A Day Trip to Hiroshima

As we have written before, we do very little prior planning for our travels and Japan was no exception. We tend to land in a city, move into our new home and then start exploring and researching things to do and see. We moved to Kyoto with no agenda and have just been exploring. We have been to our limit of Temples, Shrines and Palaces so when a friend suggested a day trip to Hiroshima we were all in.

Kyoto and Hiroshima are connected by the high speed Shinkansen Japan Rail lines. The trip took us an hour and forty minutes and cost around $200 going and $300 returning.
This is a green car which has reserved seats. Many cars are unreserved and when the trains are full you can end up standing for the long fast ride.
Two seats on the right and three on the left.
Just after we went through the ticket “turnstile” Jim was on his device to figure out the best exit when a woman appeared before us with a sign saying “Can I help you?” We explained where we were going and asked for the best exit. She proceeded to lead us out through a maze of renovation construction to the tram we needed to take.
We had planned on walking the 30 minutes to Peace memorial park but decided to save time and took the tram.
Our first view of the A-Bomb Dome, very sobering.
Thankfully the azaleas were in full bloom to help remove the gloom.
This building was Hiroshima’s old Industrial Promotion Hall which was 600 meters below the bomb when it detonated and it did not collapse like most of the city.
These eerie, twisted and charred remains in the midst of such a vibrant city is emotionally overwhelming. We spent quite a bit of time just slowly circling it, taking too many pictures and wallowing in the emotion.
Tourists reading information about the event. It really wasn’t too crowded that day.
This man Mito Kosei has informational signs and hand made binders of information in several languages.
According to his information he was in-utero when the bomb exploded. His mother was 12 miles away. His mother is still alive at 104 and he is 77. He is showing us his survivor certificate. He comes here every day to share his story with tourists and his English was pretty good.We think he also does private tours.
Looking across the river at Peace Memorial Park.
Looking back at the Atomic Bomb Dome. The bridge we are on also survived the bomb.
Children’s Peace Monument. The figure is of Sadako, a 10 year old girl who died of Leukemia. She is holding an origami crane as she believed that she would live if she folded 1,000 cranes.
There were so many school groups around.
Flame of Peace. Will be extinguished when all atomic weapons are banished.
Pond of Peace with the flame atop on the sculpture.
Memorial Cenotaph (monument to someone buried elsewhere) meant to resemble primitive A-frame houses of Japan’s earliest inhabitants. The chest inside contains the names of those who died in the destruction and aftermath of the atomic bomb. This cenotaph lines up with the Peace Flame and A-Bomb Dome.
Gates of Peace underneath the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
Read this!
Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims. This is The Hall of Remembrance. The sculpture is of a clock at 8:15, the time of the bombing. The mural is a 360 degree picture of the city after the bombing. It is made up of 140,000 black and white tiles, the number of people estimated to have died in the blast and months following.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. There were huge school groups going through this very intense exhibit hall. Jim had to get out as soon as possible due to the crowds and intensity of the displays.
View from the museum as we were racing out.
Enough of the intensity, out to see the modern thriving city which has been rebuilt.
Lunch of okonomiyaki.
Well deserved ice cold beer in frosted mugs.
Okonomiyaki is a type of pancake or pizza made with a lot of cabbage with multiple toppings. This one included grilled noodles.
We shared this but everyone else has one per person. We were sitting with the hot grill right in front of us and some people eat it right off of the grill.
This area has a food court with about 20 restaurants serving okonomiyaki but we didn’t find it.
Main shopping street of Hiroshima with multiple large department stores.
Multiple shopping malls running off of the central street. Very typical of all Japan.
Shukkeien Garden (shrunken scenery garden) seniors get in free, a first for us in Japan. Usually no breaks for seniors.
The carp are venerated in Japan for their long and vigorous life.
Lovely amble through this garden on a very warm day.
Hiroshima is known for its oysters so we had to try them at this tiny oyster bar. You can see the chef shucking our oysters through the window.
We tried a selection of five different oysters, quite expensive but we had to experience them. They are so big that we could have split each one. Not as scrumptious and salty as New England Oysters.

That is the end of our day trip to Hiroshima. We would highly recommend this trip to anyone visiting Japan as it opened our eyes to what we feel was a terrible day in the history of this world. We know however that some people feel it was warranted and understand and respect all opinions on this subject.

4 responses to “A Day Trip to Hiroshima”

  1. Sobering visit. It was a very bad day for the residents of Hiroshima but in context saved lives and ended the war. Some say the atomic bomb was Pandora’s Box, but actually war was and is the Pandora’s Box. They reaped what they sowed. It has always seemed ironic that the losers of the Second World War are now among our best allies.

    1. Well stated Billy boy.

  2. I’ve never seen bamboo as big as in your picture. Hiroshima needs to be measured against what the cost in human life would have been in a mainland invasion. The Japs were not about to surrender otherwise. Fascinating adventure you have had in Japan. My mother loved living there – my father tore his hair out trying to deal with the Japanese shipbuilders.

  3. Larry Bicknell Avatar
    Larry Bicknell

    Thank you for the incredible travelogue! Makes me wonder if our Congress of warmongers have ever seen this place, as they lead us blithely toward another nuclear holocaust.

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