Hiroshima, Japan

6th June 2012

Our first day in Hiroshima and we decided on a leisurely stroll through Hondori shopping arcade. Unfortunately this turned into not so leisurely when we tried to locate the Shanti Yoga Vegan Cafe which is nearby for lunch. Without going into the walking backwards and forwards, forwards and backwards and being given wrong directions by the locals we finally found it and I am really pleased to say it was worth it.

Vegan Cafe cake display

We had:

Vegan Cafe rice meal ¥850

Surprisingly not japanese curry but a traditional indian curry served with brown rice.

Vegan Cafe pasta lunch ¥1,000

Spaghetti with a tasty garlic and tomato sauce.

Vegan Cafe bagel ¥250

A plain bagel with maple syrup to dip in???

Obviously after looking for the place so long and it being my first vegan rest experience I could NOT not have dessert.

Vegan Cafe chocolate cake ¥250

Choc cake was fudgy, ice cream a little crystally but nicely flavoured with cocoa.

Vegan Cafe tofu cake ¥250

The tofu apple cheesecake although not to  sweet was had texture a little too tofuy.

Vegan Cafe bagel sandwich ¥450

They also do takeaway so I bought a bagel sandwich for my dinner (which I paired with some 7-eleven salted crips). It was filled with hijiki (a type of seaweed), carrot, had a layer of creamy garlic sauce on the bottom, and topped with caramelised onions, it was delicious which was  a reflief as I wasn’t sure what to expect after the bagel and maple syrup lunch offering.

Vegan Cafe banana muffin ¥300

I also picked up two banana muffins for our breakfast for the next day. These were filled with poppy seeds and generous sized pieces of banana but the bottoms where there wasn’t any banana were dry.

Directions by street car from Hiroshima station: From Hiroshima station take a street car to Hatchobori stop and turn left on to Chuo Dori (Tenmaya department store is on the left corner at the top of the road and Fukuya on the right corner). As you walk down you should see Parco department store on the right. Keep walking till you get to the 7-Eleven on the corner.

Turn right here!

You're getting warmer...

Look out for the parking sign on the left hand side, its just behind this. They have a small green sign saying Vegan Cafe at the bottom of the stairs which lead up to it.

The following day we took a walk through the Memorial Peace Park on the way to catch a ferry to Miyijima.

I had not expected to feel quite so emotional walking around the A-Bomb Dome, this building amazingly still stands although the atomic bomb detonated almost directly above it. There is something about places where something really sad has happened, you can still feel it in the air.

Another historical site I had been looking forward to seeing was the Itsukushima Shrine and its floating gate or torii in Miyajima. However, what should have looked like this:

© tony-m via Flickr

Looked like this:

I was not amused. The current gate is very old, dating back to 1875 and therefore understandably requires maintenance, but it also happend to be the week I was there, typical eh?

Now that we knew where it was time for a second visit to Vegan Cafe for lunch, I had the bagel and soup set menu.

Vegan Cafe bagel lunch ¥850

The bagel dip was really good made with tofu and black rice but also tasted of something else familiar I have not been able to put my finger on, I think it is something used in raw food dishes maybe. The bagel was warm and fresh, they must make them in-house. The soup however was watery didn’t really taste of much despite the cabbage and bamboo shoot.

I got the kastu bento which Baba had had for lunch to take away for dinner. The tofu was deep fried in panko bread crumbs, these were a little thin and probably not the best option for a takeaway diner eaten serveral hours later.

Vegan Cafe brown rice lunch

The rice was really good, brown and mixed with sansai (mountain vegetables). This gave me a flashback to my youth, as these veggies used to be one of my favourites growing up, look out for it in Asian supermarkets they come vacummed packed.

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