Sunday, August 16, 2015

Japan: Hiroshima

After our busy weekend in Kyoto and Himeji, J, Baby O and I were headed to Hiroshima for a couple of nights. I truly enjoyed our time in Hiroshima. Our first day in Hiroshima was a very good day, but also very emotional for me. I felt uncomfortable taking a lot of pictures so I only have a couple from our day.
This month marks the 70 anniversary of the Atomic Bomb being dropped on Hiroshima. The above picture is of the 'Hiroshima prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall'. The A-bomb exploded approximately 600 meters above and 160 meters southeast of this building. It is now known as the A-bomb dome.

After seeing the dome we walked though Peace Memorial Park. The park is a memorial to the memories of the bomb's victims. There are monuments, museums and lecture halls that draw over a million visitors each year. As we were walking though the park a group of school children walked past and they were so excited to see us and say 'hello' and wave to Baby O. It was so sweet, but hard at the same time knowing the history of our location.
As we were walking up to the museum we came across the above group singing and holding paper cranes. Even though I couldn't understand what they were singing it was a beautiful moment to witness.

The last part of the memorial that we visited was the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The English pamphlet gave this introduction to the museum: "The Peace Memorial Museum collects and displays belongings left by the victims, photos, and other materials that convey the horror of that event, supplemented by exhibits that describe Hiroshima before and after the bombing and others that present the current status of the nuclear age. Each of the items displayed embodies the grief, anger, or pain of real people. Having now recovered from the A-bomb calamity, Hiroshima's deepest wish is the elimination of all nuclear weapons and the realization of the genuinely peaceful international community" (found here). This was an intense and somber part of our visit. Many of items we saw were from children as there was a school near the center. I cried then and when I told friends about it and now. It was a humbling experience to say the least.

One last thing from our day in Hiroshima, our lunch, yum! We got okonomiyaki, which is a savory Japanese pancake. The Hiroshima style okonomiyaki has layers of batter, cabbage, pork belly, noodles and a little sauce on top. You can also get additional items, I added corn to mine. I really liked it, but Baby O and J weren't as excited. J said it had too much cabbage.


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