Sadly, we departed Kyoto this morning to continue our journey south. We are off to Hiroshima today. We needed to change shinkansens at Shin-Kobe with only a 6 minute window between shinkansens, which we were a little worried about. However, no problem at all as the next Shinkansen came on the platform that we were already on. It was all smooth and easy. We arrived in Hiroshima and caught a cab to our hotel, which was perfectly located near the Peace Park.
This afternoon we headed out to explore the Peace Park. The weather was grey and cold, and the mood around here was sombre. The trees and plants were symbolic of the new hope, but the monuments and the A-bomb dome were testament to human’s destruction of each other. Just devastating- as is Pearl Harbour in Hawaii.
We visited the Children’s Memorial in the Peace Park and left the origami cranes that my class from Sydney, Australia had made to be placed there. This was so beautiful. Anyone can leave paper cranes as they have areas behind the Children’s Memorial to place these wishes for peace inside. If you are bringing a lot of them, they prefer you to string them together so they can hang, which I didn’t know about. I left ours in the bottom where others were that weren’t strung together. Some people had hung them and put a label on where they were from. Wishes for peace from around the world! It was quite special.
I had read about a fast ferry boat to Miyajima Island that left from the Peace Park. We found out more information about the Aquanet service and discovered that this was correct. We decided to use this service to go to Miyajima Island the next day.
We walked down to the A-bomb Dome (atomic bomb dome). The bomb was detonated 600m higher than this building and instantly obliterated everyone in this area. The Japanese people left this building as it was. It symbolises the pledge to convey the horror of the atomic bombing and the call for the abolition of nuclear weapons and eternal world peace.
We wandered along the Honkawa River alongside the cherry blossoms which, whilst not at their peak, were still beautiful. We headed to the Castle Tower but decided not to go in as it was getting late. We caught a cab to Dallas’ hotel, so that he could check in and then walked back to our hotel from there. It was quite close.
We had an early dinner in the hotel at a buffet that had a combination of Western style dishes and Japanese dishes to choose from. Phil and Dallas then went for a walk in the evening, whilst I relaxed and caught up some of the blog.
I am glad we came to this city. Although the mood that we felt was one of sadness, it could also have been the weather contributing to this feeling.
We are off to Miyajima Island tomorrow.