16,000 Steps to Hiroshima’s Botanical Garden and Back!

At midday I set off with the Mrs to accomplish one of our goals for the Golden Week period – walk to the Botanical Garden which I had never visited heretofore even though it’s in our neck of the woods.

The Hiroshima Botanical Garden is located up a hill in Saekiku, which is to the west of Hiroshima city. You can approach the botanical gardens by walking along an unprepossing river – or rather along one of the roads that runs along the unprepossing river. That part of the walk was as dull as ditchwater.

Things improved somewhat once we had got off that road and started to head up the hill, past the Hiroshima bypass.

At the foot of the hill we noticed a ramen restaurant that was packed with people clamouring for lunch so we thought we’d give it a try on the way back, if it were not so crowded…

Hiroshima Botanical Garden

This is the entrance to the botanical garden. The poppies in the middle are disporting themselves in all their pomp as if in mockery of my hangover.


The Sea! The Sea!

Look back carefully from the entrance terrace and you can see the sea.


Inside the hot house we saw various chocolate, coffee and pepper trees among a whole bunch of other florae too numerous to list here, though I did stop to measure myself against a north Australian boab tree…


… before strolling over to check out a gaudy Philippina beauty apparently called strongylodon macrobotrys.


Floral Nostalgia

Some of the flowers brought back childhood memories. There were the Venus fly traps – I was given one on several occasions as a boy.

The Venus Fly Trap was a friendly ally in the summer battle against flies. There was me with a rolled up newspaper, and my trusty Venus Fly Trap on the window sill – trusty, that is, until it succumbed to neglect, or over or under watering or too much or too little sun or something.

When we went into the next hot house and were confronted with an array of fuchsias, I instantly recalled giving my mother a fuchsia which I suppose I bought on a school trip to an agricultural fair or something.


Crazy Cacti

The cacti also brought back memories, this time of my Timpo Wild West fort, and the plastic cacti that came with it… There is a craziness to cacti that you just can’t beat.


Well, that is until you encounter the weird and wonderful world of insect-mimicking orchids that mimic the insects they seek to attract. It seems that the insects drop into the bowl at the bottom of the flower and in the process of clambering out pick up the pollen. Or something like that. I’m an English teacher with a hangover, not a botanist, for goodness sake.


Back outside, we wandered around the Japanese garden and admired the hanging wisteria, the gentle mauve hue of which always seems difficult to capture.


And with that we strolled back down the hill, but decided to go via a different road which meant we would not be stopping at the ramen restaurant for lunch… or so we thought.

Mid Afternoon Ramen and Gyouza

As it turned out, the road taken led us right back to the spot which the road not taken would have led us, that is, to the ramen restaurant, which was indeed no longer crowded, and so in we went.


As you can see, I ordered chashu ramen – extra braised pork belly. We also ordered some gyouza aka Chinese dumplings.

There is nothing better than a stonking good bowl of ramen for seeing off a hangover…

Job Done! Hangover Walked Off

Well, apart from walking it off. And when you combine the two, it turns out that you have a pretty good remedy to the old nocturnal debauch.

Sixteen thousand steps under my belt and all is well with the world, once more.


Cheers for now.

David Hurley