Monday, October 30, 2006


Taking advantage of JRtours' great package deals for shinkansen and hotel, I. and I boarded the nozomi for the 3 1/2 hour ride to Hiroshima from ShinYokohama. As we woke up at 5 and left Shinyoko at 7 am, I didn't get much out of the ride down, except for jerky, drooling sleep. I. partook of an inari bento, a train-riding tradition that I'm all too often left out of. Alas, this was the case on this day as well.

We arrived around 1030 in time to hop on the street car from Hiroshima station and ride over to the Peace Park, where we parked ourselves next to the Genpaku Dome (aka A-bomb dome) to await the arrival of B. and M., over from Shikoku. Soon enough they crept up on us, and we walked through Peace Park, looked at the dome, and past several musical groups playing along the river, to the Peace Museum.

Relatively large, the museum is a monument to peace and the dismantling of nuclear weapons worldwide. There is extensive information about the day of the bombing and the aftermath, with some explanations of the people behind the bomb, the science of nuclear weapons, and the long-felt results. I enjoyed the walls covered with the letters of protest from the various mayors of Hiroshima to myriad world leaders voicing heated dissent from subsequent nuclear tests and manufacture of weapons. Especially stirring are the artifacts from victims of the bomb, both those killed and survived. Wax statues of people with their skin melting off, graphic photos of burn victims, and actual bodily remains, including a tongue and pieces of skin, are among the remnants that illustrate the stories of the nuclear targets.

After the sombering but necessary visit to the museum, we lunched at Tandoor, an Indian restaurant located in the Sogo Pacela building (a beautiful building) on the high street. Vegan-esque food was procured and we tucked in happily. After a quick stop at the Jupiter import store to procure salsa and novelty chocolate, we saw B. and M. to their bus and went back to our hotel, the slightly hoity (but not enough to be hoity-toity) New Hiroden, where we fell early into an exhausted 12 hour sleep, not rising until the next morning in time for the breakfast viking that came with the package.

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