Taiwan and Japan - Day 10

Thinking of the past, hoping for the future.

WOW! Was today an early start or what. We met at the bottom of the hotel at 6:45 to catch a train to go to Shin-Osaka station to catch the bullet train to Hiroshima. We had reserved seats so it was just easy to jump on the bullet train and enjoy the very quick 340km journey in 1 hour and half. The bullet trains go so fast and are so smooth they are amazing. When we arrived at Hiroshima station we found our way to the bus terminal to catch our sightseeing bus to our first stop.

I knew the first part of this day in Hiroshima would be confromnting. However I feel it is an important place to visit and realize the impact the human race can have on each other, First I will start off by saying that 71 years after the bombing today Hiroshima is a rebuilt and bustling city which amazing to see. Our first stop off the bus was the A-Dome building. The A dome building was a exhibition hall before the bomb was dropped. The reason so much of it survived the impact of the blast was because the atomic bomb detonated 600m directly above it.

We stood in silence looking at the building. It was a strage feeling, the building is a strong reminder of the damage that occurred and the lived llost. Years ago many people in Hiroshima wanted it gone because the reminder was to painful and to be honest I don’t blame them. However looking at that building really makes you think and understand the consequences of war and I think it is important that people today can see that for themselves. It is very confronting. We walked around the A-dome building and read the information about what has happened. The building itself is actually undergoing some support installtioon to ensure it will not collapse in an earth quake.

Our next stop was across to the peace park and to the children’s memorial. The memorial has a huge statue in the middle and is designed after Sakura and her paper cranes. There are glass cabinets behind them that house the paper cranes that people have bought to honour the children. Another thing I found out later was after the cranes have been on display for a while and get old they bring them in and recycle them to be used for postcards and paper cranes to earn money to keep the momunemts and areas up to date. Sakura was 2 when the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima and was about 1.6km away from the epicentere. She appeared to have suppered no injury, however when she was 11 she developed Lukemia from the radiation poisoning she had suffered. She made over 1000 paper cranes as she belived that if she did she would get better. Sadly she died from Lekumia a few months later. The memorial for all children was designed in honor of her and the other children that died.

We walked through the peace park and looked at the eternal flame and memorial for Hiroshima and then we paused for some food and snack from the shop. Getting some energy we headed into the Hiroshima Musuem. I cannot speak for everyone but I believe we all found this very confronting. I had tears in my eyes for most of it and could not look at the majority of the pictures. The museum took you through the different parts of the bomb and the different damage it caused. The are reminants of peoples clothing that they were wearing, burnt and melted materials and other bits and pieces. There was also a large 3D model showing what was left of Hiroshima after the bomb hit. There were a few sections I had to skip. The scareiest part was looking at a shadow on a bit of building that was left by a woman who was sitting on the step during the explosion. It was a very imformative museum and just gave facts. No-one spoke through the whole museum as I think everyone was in shock. I am glad we went and saw it though because it is a part of history that hopefully the world will learn from.

We decided we needed to get moving so we headed to a vending machine café that Tim’s friend Jardius had selected. The food was delicious and cheap. We then headed to an arcade quickly to see if the game I have been looking for was there. We found the TSUM TSUM game in the second arcade shop and I got 2 of the toys Winter Mickey and Marie. After reherding everyone we made our way to catch the boat from the peace park to Miyajima. Most people sleep on the boat and the 55 min journey across went quickly.

Arriving at Miyajima we walked towards tge shrine. The streets here are full of deer and it was awesome to pat them and walk with them. The best part about this was that the Miyajima is an island so we got some awesome pictures of deer on the beach. Before we got anyway we saw the biggest hawk I have seen come swooping down to steal some food out of a girls hand. We watched in awe as the majestic hawk flew around. We walked along the market on the island and did some souvenir shopping. It was so cool because you walked down the market there were all little deer’s wandering down the street trying to get food off people.

Finally we made it to the end of the street and in front of us was the Shrine. We walk through huge gates into the shrine grounds and were greeted by the beautiful floating Tori gate. It is said on a lot of travel sites that this is one of the best views in Japan and I agree with them it is a marvelous sight. After taking many photos we headed into the actually shrine. The tide was coming in as we walked around and the walkways were beautiful. We spent an hour’s wandering around the shrine, taking photos and enjoying some of the best views I have seen. On the way back to the Ferry we saw some deer being fed. We stopped to watch the sunset over the Tori gate and then headed back.

Drew did a fantastic job of navigating and before we knew it we were on a bullet train sleeping our way home. Well we all got Bento boxes for dinner on the train and then we slept. It was an amazing day and it makes me realize why I love this country so much.