Lots to update!
Hiroshima was great. The peace park was amazing and depressing. Really beautiful and well worth the visit.
After that we went to Kobe. This was not part of our original plan but we had to fill a couple days and it was a good halfway point. Fortunately it turned out awesome. There was tons of awesome shopping and food. We found it easy to kill the time we had to spend there.
We returned to Osaka today with the intention of visiting koya San (mount koya) tomorrow. Originally we intended to stay overnight in a temple lodging but, sadly, we have been unable to procure one. All the same, it is about 1/4 the price to just stay in Osaka. We have been most impressed by the kindness of strangers ;) every time we have been a bit lost, a friendly stranger has jumped to our rescue without our even asking for help. People have even walked us to our destinations! Thank you people of Japan!
We are both becoming very aware that our time here is close to done. We will be at Tokyo Disney on the 19th, which is fast approaching. I, for one, am looking forward to getting back to my own bed where the only snoring I will hear might come from my husband.
The cities are incredibly clean yet it is hard to procure a garbage can when you need one. Everywhere has a smoking section but it is rarely as offensive as it was in china. The subways are terrifying at first but easy to actually use and they always run on time. There is both urban and natural beauty to be found here and for a country with so many people I rarely feel like I don't have room to breathe.
I am loving this journey but it feels strangely fitting that it will likely be my last backpacking adventure for close to 20 years. I will still travel but likely never again like this. I will certainly be leaving a bit of myself in Japan.