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Thursday in Hiroshima

Posted on 2016/03/18 02:19:59 (March 2016).

[Thursday 17th March 2016]
Spent the daytime in the centre of Hiroshima. As has been a theme most of this week, in the morning the main thing on my mind was trying to find a decent coffee. This has been met with mixed success, and today was probably the biggest failure of all. Bean Hunter seems to be the incumbent global authority on where to find good independent coffee shops serving espresso based drinks, and I noted that whilst Fukuoka had a few places listed, Hiroshima (at least the city proper) had nothing. So I tried a different tack and searched for "La Marzocco Hiroshima", which suggested Obscura Coffee. It looked very promising, so on arriving in the centre of Hiroshima this morning we went there, only to discover a sign saying no children are allowed inside. They also apparently couldn't do a macchiato to takeaway "because it's too small" so I left feeling rather annoyed, with a distinct impression they just didn't want my custom at all.

Whilst I appreciate that some people want to have a bit of peace and quiet when they're having a coffee, and probably don't want small kids spoiling the ambience, at the same time on a weekday, in the daytime, when most people are at work, the mainstay of customers are almost certainly going to be stay at home parents with their kids (at least that tends to be the way of things in London). Also when this appears to be the only decent looking independent coffee shop in Hiroshima it's more than a bit frustrating that they have this rather backward, unwelcoming attitude. Back at home in London we have two local cafes almost opposite each other and there's kind of a tacit understanding that one is for people with kids, the other is for grown-ups who want peace and quiet - although even that place doesn't explicitly ban children.

I noticed with some relish the cafe was completely empty, and having been about to add them to Bean Hunter so there would be something listed in Hiroshima, I decided just not to bother as I don't think they deserve any additional custom. I would be neither surprised nor upset to discover on my next visit to Japan that they'll likely have gone bust.

After that I trudged rather grumpily through the streets of the centre of Hiroshima to "Kid-o-kid", sort of the Japanese equivalent of a soft play place, but with a bit more variety. I spent an hour or so there with Erika while Chie went off and did some shopping. Erika seemed to really enjoy herself - which cheered me up somewhat.

It was lunchtime by then, so we went back to Nagata-ya, the Okonomiyaki place we'd discovered last time I was in Hiroshima, which is a lot more vegetarian friendly than the usual okonomiyaki places in Hiroshima, and also turned out to be quite kid friendly (they had a little child seat for Erika and the three of us were seated at the counter which was fun).

We did a bit more shopping after lunch, with the aim of trying to find things to make for dinner, as I thought we should give Chie's Mum a night off from cooking. Somehow my suggestion to Chie and Yuka-chan that "we" should cook ended up with me cooking. I would have been more than happy if we were in England, I had use of my own kitchen and easy availability of all the ingredients I'm familiar with, but in Japan, with the added difficulty of trying to cater to Japanese tastes, and figure out what I can or can't buy in the shops here, it's always a real challenge.

I managed to cobble together some kind of pasta dish which was just about passable, and the reception thereof improved significantly by a bottle of Gevrey Chambertin, and another bottle of more generic Burgundy.

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