The 3rd stop of our month-long journey through Japan was Onimishi.

I am forever grateful for meeting Yukari back in Laos a few years ago. She ended up being an amazing guide, and having a little van, drove us comfortably through towns we would have never seen.

The drive from Hiroshima was quiet, on large and almost empty highways. We had a pit-stops at roadside stations to gas, replenish on coffee and just shop. I’ve never done so much shopping in my life! Every single little store had something cool or silly to offer. Needless to say, I went way over budget and had to buy extra bags and even mail some stuff home when Japan was done with me.

We entered Onimishi from a mountain, driving through tiny streets barely large enough for two tiny Japanese cars. On our left, between houses we could see glimpses of a blue and quiet river, down below the mountain. Yukari followed her GPS to a small and empty parking. A small road quickly took us to this lovely temple, which remains one of my favorite ones to this day.

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One of my favorite pictures ever.

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Here’s Yukari posing in front of the temple’s gates. The decorations are actually giant rope slippers. Yukari informed us that this temple is dedicated to health – especially healthy legs and feet. The town is built on a hill-side and the residents must take a lot of stairs throughout the day, so they come here to pray for their legs to remain strong well into old age. Cool!

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There were cemeteries everywhere near the temples. My dad and I had a short walk through this one. Yukari refused to come in, saying that she doesn’t want to disturb the ghosts resting there.

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We found this good boy watching the car.

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Pretty much every single meal we had in Japan was ridiculously good.

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Yukari drove us to a mountain in another part of the town, this one housing another great temple.

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The temple was famous for housing “wild” cats. They were very laid back and we saw several locals come up and offer them treats and food.

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Another cool Japanese vehicle that looks like a little truck. I want one.

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Apparently the town was also known for its oranges that grow even in the winter, who knew! Yukari guided us to this small convenience store that also specialized in orange-flavored ice cream.

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My 12-year old dream vehicle.

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The temperature inside our AirB&B. We’ve had mostly good experiences with those, but this one was very deceiving. It was very cold, there was only 1 room instead of the two promised (Yukari didn’t like to sleep in the same room as my dad and I), the beds were just mats, none of the furniture or kitchen appliances promised were present.

20170118_200011Yukari still managed to lighten up the mood. This is our dinner 🙂

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