I want to start this blog with a disclaimer, I am getting tired of taking photos…especially ones with me in them, so I’m sorry for that but I’ll do my best for you guys.
As many of you know I purchased a Japan Rail Pass which allows me to take most JR trains with out having to pay for a ticket for two weeks. Yesterday in Osaka we activated them for today’s special adventure…
Last week we spoke to our prof about getting out of lecture early, he ended up letting us out at the usual time but didn’t allow us to have any breaks, lame. As soon as class ended Tim, Clark, Tony and I headed off to Kyoto station to catch a train to Hiroshima! This was not an outing planned for the program, the four of us really wanted to visit Hiroshima and we had the afternoon off so we took advantage of our JRP and planned the trip ourselves.
The Shinkansen or “bullet train” is a system of high speed railways. First we had to take a train from Kyoto station to Shin-Osaka station, this took about 15 mins on the small bullet train that connects these stations. From there we boarded the bullet train that would take us to Hiroshima, this stretch took an hour and 26 mins. The Shinkansen is now my favorite mode of transportation, the seats are very roomy for a tall person, they have an outlet at each set of seats and it gets you where you want to be extremely fast.
We hadn’t planned this trip super well…once we got to Hiroshima station we had to figure out how to get to the Peace Park. Thankfully Tourist Information booths are every where so we got a map and hopped on a cable car that stops right outside the Atomic Bomb Dome.
At 8:15am August 6, 1945, the worlds first atomic bomb was dropped approximately 600 meters above this building. Because the blast was almost directly above this building some of its frame remained standing. It is now a protected site as a memorial to the bombing.
Next we walked to the Peace Park and then to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. I found this museum to be one of the most interesting museums I have visited, there was just so much information on this devastating event. I feel sites like these are important to remember the crippling effects war can have and to support peace projects.
This is a picture of a wall mural of what Hiroshima looked like after the bombing.
I have photos that by nature may be disturbing to some so I will not share them on my blog. I will share a picture of the model cities before and after the bombing to give you a peak at what else was at the museum.
Another model of the city but the red ball indicated the bomb that was dropped, and the height and placement of it when it detonated.
During our visit in Hiroshima we also wanted to go to the island with the floating torii gate on Miyajima. To get there we needed to take a train for 25 min to the ferry, both the train and the ferry were covered by our JRP.
The ferry took about 10-15 mins and the view was absolutely stunning.
The sun was going down by the time we made it to the island but we still enjoyed our time here. And this was the main reason for coming to the island…
We didn’t get to visit the shrine or the temple on the island because they had closed by the time we arrived, but we looked at them lol. It was a gorgeous walk along the beach side and worth the trip nonetheless, the island also had deer that roamed around freely like Nara. While in the area we got to try a dessert cake that is famous to this region, it is shaped like a maple leaf and has different flavored fillings.
The beauty of the JRP is that we can reserve seats on the train at no extra charge, before we left the station we had reserved our seats home based on an approximate time we thought we would be finished sightseeing. Towards the later hours of the evening however, the ferry and trains do not run as frequently and we ended up missing our train. Not to fear, the JRP lets us pick up new tickets with no penalties, Yay! The only down side was that every one was tired at this point, it was a some what long trip back home, and remember those assignments that were due today? Well I hadn’t finished mine yet, Ooops!
Tony and Clark had an interesting moment when they gave each other a high five, then a game started, the first one to remove their hand would lose the game. There was no prize for winning or punishment for losing…but they kept theirs hands touching for over an hour and a half on pride alone, at points they held hands like a couple to prevent losing contact with the other.
The journals were due by midnight, we didn’t get back to the apartments until 11:50pm…needless to say mine were handed in late lol. Don’t worry its all good, they were only an hour or two late.