A Travellerspoint blog

HM Miyajima Backpackers Prison

and Hiroshima Peace Park

overcast -25 °C

There has a brief intermission in blogging as we have just served a sentence in Miyajima Backpackers Prison. Let us explain...

After a rather frantic train journey, we arrived at Miyajima and found our hostel with little difficulty (we're becoming quite the orienteering experts!) We were all set for a cuppa and a sweet treat as a pick me up, following a hard morning's travel. This plan went a little awry as we arrived at Miyajima Backpackers Prison.

We were greeted by a flamboyant Japanese man with long hair tied up in a scrunchy, who immediately informed us that we weren't allowed to check in for 2 hours. However, he was quick off the mark to explain a whole list of rules and the deposit system for using pretty much everything in the place. Our least favourite rules were: bedroom lights could not be switched off manually but would automatically be turned on and off at the time imposed by hostel; guests had to have timed showers that could not be more than 7 minutes; eating or drinking was not allowed anywhere but the 1st floor; guests were required to do housework including making and stripping beds before and after use and sweeping the bathroom if using the hairdryer.

We could have got on with these rules had the standard of the hostel been up to the standard required from us but it seemed that little effort had gone into the structure and layout OR furnishing the building. For starters, the communal area, kitchen, shower rooms and toilet were all in the reception area. This means you were washing up next to people using the toilet-gross! Or, showering amongst a group of boozing guests-great!

Health and safety alarms were also raised by a furry toilet seat:

and we were not particularly reassured by the note on the inside of the toilet door that said 'sanitaly napkins' were available for ladies on request:

The upstairs bathrooms for brushing your teeth were also surrounded by open urinals and toilet cubicles. We were both unfortunate victims of the toilet attack whilst trying to do make-up/brush teeth.

Our bunkbed was on the 2nd floor. I think the use of the word 'dormitory' in the hostel's description was a bit loose. We were in an open room separated by curtains and temporary wooden partitions. The number of people crammed into this space made for a noisy room, which was not helped by the fact that no attempt had been made to seal up the gaps in the top of temporary walls. It also echoed a fair bit against the bare concrete walls. None of this was conducive to a good night's sleep!

We're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy!

After a few moments of despair, we put on our stiff upper lip, and munched down some comfort chocolate. We made our way to downtown Hiroshima to visit the Peace Park, which was a beautiful escape from our hostel shackles!

Here are a few of our favourite pictures from the park:

After a relaxing stroll, we headed back to bunk down for the night with the other inmates.

Posted by Ashton and Emma 05:46 Archived in Japan Tagged park miyajima hiroshima backpackers peace

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