My favorite thing we did while Josh was home in August was visit the seaside town of Onomichi and Kosanji Temple. Its about a two hour drive from where we live so we decided to spend a night there. We stayed at a great hotel right on the water called U2 and I would definitely go back. The hotel is a huge warehouse that has been renovated to include a bike shop, restaurant, bakery, coffee shop and store as well as the hotel rooms. It’s modern and minimal and has an amazing aesthetic.
We left the hotel early in the morning to get to Kosanji Temple before it got too hot and busy. It’s about a 45 minute drive and is located a few islands away from Onomichi. The islands around Onomichi are all connected by bridges and it’s a pretty big attraction for biking enthusiasts. I was surprised by how many European tourists we saw out there.
The temple complex includes a beautiful ornate temple that was built by a wealthy Japanese business man in honor of his mother. If you walk through the complex and up the hill behind it, you’ll find the marble sculpture park. The marble was brought in from Italy and sculpted in Hiroshima before being brought out to Onomichi. It’s laid into the hill and the views from up there are so incredible. The juxtaposition of the white marble against the green bamboo covered hills is pretty amazing. The Japanese name for the sculpture garden translates to Heights of Eternal Hope for the Future, or Hill of Hope. The design and creation spanned 16 years and it’s meant to represent a peaceful world filled with hope for the future.
After the marble sculpture park we drove to Hiratakankono Orchard for lunch and fruit picking. The orchard is huge and you can pick grapes, figs, blueberries, apples, peaches, pears and plums. We paid for tickets which we could then exchange at the different fruit orchards to pick what we wanted. You can also pay for all you can eat fruit which is weirdly common in Japan. You pay a fee and then just go and eat as much fruit as you want but you can’t take it home. Seems like a recipe for diarrhea but they love it out here.
I’m really excited to go back to Onomichi in the winter when Josh is home and it’s cooler. Have you been here before?
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