Monday, December 30, 2013

Japan Day 4: Hiroshima

Day 4 and we finally made it to Hiroshima! After spending the night at McDonalds, we woke up early, freshened up and hopped on an early train to Hiroshima. 

Cheeky DH took a photo of me sleeping at McDonalds. Very very challenging with the music blaring 2/47, but hey what can you do?
My first feeling when we got to Hiroshima was how different it was from Tokyo. It was warm and I actually walked around without my jacket on. And it was a bit laidback compared to Tokyo. Our first stop was to the A Bomb Dome. The bomb which obliterated Hiroshima city in 1945 dropped directly above the A Bomb Dome, which is why majority of the structure remain intact. Visitors can't go in the building area by the way.

Us in front of the dome. 

Next we went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum by way of the Peace Memorial Park.

The walkway leading to the Museum

A bit of a warning if anyone is planning to visit Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Museum. It is a very, very, very depressing place to be. You'll learn about the history of Hiroshima and the bombing and there will be displays of what remained after the bombing. I actually shed a few tears while walking around the museum, looking at the displays and reading the description. You will see actual human skin peeled off from a victim's body because of the blast. You will also see displays of clothes covered with blood. My personal feeling is that no matter how horrible the Japanese were during the war (heck they tortured people in my country too during their occupation of Malaya) but the entire population of Hiroshima did not deserve to be obliterated. What is more horrifying is that the effects of the bombing could still be seen today, 68 years after the bombing. There were people born with deformed limbs because of the radiation. It's truly devastating. 
Miniature of Hiroshima before the bombing
Miniature of Hiroshima after the bombing
A child's tricycle and helmet found after the atomic blast. Because his parents didn't want him to be buried alone, they buried him with his tricycle. This was later dug up for display
The Memorial Hall where the names of the bomb victims are displayed

After the sobering and emotionally draining experience in Hiroshima, we went to a happier place, Miyajima for lunch. Hiroshima is famous for its oysters and Miyajima is the best place to sample Hiroshima's oysters. Miyajima is an island which can be reached by hopping on 10 minute ferry ride. For JR pass holders, the ride is free (normal fare is 170 yen).

The famous torii (gate) welcoming you to Miyajima. A famous place to visit in Miyajima is the Itsukushima jinja (Itsukushima shrine), which we didn't visit. We only went as far as the torii guarding the shrine. 
A local kindly took our picture overlooking the torii. Arigato!

We were starving by the time we got to Miyajima so the first thing we did was to look for a place to eat, but not before we fooled around with a couple of deer. I love Miyajima. It's a lovely place to spend the afternoon. It's a small town which you can finish touring in one afternoon. The centre of the town is filled with souvenir shops and food stalls, and deer! Very friendly ones too!

For some reason this stall attracted us. This cool dude sells grilled oyster at his stall and the smell of oyster on the grill was to die for. It had all kinds of grilled oyster from plain ones with no dressing to mayonnaise and cheese. We tried the mayonnaise & cheese, garlic and herb and also chili ones and they were all so good. There was also a stall operated by the same dude which served freshly pressed lemon juice and grapefruit juice. We tried both and they were delicious! I think almost four lemons/grapefruit were pressed to fill one glass, add a little sugar syrup and soda and were were in lemonade/grapefruit heaven. 

At first we tried the garlic & herb and mayonnaise & cheese and thought that we would stop by other stalls to sample their food. But the taste of the yummy oyster still lingered in our mouths that after we walked around sightseeing and looking for souvenir, we went back to the same stall for more of the dude's grilled oysters. 

And we ordered all these LOL. And to make our dining experience even more awesome, the dude gave us a free plate of grilled oysters. Probably because we already ordered so much. And they were cheap!

By the time we finished walking around it was almost sunset and we had to make a two hour journey by train to Kyoto. So with a heavy heart we left Miyajima. Miyajima was definitely on the top of my favourite places to go in Japan. No doubt. 

Sunset in Miyajima

Me exhausted on the shinkansen on the way to Kyoto. Another one by cheeky DH :P


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  2. I have always been concerned about how societies handle disasters. I am no expert but that hasn't stopped me from rambling on about it. In the proses of trying to understand the 2011 tsunami I worked on trying to understand the culture. That led to entertainment which led to a singing group called akb48 "which" led to a group called the mmj ""which"" I confused with the akb48 and yata yata yata. I eventually discovered your island, thank you, this is the only why I will ever visit this magical place. If you want a funny and a serous visit my blog post - - or just serous - - now I think ill go have myself sum oysters. - Walter