So much has happened since I last posted my sincere resolution to stay on top of blogging. I don’t want to say too much until we make a final decision, but there is a strong possibility that we will be moving to Memphis this May, and we are scrambling to plan a trip to Brazil beforehand to see Kevin’s family. Now that more travel is in our near future, I really need to wrap up this trip. Like, yesterday.

Way back in October, when we were hopping around the Kansai region of Japan, we went back and forth about whether or not getting all the way to Hiroshima was worthwhile with what little time we had left in Japan. Ultimately, Hiroshima is a city of historical importance and was firmly on our must-see list. We jumped on an afternoon bus from Kyoto Station and arrived at our hostel around 11pm.

Most of the attractions we were interested in were walking distance from our hostel and fit nicely into one day of sightseeing. There are a ton of possible side trips and outdoorsy activities surrounding Hiroshima, but with our limited time and budget, we really couldn’t open that can of worms.

After a filling breakfast at Cinnamon Cafe, we headed to ground zero and the surrounding area, which is peppered with memorials and museums. We made our way around Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, visiting the Cenotaph, Atomic Bomb Dome, Children’s Peace Monument, and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The whole experience was incredibly moving.

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The Atomic Dome, the only building in the area left standing after the bomb.

Most memorable was the museum, which gave an incredible amount of information about the historical context that led to the dropping of the atomic bomb, as well as intense visual representation of the events following the attack. I was surprised by how unbiased and forgiving of the United States some exhibits were– the explanation of why the bomb was dropped was equally hard on Japan and clearly explained why Hiroshima was an obvious target for the US. It was kind of strange, but I appreciated the perspective. Once we moved into the post-bomb exhibits, I struggled to not get upset. The pictures and artifacts were graphic, the walkthrough was crowded and narrow, and groups of school kids were bursting into tears around us. It was not an easy museum to visit, but I’m so glad we made it because it was so enlightening and the message was so important.

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After a solem and informative day, we headed back to the hostel to rest. On the way back, we took a detour and did a little shopping for souvenirs. Hiroshima is a very peaceful-feeling city and, once again, I wished I had more time to explore. We wrapped up the night with yummy bar food and drinks at a popular expat joint called Kemby’s. I love me some Japanese food, but at this point we were both ready for a burger! Kemby’s did not disappoint. Afterwards, we grabbed a few more beers from the vending machine in our hostel. The world needs more of these things, I say. 🙂

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Our overnight bus to Tokyo didn’t leave until the next evening, but we had already seen most of what was easily accessible from our hostel on day 1. We used the extra time to catch up on planning, pictures, correspondence, and all the other things we struggled to stay on top of during our whirlwind trip to Japan.

We left the hostel only once to taste some of the famous regional okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake, to see how it compared to Osaka’s take on the dish. To be honest, we liked both styles about the same! Maybe you have to be a local to appreciate the difference.

Next (and last) stop in Asia: Tokyo coming soon. Much love!


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  1. Lee says:

    The extreme right wing influence has affected the japanese government policy. And they have revised their history text-book again. Let’s hope the history will not repeat itself.

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