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Friday, April 1, 2016

2016 Japan Sakura Adventure: Day 5--Hiroshima and Miyajima

The morning began at the the Nikko Kansai Airport Hotel with a fabulous breakfast:


All 28 of us on the Panda Tour then caught two trains to Hiroshima:


We were picked up by our bus, which will be our mode of transport till the end of this trip, which dropped us off at the ferry to Miyajima, one of the three most scenic sights in Japan:


The deer lived here first, so now they have a run of the place.  Interestingly enough, my Blue Bar Pigeon from Europe found its way to this island:


In the background you can see the gate for the Great Torii of Miyajima ( a torii is the gate to a Shinto temple):



The first gate was built in the 6th century, the one above has been around since the 16th century.  To quote:

Retaining the purity of the shrine is so important that since 1878, no deaths or births have been permitted near it.[7] To this day, pregnant women are supposed to retreat to the mainland as the day of delivery approaches, as are the terminally ill or the very elderly whose passing has become imminent. Burials on the island are forbidden.

Above is the Itsukushima Shrine, which is fronted by that famous torii.

Up the hill the Buddhist Daisho-in Temple:


Miyajima is also shamelessly commercial, and the one item people seem to purchase is a rice scoop, on which your name, etc, can be inscribed:


This has been a long travel day, but on we went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.  First, the museum, where I took this photo of Little Boy's fireball over what is now the Atomic Bomb Dome:


At 8:15AM on 6April1945, the Enola Gay dropped the Atomic Bomb, where two pounds of Uranium 235 underwent fission, exploding 2000 feet above what was then the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Exhibition Hall, quickly reaching a temperature of half a million degrees F.  This was the only building to survive the impact area.

Here, another view of the Atomic Bomb Dome, plus the Children's Peace Monument:


Read my posting of three years ago when I came by here and wrote the sad story about Sadako Sasaki and the paper cranes.


From the horrific lesson of Little Boy, we somehow were able to almost enjoy oysters fried in butter and  Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki:



When you're ever in Hiroshima, try their okonomiyaki, for you'll never get it anywhere else.  I had mine with whiskey and soda, plus iced Oolong tea.  The more popular style is from Osaka, where everything (cabbage, cuttlefish, pork, bean sprouts, etc.) is mixed into a pancake batter and fried in soybean oil.  

Tomorrow, we're off to Shikoku Island.

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