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Hiroshima

On the 12th we arrived in Hiroshima. Traveling by Shinkansen for the first time was quite an attraction of itself. The wagons were very comfortable and the personnel as friendly as in every other japanese trains (bowing before entering and leaving the car for example). Railway companies of some other countries could really learn a thing or two from them ;)

As we were riding the tram to our hostel we caught a short glimpse of the Atomic Bomb Dome, the preserved ruin of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, which was destroyed by the atomic bomb dropped on the city. I think up to that point we somehow didn’t fully realise, how devasting that bombing was. It’s really hard to describe the feeling, that seeing this ruin triggered in us.

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the Atomic Dome

After arriving at our Hostel we headed out to explore our surroundings and on first impression the town seemed kind of lifeless compared to the cities we visited before. We decided to try something new for dinner so we headed for a Yakitori-restaurant (skewered meat and vegetables). The atmosphere was really convivial and our food tasted great, but the prices there were incredibly high compared to the amount of food we got.

The next day we went to Miyajima, the Island with the famous Itsukushima Shrine. This shrine was built over the bay so it seems to be floating if the tide is high. The torii of the shrine, also located in the bay, is about 16 metres high and  is one of the most photographed motifs of Japan. It was first built in 1168 but it was rebuilt a couple of times, so the current one dates back to 1875.

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Miyajima Torii

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Itsukujima Shrine during low tide

The Itsukushima Shrine was not the only treasure we found on that Island, so we ended up visiting 4 shrines/temples in total, every single one with another entry for our Shuinchou.

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Daishoin Temple gate

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underground hall at Daishoin Temple

There also was a lot of “wild” deer in the village and it was quite fun to watch some unobservant passengers struggling to get their half eaten paperbags back from an indifferently paper-chewing deer.

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“wild” deer

We arrived back at Hiroshima and this time we went for Udon noodles at Musashi, which was a brilliant choice.

 

Today it was time to visit the Peace Memorial Museum and the Park surrounding it. The museum really manages to show the insanity of war and especially atomic warfare. As we reached the part of the exhibition where clothing and personal belongings worn or carried by people who died at the day or the days after the bombing were shown, I was really grateful, that we hadn’t managed to find a place to get breakfast.

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this watch stopped at the time of detonation

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photo of the destruction, atomic dome on the left

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before impact…

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…and after

Somewhat shaken we left the museum and headed for the Atomic Bomb Dome, to see it close up this time. After taking some pictures and walking around the Memorial Park, visiting the monuments there we calmed down a bit.

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The Memorial Cenotaph

Now we were ready again for some food. We found a place serving Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki (Soba or Udon noodle “pan cakes”) so we gave it a try. They served them at our own heated metal plate in the middle of our table and they were delicious.

okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki

After our meal we went to see Hiroshima Castle. The original castle was destroyed by the bomb, but they rebuilt parts of it. There is a exhibition in the rebuilt main tower showing the history of the castle, some old household goods, swords and armour. We were pretty surprised by the amount of the armament shown, which was just about the same as at the sword museum we visited at Tokyo. Sadly photographs were once more prohibited, so we can only show you the building itself.

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Hiroshima Castle gate

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Hiroshima Castle tower

Tomorrow we will be heading to Kyoto with a short stopover at Himeji.

Comments:

  1. Khaine

    whole weekend no News.. i fear they got eaten by Godzilla O.O

  2. Marlene und Hans

    Hallo ihr Drei, auch eure Verwandtschaft liest mit Interesse eure Berichte. Toll.
    Wünschen euch für den Rest der Reise noch alles Gute und kommt gut nach Hause.
    lg. Grüße aus Leoben M+H

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