Traveling by Shinkansen is really nice, because you spend almost no time in the train (compared to the distance you cover). It took us only one hour to get to Fukuoka. So we used the free morning to visit Hiroshima-jo, the castle of Hiroshima.
Hiroshimas history began as a castle town after the so-called warring states period was over. The castle served mainly administrative purposes but was also equipped to withstand a siege. Of course, the atomic bomb destroyed its buildings and walls, but on the ruins a new main keep was built from modern materials. It houses an exhibition on the history of Hiroshima, when and how the decision was made and the like. It also features insights into the lives of samurai and merchants and on the top floor armor and different swords are on display. Unfortunately, the signs on the top floor are all in Japanese only and on the lower floors the English is sometimes good and sometimes a little off. For example, I truly hope that Mori Termumoto was a feudal lord, not a fedual load. 😉
After finishing the museum we strolled through the food market of Fuyuka department store. This is something I really like to do as the food markets of the large department stores usually feature not only a supermarket but may smaller stores selling sweets, sushi, tonkatsu, bento, … bakeries … basically: you name it. We bought some bento wo eat on the train and a daifuku with a whole mandarin in it. It proved difficult to eat.
After arriving in Fukuoka, we were a bit shocked at the outward appearance of the ryokan we booked. It is very simple but so far we had nothing to complain about and it our room is larger than the last hotel room, which is actually quite nice.
We then visited the Kushida Shrine. The shrones compound is rather smallish, but the shrine itself is quite impressive with huge straw ropes over the entrance to its main sanctiary. On the grounds a festival float is displayed which is several meters high. After that we wanted to visit Tocho-ji, but we were too late. Generally, in winter most temples close at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, so we did what we always did after 5: we explored some shopping arcade, this time the Hakata Canal City. There we say a nice Christmas themed lightshow.