Leaving the Suburbs

My flat- August 2018.jpgA mere snippet today, since it’s official- I’m moving house in a few weeks! I’ll be moving to Takaramachi, in the city centre. I like peaceful suburban Itsukaichi well enough, but it’s surprisingly distant from the metropolis. Hiroshima’s not a huge city, but it stretches around the harbour, and Itsukaichi is on its southwestern edge. And the trams and trains here all stop around midnight, leaving me with few options after a night out.

In short, I was feeling far from the frontline, and itching for a piece of the action*. So I sorted something out with a friend and now I’m renting from her. I enlisted help to cancel my utilities, handed in my housing notice, and I’ll make the move at the end of the month. I’ll be travelling back to Itsukaichi three times a week when I work there.

My new flat’s gonna be fifteen minutes from Hondori, heartland of shops and restaurants, and even closer to Nagarekawa’s clubs and izakaya. It also makes it much easier for me to have guests to stay, which is always nice.

—- —- — — — — — — — —

I don’t have much more to say, really. However, since we’re talking houses, I thought I’d share somewhere I visited a couple months back, and never wrote about. This is the Ota House, a seventeenth-century town house in the small coastal settlement of Tomonoura, east of Hiroshima.

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Tomonoura was Fukuyama’s historic port, and it’s still a busy harbour, although these days the boats are mostly fishermen and hobbyists.  But back in the seventeenth century, it exported sake, a supposedly medicinal liquor called homeishu, weapons, textiles and other goods. The sake and homeishu were stored in these giant pots.

The house was owned by a wealthy noble family, and although it wasn’t opulent it was pretty refined, with classical paintings, two tea rooms and a couple of stunning courtyard gardens, as well as a healthy collection of herbs and spices. Everything was in such careful proportion. There wasn’t much furniture though- most Japanese households were pretty sparse in terms of furniture.

Leaving the house, I tried some homeishu- it tasted a bit like Jagermeister. I wasn’t too fussed about it, but dunk it in some Red Bull and I’ll drink it, I guess. I want to come back to Tomonoura one day, not to explore more exactly but to soak in its unique atmosphere. I know I say this all the time, but it’s a comfortable candidate for the most beautiful place I’ve been in Japan.

Anyway, looking forward to the move. Excited to see what the future holds!

2 comments

    1. …I was hoping nobody would ask that! Erm I can’t exactly remember. I was going to wait and go back to the house before writing a blog, but I don’t know if that will ever happen and this felt like an appropriate time. I think they might be something to do with crushing grain, or possibly herbs.

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