Temple Walking Through Onomichi
By Andrew Smith
Hiroshima is most famous for enduring of the devastating atomic bomb attacks of WWII but like most places in Japan, there is so much more to Hiroshima than meets the eye. After visiting the Peace Memorial Museum, the city of Onomichi is a great choice for anyone wanting to experience more Japanese culture and take a unique set of photos for your friends that include more than just the typical icons of Hiroshima.
The casual hiking routes winding around Onomichi introduce travelers to the stunning scenery of the city. In the summer, the paths are pleasantly protected from the scorching Hiroshima sun naturally by the trees, and brightly-colored, crunchy leaves cover the ground during the autumn. No matter the season though, the scenic trails trails on the mountain side always lead to a spectacular panoramic view.
Looking down from the peaks it may be difficult to see the pavement through the cluster of pastel rooftops, but the streets winding through Onomichi are filled with as much life as the nature that surrounds the city. These narrow, stone streets connect pedestrians to both the lively nightlife of the modern city and the quiet tradition of Japanese culture. Several temples and shrines can be found on Onomichi’s famous 2.5 kilometer Temple Walk which actually showcases 25 of the cities temples. Because of Onomichi’s many slopes, it’s important to wear a pair of comfortable shoes and prepare to climb a good number of stairs, but anyone who is willing to do the work will not be disappointed.Photo by Path of Literature
Although The Temple Walk is the city’s main attraction, Onomichi holds other kinds cultural treasures. Admirers of Japanese film can enjoy the Onomichi Motion Pictures Museum which displays photos from behind the scenes of movies that were filmed in the area. One of the most notable of these films featuring Onomichi is Tokyo Monogatari by the legendary Japanese director Ozu Yasujiro. This classic story of a widowed daughter-in-law who takes the time care for her parents from Onomichi while the elderly couple’s biological children are too busy is very important work in Japanese film history. Many who have seen Osu’s films enjoy reminiscing about this masterpiece as they walk through the quaint streets of the city.
While it is possible to spend a whole day just reliving moments of Tokyo Monogatari, walking along The Temple Walk and enjoying the old architecture of the city, or exploring the nature found in the nearby mountains, Onomichi also offers a fantastic view of the life-giving ocean. The city doesn’t have many beach areas to brag about, but cyclists enjoy cruising over the water across the many bridges that connect the different areas of the city. People from all around Japan come to Hiroshima for cycling hotspots such as the one in Onomichi, but boat-enthusiasts also use the bridges to indulge in their hobbies by taking photographs and watching the freighters slowly pass beneath them.