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Wednesday, November 26, 2014


From HORROR can come BEAUTY.  I've long wondered, though, why both the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Peace Parks chose to emphasize the best of humanity to contrast with the worst of war.  Yes, there is that A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima and a wall of a demolished cathedral in Nagasaki, but most visitors probably come away impressed at how beautiful these parks are.

At 11:02AM on 9 August 1945 Fat Man was dropped over Nagasaki, exploding 500 meters above this monolith, decimating the city, killing and injuring 150,000.

Ironically, the grandest church in all of east Asia, Urakami Cathedral, was below this hypocenter.

The commanding piece of art is the Peace Statue:

The statue's right hand points to the threat of nuclear weapons, while the left symbolizes eternal peace.  The park is a permanent international outdoor art festival, with contributions from all over the world.  Here, the Maiden of Peace from the People's Republic of China;

The Fall colors were also prominent:

While certainly beautiful, the Spring Sakura setting might be even more dissonant, for here is that same epicenter in April:

Well, I've become a peace monger in my old age, evidenced by some of my Huffington Post articles and my #2 ranking to Ron Paul in a U.S. News and World Report Debate Club poll.  But we all need to eat, so for dinner I asked my hotel what was the best tonkatsu (breaded deep fried pork cutlet) restaurant in close walking distance. I was not disappointed:

In fact, I was impressed.  I can very highly recommend Hamakatsu in Nagasaki.  I can't understand why L&L and Zippy's in Hawaii can't prepare anything close to what might be Nagasaki's gift to high cuisine.

A word about my hotel in Nagasaki, called the Richmond.  This is a chain you can find throughout  Japan.   On check-in a staff member takes you to a machine, where you pay the cost for the night.  Sounds like a businessmen's hotel, but my room is large enough, with a queen size bed, largish flat-screen TV, place is relatively new, free coffee-making, free toothbrush/razor (in fact, same brand as that provided in the Tokyo Ritz-Carlton).  While not heaven, I'm paying TEN TIMES less than I did at the Tokyo Ritz-Carlton.  However, I won't be back because a cab ride each way to the Nagasaki Station is around $10, and I usually stay at a JR hotel attached to major train stations.


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