Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Go to Coco Ichibanya

While in Sapporo we tried the local specialty - curry soup. It was a fantastic turn on one of our favorite Japanese dishes. On a recent outing to Coco's we discovered they are running a limited-time version of soup curry filled with fresh eggplant, okra, carrots, potatoes, and lotus roots. YUM! It's like finding biscuits and gravy above the Mason-Dixon line. Go to Coco Ichibanya before this special leaves!


  1. CocoIchibanya was my favorite place. Hands down favorite. All us teachers referred to it as crack. "Hey, wanna get some crack for dinner?"

    The answer was ALWAYS yes.

  2. I am taking a trip to Japan in April, I will be in Iwakuni, what are your favorite places there? or Hiroshima! Maybe Ill run into you two!

    1. Joesph, that's a tough question! If you are only going to be here a short while I would recommend the following tourist areas:

      In Iwakuni, Kintai-kyo, Kikko Park, and Iwakuni Castle - The Kintai Bridge and the surrounding park are pretty nifty. Also, you will be here during peak hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season and this is the best spot around. Spend some time meandering though the trees and then make your way to the ropeway. For a small fee you can catch a ride to the top of the mountain and see the entire city and beautiful Seto Inland Sea. Also, take a short tour of the castle to see one-of-a-kind samurai swords. It's not a trip to Kintai without trying ice cream. At the end of the bridge is a 100 Flavor ice cream shop filled with all the favorites and a few oddities (like curry, lotus root, or wasabi flavors. A little nervous? Try salt! It's my favorite).

      If you have another free day in the area make the 20 minute train ride to Miyajima. This island, accessible by ferry, is filled with old world culture. Considered a holy place, you can walk through Itsukushima Shrine and take pictures (and even touch during low tide!) the famed floating torii gate. The island is packed with wild deer to watch your pockets and maps. They aren't afraid to do some digging to find treats! If you've got the energy, spend a few hours climbing Mt Misen, the tallest peak on the island. Three hundred and sixty degree views await. Make sure you try momiji manju (maple pancake) and oysters (the island's specialty) while you are there.

      In Hiroshima, I recommend visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome and walking through the Peace Park. Additionally, the museum is worth more than the 50 yen entrance fee. If you can't read Japanese I recommend getting the audio recorders. Take a right from the A-Bomb Dome and enter a huge covered shopping area called Hondori Street. This area is a great place to people watch -Japanese fashion is very diverse! Before you leave, make sure to have Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. It's a layered feast of noodles, cabbage, onion, and pork.

      All of these recommendations are in this blog with pictures and notes on our experiences. Let me know if you need any help with logistics or maps. Welcome to Iwakuni!

  3. Wow! Thanks for such a thoughful responce! Ill definatly try to fit these in. Salt? Ill try it... im scared

  4. I just spent my first day in Iwakuni! I tried lots of your suggestions, even the salt ice cream which was really good! I also went to Hachigamine Park which was just as fun as I remembered it to be! I also got to pet one of the Miyajima deer, so cute!