On a Whim: 向島 Mukaishima (Hiroshima)

A visit to 向島 Mukaishima, the island across Onomichi.

向島 Mukaishima is an island that is part of Onomichi City, Hiroshima, surrounded by the 瀬戸内海 (Setonaikai) Seto Inland Sea. It is located literally across (向かい mukai = across) Onomichi, connected by the しまなみ海道 (Shimanami Kaidō) that bridges Honshu (mainland Japan), Shikoku island and the six islands in between.

The Setouchi area is known for its calm, waveless waters and lush green islands. Standing on the quiet island, hearing the うぐいす (uguisu) nightingales cooing and feeling the sea breeze on your face, is nothing but soothing.

Tokyo on a Whim: 自由が丘 Jiyugaoka

A neighborhood stroll through 自由が丘 Jiyugaoka.

Jiyugaoka, two stops from Shibuya on the Tokyu Toyoko Line, is a neighborhood known for its cake shops, bake shops, and fashionable shops, a sophisticated residential area that has a European feel, but there are still traces of the older days that give its charm.