Today was a very moving and touching experience for everyone. I think it gave us all something to think about and helped to evoke thoughts on World Peace and the importance of caring for one another. This is all because we visited Hiroshima today, the sight of the Atomic Bomb dropped by America in World War II.
when we first stepped off the bus it was a little surprising to find the A-bomb (Atomic Bomb) dome standing right there, an obvious reminder of the past with so much of modern Japan surrounding it. I personally was deeply overwhelmed by how destroyed this place was and how many people lived around this area and worked in that building, many of these people sadly didn’t survive the atomic bomb at 8:15am on August 6, 1945. Just as we were walking away form the dome we met a lovely lady and gentleman who were classified as survivors of the atomic bomb. The man was still in his mothers womb when she entered the radiation affected area and was born not long after, his story of his mother who is still very much alive today and that of his grandfather who sadly passed away not to long ago was very touching and really reminded us all of how terrible this event was.
after we finished chatting to this lovely pair we moved around to Sadako’s Statue, a memorial erected to remember Sadako, a young girl who died from leukemia due to the atomic bomb whom believed if she folded a thousand cranes her illness would be cured. Before placing our beautiful cranes, made by many hands at our school in particular Midori Sensei (thank you very much), we wrote our names on the back of our school symbol and hung them around Sadako’s statue. It was wonderful to see so many gorgeous cranes hung in this very sad but, also good place.
From here we walked past the eternal flame and Memorial Garden to the Peace Museum. This was a very respectful place that was there to make people see the need for World Peace and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The first level provided some history on war in Japan and then moved on to talk about World War II and the A-Bomb. The museum also had lots of information on the survivors hardships and rejection by society as well as current nuclear weapon situations including who has them and letters from the Mayor of Hiroshima to world leaders asking them to stop nuclear testing and the creation of nuclear weapons. The most compelling and confronting part of the museum was seeing a life size diorama of people running away directly after the nuclear bomb and the burns to the their skin. There were also many pictures of people with keloids from burns because of the A-Bomb and many other horrible diseases and deformities due to the A-Bomb.
Following this very solemn experience we went to my personal favorite, ramen, for lunch. we found this little tucked away shop that served up a delicious steaming bowl of noodles in a hot broth with pork, egg and spring onions with a Side of your choice. It was a good way for us to unwind from a very serious morning.
following lunch we caught a train and our first ferry in Japan to Miyajima Island. this is a large, beautiful island famous for its Torii Gate which at high tide appears to be floating on the water, as well as the temple accompanying the gate. But, Miyajima is also infamous for it’s other entertaining attraction, wild deer who like to eat anything and everything you’ve got. We had a very entertaining afternoon/evening taking selfies with deers and walking along the sand. We also had dinner on the island at a small traditional restaurant where six of us were able to sit at a traditional table on Tatami Mats (grass mats) and eat. A few of us were also very game and tried Sashimi (raw fish) for the first time. This to say in the least a very interesting experience. To round it up, raw salmon is lovely with soy sauce, raw tuna is good with soy sauce and rice, the two white fish and calamari we were given were bearable but, RAW OCTOPUS left most of us a little ruffled (well done to Jaimie for managing to swallow both slices and Mikayla, who hates fish, attempting to eat it raw.) tonight’s dinner left us in really good spirits even though we’re all tired with sore feet. But we are looking forward to another adventurous day tomorrow.