"I know you have redeeming qualities. For example, when you're on television you let others shine, while you, generously, absorb all light and oxygen. When you leave an area it stops raining. And I know in the past I referred to you as a 'douche bag'... I only said those things because I honestly think you're a horrible person!" - Jon Stewart
That was a good burn. And speaking of burn, I saw the most curious event on GetHiroshima - an organized gathering to walk across hot coals in front of Daishoin Temple on Miyajima Island. Now, I know some people call long distance runners masochists... and yeah, we really are to an extent. I mean, who in their right mind runs 42.195 kilometers? That's just insane. But I don't think myself or my kind have quite reached the stage of strolling across a field of burning cinders to "pray for protection from illness and disaster" - seems like the best way to avoid illness and disaster would be to not walk on hot coals. But GetHiroshima did site one of my favorite tenuous quotes: "If your heart is pure..." Anyway, I digress.
One story - making my header graphic a reality, that is running across Miyajima island with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, flaunting your skills for the world to see. The Hiroshima Seniors Running Club has planned a 10 km cross country race on this famous island scheduled for November 26th (a Sunday). This is the time best known for cool weather, the leaves in their full autumn colors.
If you're looking for other outdoor activities, I've noticed many Japanese people using jet skis in the inlets surrounding Peace Park - I still have yet to find where they rent them, but using a jet ski in Hiroshima bay or anywhere along the coast would be excellent.
Note to Hiroshima-based foreigners: the best English store in the city is on the 10th floor of Fukuya shopping mall, the one right next to Hiroshima Station. But it is more expensive that Sogo.
"Seriously, how often do you look at a man's shoes?" I'm finding a difficult enough time to find anything over a size ten, even in Hiroshima. Curse my big feet. Also should be noted the practicality of shoes - I see many Japanese businessmen in full suits wearing loose, dirty, tennis shoes, because chances are they'll need to slip them off when entering a professional environment and don slippers. Don't be concerned with fashion, just find something you can slip on/off easily.
Onigiri (rice balls) come stuffed with salmon, seaweed, fruit, and Japanese plums - the Japanese actually dye their plums with a ton of red food coloring. If you've ever had an onigiri that looked like it was bleeding, now you know why.
Coming soon - Japanese business practices: why some people couldn't stop being condescending to foreigners if they tried. Unless I oversleep or eat some bad spinach, I'll being taking the JR to Onomichi, biking to Imabari, and catching the express to Matsuyama... ahhh... the Dogo Onsen awaits...