Onomichi - A heaven for cat lovers - Waku Waku
Onomichi - A heaven for cat lovers

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Onomichi - A heaven for cat lovers

Located in Hiroshima Prefecture, Onomichi City has been widely known for its tranquil scenery together with multiple temples and shrines as cultural heritages. Especially, when exploring this region, you will be welcomed by a lot of Onomichi's lovely cats!

Vy Nguyen

Vy Nguyen

Published on 27 Oct, 12:00

My journey to Onomichi took place in autumn. With a reasonable budget, I transferred from Kyoto to Hiroshima by the night bus and arrived early in the morning.

Depending on different times of the year, price ranges from 3400¥ to 3800¥. Then, with some friends from Hiroshima, we drove to Onomichi.

You can also use public transport such as the JR Railway (around 50 minutes) or high-speed bus (around 1.5 hours)

We reached Onomichi at noon, and we decided to fill our stomach with the famous dish of Ramen Onomichi - the amazing dish with the full-flavored soup. What a wonderful start for the whole journey!

Ramen Onomichi is well-known for its rich soy sauce-based bone broth
Ramen Onomichi is well-known for its rich soy sauce-based bone broth

Our itinerary that day was to take the Mt. Senko-ji Ropeway cable car to the top of the mountain, then descend from there on foot. This cable car route is famous for its panorama of the Inland Strait of Seto viewed from inside the cabin, however, it was the red-leaf season so all I could focus on was taking photographs of the wonderful autumn scenery.

The far-away mountain range was dyed with the beautiful colors of autumn
The far-away mountain range was dyed with the beautiful colors of autumn
Many traditional Japanese houses were built along the mountainside
Many traditional Japanese houses were built along the mountainside

We were welcomed to the place by the statue of Koiemon Stationmaster which was full of "cat vibes".

The Koiemon Stationmaster
The Koiemon Stationmaster
A statue of two cats falling in love, a romantic check-in spot for couples
A statue of two cats falling in love, a romantic check-in spot for couples

Then we were leisurely taking a walk while enjoying the scenery of autumn and looking forward to meeting the lovely cats.

The romantic roads that were covered in the vivid yellow foliage
The romantic roads that were covered in the vivid yellow foliage
Along the way we could see the Seto Inland Sea out there
Along the way we could see the Seto Inland Sea out there

It seemed that Senko-ji Temple was widely known as a sacred place for praying for good chances in love, hence the Enma charms there were designed in a pretty cute hearted-shape.

As long as you are earnest, your prayers will be accepted by the gods. Therefore, even if you don't know Japanese, don't hesitate to leave some wishes for good love on those Enma charms!
As long as you are earnest, your prayers will be accepted by the gods. Therefore, even if you don't know Japanese, don't hesitate to leave some wishes for good love on those Enma charms!

We walked a little further and then... one cat showed up. He looked chubby and didn't really "care" about us tourists. Cats back there were very gentle and willing to let you caress.

"A little bewildered cat stepping on dry orange leaves"
Those cats loved being caressed by humans so much that their eyes became drowsy
Those cats loved being caressed by humans so much that their eyes became drowsy
The local in the neighbourhood usually brought them food, so they were all very chubby despite the fact that they were stray cats
The local in the neighbourhood usually brought them food, so they were all very chubby despite the fact that they were stray cats

Having played satisfactorily with those cats, we continued our way to go down. On our way back, surprisingly, I happened to find a lot of cute stones styled as cats for decoration.

We learned that those were artworks created by an artist named Shunji Sonoyama and were hidden all over the place. Looking for those little stones would definitely become an interesting small challenge that could excite any tourist visiting the place.

Even the small stones were inspired to be so
Even the small stones were inspired to be so "passionate"
To notice this cat-featured stone you need to have a keen eye for small details
To notice this cat-featured stone you need to have a keen eye for small details

Besides, there are several other interesting sightseeing spots for you to drop by and chill, such as the Maneki-neko Cat Museum, cat-related artwork exhibitions or cat-styled coffee shops.

Onomichi - A heaven for cat lovers

It was the end of our journey to explore Onomichi, I and my friends went back to prepare for our upcoming trips to other tourist destinations in Hiroshima.

If you are a cat lover living in Hiroshima, don’t hesitate to spare a day to visit Onomichi!

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