loads of places to get okonomiyaki, but this is the best place by far I believe. Okonamimura literally means Okonomiyaki Village, and it’s a little building It’s quite hidden away on the 3rd story of an unremarkable looking building But you go in and you feel the heat come at you first and the smell of the okonomiyaki being cooked. There’s loads of little stalls and and vendors cooking it, people gathered around and I’ve been here about 3 or 4 times now. I come every single time I come to Hiroshima and I go to a different one depending on how busy they are Basically, the quality’s the same all over, they’re all bloody brilliant. So to come to Hiroshima and miss this place out would be a crime I think. Ellen: Let’s get in the UK, it’s fucking brilliant. Chris: Somebody if you’re watching this in the UK, bring this to the UK. Make it happen. Maybe you should do it! Ellen: Maybe! Chris: When you return for your trip to Japan… Ellen: I need to learn how to say it first though Chris: Okonomiyaki. Ellen: Okonmiag-yup. Chris: Okonomiyaki. Ellen: That! So, what do you think of the okonomiyaki, Ellen? Ellen: I love it, it’s a revelation. Chris: It’s a revelation, it’s also indigestion! I feel absolutely stuffed! Anyway, we are now off to the island of Miyajima It’s one of the three scenic spots in Japan. It’s absolutely stunning. Have you seen any pictures of it? Ellen: I have, yeah! There’s a shrine the I wanna go to? Chris: Itsukushima Shrine. Ellen: Yeah, that one. Chris: Now we need to go on a boat! Miyajima meaning Shrine Island is a 45-minute boat ride out of the city and into the Inland Sea. We’re off to catch a view of the iconic giant Torii gate, beloved by Japanese tourism pamphlets the world over, before the sun sets in a couple of hours. The island is a great little get away with hiking trails beaches and perhaps best of all over a thousand friendly wild deer Who’ll quite happily eat all your worldly possessions! So Miyajima Island is known for two things. Number one, the majestic beautiful its Itsukushima Shrine. Number two, deer. Deer that eat everything.
Be careful because these deer do not stop. They will eat everything you love, everything you hold dear to you. They will ahah! Pun! A deer pun not even intended. A case in point, they’re now eating a hosepipe. Dear, oh, dear There’s no better time to see Itsukushima Shrine than sunset. It’s about 4:25 right now and the sun’s just disappearing behind the mountain and the view is absolutely stunning Hey Ellen, if you can sum up that view in one word, what would that word be? Ellen: Serenity. Chris: Serenity! If you do come to Miyajima guys, I highly recommend getting here for about 2 p.m. and going up Mount Misen. It’s a 500 meter mountain on the island and you can go up and get just an incredible panoramic view of the Setouchi Inland Sea And then climb down through the mountains and then just get here for the sunset. There are like 2,000 people around there right now But it doesn’t get in the way of the fact that this is just one of the most beautiful sites in all of Japan Chris: Innit
Ellen: Innit Given Hiroshima the biggest producer of oysters in Japan It’s not an uncommon sight to see yakigaki, literally grilled oysters, sizzling away on street fronts across the island. With the mouth-watering scent of the drizzled garlic butter and soy sauce Rising from the grill whilst I’m not into raw oysters yakigaki are definitely worth a try. After all it rhymes. So it must be good nothing that rhymed ever harmed anyone They covered in soy sauce butter. So they smell fantastic. Do you want one? Ellen: Ah, no thank you. Right. Oh, I got you a little treat though, seeing as I know you don’t like oysters. I got you some Ramune! Basically a soda pop drink from what the 1920’s. It tastes a bit like lemonade but the real thing about Ramune that makes it fun, is the mechanism to open it. And I’ll show you how to do it. Except I won’t because I’ve got my hands full. So open it up.
We gotta do this with – oh dear, and there it goes. So this is the top of the err-
Ellen: Cap? Chris: The cap. You put that in and then you basically bang it, and when you bang it hold it over the top tightly so it doesn’t explode. Ellen: Ohhh, shhh- okay. Chris: And that’s how it works. Anyway… Ellen: In this gonna take out our legs? Chris: Is it gonna take out our legs? Chris: Take n- go over there though, ’cause I don’t want to get fucked.
Ellen: Okay. Are you ready for this? Chris: Yeah. Ellen: Ready? Ellen: It didn’t work! Chris: Do it but… not like an idiot. Hold it, you have to hold it and press it in. Chris: Come on! Ellen: Okay! Chris: Oh dear!! Chris: Oh God!! Ellen: Okay, this is ???
Chris: You want something done ladies and gentlemen, do it yourself. 1, 2, 3! There you go. I did it! Oh shit!! Chris: And that’s your drink!
Ellen: Ohh, thank you Chris! That was great! Chris: Couldn’t have been be easier! The genius of Ramune though, ladies and gentlemen, and Ellen… Is this little ball bearing here. So when you tip the bottle over no liquid comes out. Observe! Kay, it’s definitely not working. I’ve just poured drink all over my… jeans… Ellen: I fell for that as well. Chris: Wha- that wasn’t a – that genuinely wasn’t a trick! That was… ahh… Who invented this? What a prick! Ellen: Who did invent this? Chris: Who invented this? I think he was a British guy living in Kobe in the 1800’s.
Of course, it was invented by British person Because it doesn’t ffff- doesn’t work!! Ellen: Also, I don’t think it’s worth the fight to get it open.
Chris: It’s cool in a theatrical way Chris: But I would just rather buy can of Sprite next time, and I’ll have a drink explode all over my jeans and all over my face. Chris: You enjoy your first day in Japan?
Ellen: Yeah, it’s been great apart from the explosive drink. That was a little bit scary. Chris: Oh God. Chris: Oh no. Ellen: Good? Chris: The oysters really good. It’s covered in sand. Oh no! What is a disaster this has been. Ohhh! My mouth is full of sand right now. Other than that? I’ve really enjoyed our trip to Miyajima it’s been great fun Well, we’ve seen exotic Islands, blow-torched pancakes, and hosepipe eating deer There’s just one more cultural wonder we need to see up close before the day is out 6 years I’ve travelled Japan far and wide and it’s all been building up to this moment! Pizza vending machine! Chris: Are you excited Ellen?
Ellen: I am so excited! Chris: I’m excited, are you excited? Leave a comment below. So you got two flavors margarita and full 4 kind of cheese pizza. They’re pretty expensive though 980 yen for a margarita pizza. That’s a restaurant price. So better be restaurant quality. Which one do you want Ellen? Both: Margarita I think it does take few minutes like 4 or 5 minutes to cook though, so I guess that’s reassuring because you know, it’s not microwave it does use an oven system Ellen: And actually, it’s been pretty popular whilst we’ve been waiting we’ve had a whole load of people come and get the pizza. So I’m excited for it. Chris: We’ve had to queue for this – for this luxury, and look here’s the countdown from 167 seconds Ellen: That’s 167 seconds too long! Here is guys, a margarita pizza straight out of the vending machine ¥980, but it’s a little bit burnt! Unfortunately, and it’s not cut, and we don’t have any cutlery, and we’re in a car park! It’s not very convenient location for a pizza vending machine! The one location they put a pizza vending machine in all of Japan they stuck it in front of a DVD shop! Ellen: You can get your DVD for the night and your pizza.
Chris: If only blockbusters still existed. There would have been hope for their business yet. Chris: All right, I’m gonna eat this little bit of crust
Ellen: Go for it Chris: The crust’s really good! It is definitely not microwaved, this is definitely oven cooked! Chris: It’s very fluffy!
Ellen: I would say it definitely tastes better than it looks. Chris: Yeah, yeah.
Ellen: Definitely. Feel like some sort of shitty King. Hold my pizza for me peasant girl! The crust is really good I’ll give it crust a 7 out of 10. The cheese is a bit – feels a bit cheap. I’ll give the cheese a 6. Ellen: The general presentation?
Chris: Honestly, I think I would give it a 6 out of 10. Ellen: I would give it a 5, because from the photo your expectations are so high and then even though it tastes good… it’s a bit disappointing to look at. So Chris: Is this how you expected your first day in Japan? Pizza vending machines? Ellen: Do you know what that’s the – that’s the beauty of Japan. I didn’t know what to expect! Ellen: So yeah, why not?
Chris: Best tour guide ever, but for now guys, that’s pretty much it. Ellen and I gonna start cycling tomorrow to Fukuoka. But for now no matter where you might be watching from out there in the big wide world, we’ll see you tomorrow to do it all over again! Ellen: Bye! Chris: Yeah, pizza vending machines! It seems everything we told you is a lie. There’s a pizza cutter box thing here Look at that! Fuck! They come with pizza cutters, a bit too late now. Captions by kuit.exe