Posted by: Darrell | October 11, 2008

Hiroshima

Hiroshima City

Hiroshima City

If it was even possible to top the Kobe and Himeji trip, then the Hiroshima, Miyajima and Okayama trip completely out classed the Kobe trip. I admit, before the trip, Kobe was the standard and the Kobe Tower and spending the evening on the pier at Mosaic Gardens (with Liz of course!) are some of my favourite memories. However, Hiroshima was twice as far, twice as difficult, twice as rewarding, twice as incredible and twice as Epic.

Gaijin Smashing it on the Shinkansen

Gaijin Smashing it on the Shinkansen

First off the Shinkansen is incredible compared to the Keihan or JR commuter trains. The views are fabulous, the speed is blazing and the comfort is even worse than the commuter trains. Yeah, that’s correct. We bought the cheaper non-reserved seat tickets usually meaning that we had to line up for cars 1-3. And what made it worse was that they packed you into a train where the trips can be hours. At least on a commuter train, the trips are at most 30 or 45 mins and even then you have to change trains often enough that probability dictates that you are bounded to eventually end up with a seat on one of those trains. Instead we were forced to stand (and eventually gaijin smash our way by sitting down on the floor) for a couple of hours. However, don’t let that deter you from taking the Shinkansen as it is still an incredible train and if you are lucky enough to have a seat or smart enough to buy a reserved seat then you can enjoy the trip in comfort even better than an airplane.

However, beyond the learning experience on the Shinkansen, we finally came to Hiroshima and were immediately drawn to the beauty of the city. Compared to Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto, Hiroshima is a super clean city with wide roads and sidewalks and super friendly locals. The Promenade of Peace is such a beautiful walk way through the city, that it would be a complete waste to take the tram line from the station to the peace memorial park. Granted the walk was 35-40mins, it made us love the city even more.

Peace Park in Hiroshima

Peace Park in Hiroshima

The Peace Memorial Museum is a completely different story. All of us had a different reaction to it and really the only way to experience a major part of Japanese history is to just go and experience it for yourself. For me the experience was humbling and also very eye opening. What I can take from the experience is that when someone wins, someone else loses; the world is a zero sum game and what may seem like a victory for one side is utter and total destruction for another. And it may seem obvious or insignificant on scales, but when the losses are magnified 100times as is the case in Hiroshima, you reach a pretty sober realization.
On a happier note, without destruction there cannot be rebuilding and without a doubt Hiroshima did an absolutely fantastic job at that. City streets are for once in logical grid sequence. The streets and walk ways are wide and lined with flowers and plants. The city is vibrant and uniquely different than your average Japanese city and we got the full Hiroshima experience. From the Peace Park to the night life and the oyster specialty restaurants (well maybe not a good memory for Kayley), our hotel provided superb comfort and a 15 min walk to everything important in Hiroshima all for $30 CAD a night (well with help from Prudence!).

A-Bomb Dome

A-Bomb Dome

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Responses

  1. SO, have you met some hottttt japanese guys yet =)

  2. Haha now you know, boy! Always pay the extra 1000 yen for the reserved-seat on the Shinkansen!


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