|Welcoming band playing for the MV Explorer as we dock in Kobe, Japan|
Blog Entry #50: Encountering Japan: Two Days in Hiroshima
|11:11 on 11-11-11!|
Friday, November 11, 2011
How to come to terms with the two days Pat and I just spent in Hiroshima?
|A-Bomb over Hiroshima|
The name alone evokes long-repressed fears of nuclear war that haunted my childhood years growing up in the Cold War where some of my earliest memories are of the tensions around the Cuban Missile Crisis, and “duck and cover” drills were a regular part of elementary school routines. Then Hiroshima meant one thing: the first city every to experience the destruction of an atomic bomb.
|A-Bomb Dome & Peace Museum & Park|
|A-Bomb Dome & Island the day after the bomb|
|Shinkansen "Bullet Train" in Hiroshima|
Our first challenge was simply reaching Hiroshima, using our newly minted Japan Rail Passes it had taken us half a day criss-crossing Shanghai 3 days before to procure. Two trips on the Kobe Metro line brought us to the “Shin-Kobe” station where the Shinkansen or “bullet” train stops on the Tokyo to Hiroshima route. We our non-existent Japanese, we relied on the courtesy of many Japanese officials and citizens who got us to the right train platform in time for our 1:35 pm departure.
|Hiroshima city and harbor, showing channels of Ota River|
|Hiroshima & the Motoyasu River channel|
|The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum|
|Cenotaph & A-Bomb Dome|
|Model showing area before the bomb|
|Peace Park Island after the bomb|
|Model showing where the bomb detonated over Hiroshima|
When time stopped: 8:15 am Aug 6, 1945
|Model of A-Bomb Dome in Museum|
|Street scene the day after the bomb|
|Child Survivor's drawing|
One particular section of the museum brought back memories of my childhood and reading books in the Upland Library: the story of Sadako and the Thousand Cranes. Here is part of the exhibit
|Cenotaph & Museum at night|
|A-Bomb Dome at night|
The weather had improved dramatically from the morning rain, and we stopped to enjoy a lovely dinner at the outdoor Caffe Ponte, looking back across the channel to the Peace Park. Walking back to the hotel along the Motoyasu parkway in the evening light was soothing after such an emotional immersion into Hiroshima’s atomic past.