Sunday 7th October
Early start, how unusual is that. Caught the bus outside hotel back into city and the Peace Park. Glorious day for sightseeing.
Walked through Hondori Street arcade, but everything closed still, on to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
This clock at the museum counts the number of days since atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, top, and number of atomic tests since then, bottom number.
Similar in theme to the one in Nagasaki, much larger but still interesting. The story of Sadako, the 12 year old girl Who was two at the time of the bombing and seemed to survive and grow well over the next ten years, was diagnosed with an agreesive form of leukemeia. She tried to fold 1000 paper cranes, which according to an ancient Japanese story, would grant her a wish (to be cured). She fell short of her goal, only completing 644 before her death. her friend completed the thousand and they were buried with her. The paper crane is now symbolic with everything to do with the atomic bomb and are to be found at every memorial at the Peace Park.
The A-Bomb dome is everything you imagined it would be from photos you see. Quite symbolic in the middle of rejuvenated Hiroshima.
Went for a look at Hiroshima Castle. Bit of a walk from the park and on the whole wouldn't really bother. Not allowed to take photos inside so we didn't bother paying to go in. Crashed someone wedding or christening, not sure. Took a wrong turn to the castle and ended up at a shrine. Loads of people so started wandering around before we realised our mistake.
Lunch at a Chinese restaurant of all things. Yet to find and try Japanese food. Back to the Peace Park to catch ferry to Miyajima Island but the cruise for that time was full so instead of waiting another hour, caught the tram to Miyajima-machi Station. Ferry from here is free for JR pass holders and only takes ten minutes (not fifty as from Peace Park). However, there were 34 tram stops so it took over an hour to get there.
Miyajima Island was everything the girls had told us it would be. Very beautiful and crowded. Had a coffee in a quiet little store while the boat load of passengers moved on. The O-Torii gate is visible from most places on the island at 16.6 metres high. The pillars are 9.9 metres in circumference and the gate stands under it own weight. Everyone is taking photos of it, it is the most recognised symbol of the island.
Island has wild deer. They are not afraid of anything and quite happy to come up and check out what you've got. Trying to eat potato chips had then over in a flash.
The Itsukushima Shrine built in the latter of the 6 th century, stands in the water. The vermillion colour it and many of the islands shrine and pagodas are painted, is considered to keep the evil spirits away. Amazing glow in the setting sun.
Stayed till sunset to take photos of the O-Torii gate along with hundreds of others. Chris tried a Momiji Manju, island speciality, a waffle shaped like a maple leaf and filled with red bean or custard or in Chris's case, chocolate. Sweet and soft.
The long tram trip back to the A-Bomb dome was very tiring and seeing the dome all lit up at night quite eerie.
Another 40 minute bus ride to the hotel followed. Most of the accommodation on this trip is close to the train station. Thought I'd do something different this time and while the hotel is very nice, the travelling to and from the city was a bit long. Had chose in initially as it had its own ferry jetty to Miyajima Island, but it stops running at 5pm which isn't a lot of use if wanting to set the sunset behind O-Torii gate.