27.07.2015 - 30.07.2015 33 °C
We are now on the JR Pass clock. The pass lasts for 14 days, and day 14 sees us leaving Japan, so we have set ourselves a busy but not too manic schedule to travel and see as much of Japan as possible.
Day two finds us boarding our first bullet train (Shinkansen) from Kyoto to Hiroshima. It was an exciting trip and interesting to travel from Kyoto to Osaka in 10mins when our train up took over 30 minutes!
We have been seeing a lot of scouts around Kyoto sightseeing and we learned from an Australian contingent that there is a huge Jamboree on down near Hiroshima celebrating world peace and recognising 70 years since the atomic bomb was dropped. Unfortunately, we will just miss the commemorating ceremony but we certainly got a good feel from our few days here as to what the city went through.
On the same day we arrived we went for a walk to the A-bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park. There is a lot to see here as we will explain with the photos following.
The A-bomb Dome was almost directly underneath the A-bomb (it detonated 600m above ground to cause maximum damage). This was what remains and several preservation campaigns have been undertaken to keep it to what it was after the bomb.
This is just one part of the Hiroshima Memorial Park. Look for the ever-lasting flame and the A-bomb dome between the archway.
This is the Children’s Monument built to give comfort to the families who lost children. One girl, Sadako, who contracted Leukemia 10 years later and died at 11 years old believed if she could fold 1000 origami cranes she would live (based on a very old belief of the crane representing longevity). Unfortunately, she didn’t make it and her school colleagues finished the milestone for her. To this day, cranes continue to be folded to promote world peace.
This mound is where the ashes of the unidentified victims are entombed. There is also a memorial to all of the Koreans (around 14,000) who were killed, as they had been brought to Japan to work during the war.
The following day we went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum where there are some excellent and also confronting displays. The Japanese have taken the view of exhibiting the horror that occurred on the 6 August 1945 to promote Peace and Nuclear disarmament. The flame mentioned above will be extinguished when the last nuclear bomb is dismantled. There is a good replica of ‘Little Boy’ (the A Bomb) and a plan view model of Hiroshima city post detonation. At the end of the exhibit, we had an Origami Crane tutorial and took away our cranes to donate to the Children’s memorial the following day. Note the glass building next to Tania; this is full of cranes and there are similar smaller buildings holding cranes beside this one.
Hiroshima is the home of Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) and was a must have on our food list. We went to the Okonomi-mura Village (3 floors of Okonomiyaki) and enjoyed a feast cooked in front of us.
A few final things – here’s Lachlan in the hotel-supplied Kimono. Oh and we just happened to find the Hiroshima Pokemon centre in a shopping centre here which was a real hit for the boys.
Tomorrow we catch the Shinkansen back to Tokyo for the next part of our journey. It will be a 6 hour trip, even with the train travelling so fast!