Jun. 8th, 2012

Hiroshima

Jun. 8th, 2012 08:20 pm
sarahblack: (Anne being gorgeous)
My stay in Hiroshima was lovely!

It started out with some emotional moments, though. Not wanting to waste time, I went straight from the bus to the Hiroshima Peace Park. I spent the entire morning there, looking at the A-bomb dome, the monuments, the museum and the park in general.

It's hard to describe the sorrow I felt when I looked at the A-bomb dome. The dome has been preserved the way it was after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and it's a very powerful reminder of how destructive nuclear power can be. The A-bomb dome is also called the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and it is a memorial to the people who were killed in the bombing. It's hard to imagine what it must have been like. You're just going about your business in one instant, and in the next moment...

The museum was an even more emotional experience. Among the things that they have on display are the destroyed garments that were worn by little children who died in the bombing, along with the mangled remains of a little tricycle.

Another thing that left a deep impression on me were all the letters. Letters of protest from the mayors of Hiroshima to various presidents and leaders of nations that continue to preform nuclear tests. There were so many.

I think I'd have trouble sleeping at night if I were the recipient of such a letter.

The park itself is very beautiful. It has all sorts of trees and flowers, and at least two very nice fountains. Then there are the monuments. I didn't look at all of them. I mainly looked at the Children's Peace Monument. While I was there a group of schoolchildren came by and sang a song in Japanese, and dedicated some colourful origami cranes to it. It was a lovely ceremony.

I took the afternoon off in order to recover from my emotional morning. Thankfully I was able to just relax at the house of my couchsurfing host. His name is Joel and he's an American marine who works at a military base in Hiroshima. We got along famously!

He took me to a really cool restaurant for dinner. It was another one of those 'do it yourself' places that the Japanese seem to be so fond of. We received a miniature coal barbecue which we used to grill various pieces of meat. Apparently I tried tongue! (I had no idea what I was eating most of the time - I only checked if I was allergic, not what it actually was!)

The next day we went to Miyajima island. I enjoyed it immensely! The ferry was nice, the view was gorgeous, the temples were serene, the deer were friendly, and the Okonomi-yaki was delicious! (I'm serious about the deer. They even let you close enough to pet them. I felt like a Disney princess!)

My favourite place on the island was this little underground passageway in one of the temples. It was pitch black down there so you had to feel your way along the walls, but once you got past the first corner you could see the most amazing softly glowing pictures of Bhuddist deities!

After Joel and I got back to the mainland he took me to visit his military base. It was pretty fun. Kind of like going to the United States. I got apple pie and everything! I love pie. ♥ We also went to a bar on the base where I was able to pass for a Californian. (Joel wasn't in the mood to linger at the bar for too long, and he knew that if this one guy found out I was Icelandic he would want to question me about it endlessly, so he told me to say I was American instead. Funnily enough, the guy made me say: 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I don't have an accent' in order to prove that I didn't have an accent, and then I had to think quickly when he asked me what part of the States I was from. I ended up saying I was a Californian from Pasadena. He totally bought it.)

My last day in Hiroshima was spent strolling through the main shopping street and being amused that there is apparently a store called 'Womb' in Japan. I also tried the iced coffee at Tully's because Elin said it was worth trying. Since I'm not much of a coffee person I needed three packets of syrup before I liked it, but then it was delicious!

I also tried another Hiroshima speciality - Oysters! I only had one because they're kind of expensive, but it was really fresh and tasty. I also succumbed to temptation and had another dose of Hiroshima Okonomi-yaki.

Japan is all about the food you guys. (No wonder my jeans are starting to feel a little bit too tight...)

Anyway, right now I'm at Snaevar's place again. I spent today recovering from the twelve hour bus ride to Tokyo from Hiroshima, but tomorrow I might do some tourist stuff. Depends on the weather - apparently it's supposed to rain tomorrow.

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Sarah Black

March 2015

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