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Japan: Hiroshima

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12 – 14 June 2002

Bullet Train Trip and Miyajima Island

We got up Wednesday morning to take our longest bullet train ride of the trip to Hiroshima, a distance of about 540 miles from Tokyo. Our train didn’t leave until 11:03am, which gave us time to enjoy breakfast and buy a picnic lunch. Before we checked out of the hostel in Tokyo, we decided to buy breakfast for 450 Yen each. It included of corn soup, a potato pancake, very creamy milk and bread. Once we reached the Tokyo Train Station, Darren and Lauren went searching for lunch to eat on the bullet train. They bought a bento box from this store.

Once we arrived in Hiroshima at 3:41pm, we took a 15 minute bus ride to our hostel, which was north of the city. The rooms were segregated here, so Darren shared with a couple of other guys, while Lauren, Kristen and Sandy had their own room in the women’s wing. As soon as we settled into the hostel, we went right over to the Peace Park and took a picture of the A Bomb Dome as the sun set. This is a famous set of ruins that was left as a memorial to the bombing. For dinner, we went to an okonomiyaki (egg-based savory pancakes topped with noodles and vegetables) mini-restaurant. It is cooked and eaten on the grill.

We woke up on Thursday (13 June) and headed for the train station in the center of town. After riding a local train about 25 minutes, we came to Miyajima-guchi. We then boarded a ferry for the 10 minute ride to Miyajima Island. The ferry boat that took us on the short trip to the island had commentary in English and Japanese. One of the first things we saw was the famous floating Shinto Shrine gate torii at high tide. We then walked to Momijidani Park. There was a beautiful stream and bridge there. In order to see the views at the top of the island without having to make the steep climb, we took two cable cars to an area just to the left of the Mt. Misen peak at about 1500 feet. We then hiked down along the right side of the island. We visited Daishoin Temple, which consisted of many beautiful buildings, including a staircase with a prayer wheel. For dinner, we went to an Asian Restaurant in downtown Hiroshima.

Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum Experience

Friday was devoted to learning and understanding the events that took place on 6 August 1945, the day that the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. We visited the Peace Park and the the Peace Memorial Museum. After arriving at the Peace Park, we stopped at the A Bomb Dome to view it in daylight. All the names of the victims of the bomb are kept under a cenotraph. There is an eternal flame which will be extinguished when the last nuclear bomb is destroyed. The museum was very good and we all were deeply moved. In the afternoon, we shopped and Darren went to an Internet Cafe. Dinner that night was some wonderful Indian food.


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