Day Eleven – Osaka/Hiroshima

While I was doing my hair I had a mind shower, and went to tell Swang of my plan. We get on the train now, I say, instead of looking for more things to do – as the weather is nice, it means we are able to look around the peace park in Hiroshima while it’s still sunny, then the following days we can to Miyajima (an island with a floating shrine) and save the museum and other inside activities for the day it is raining! I look at him, proud. He says yes… that’s what I told you yesterday. Apparently I wasn’t listening and/or didn’t quite follow his thought trail on that one. 

Our morning routine has become either go to the convenience store and buy a rice ball and coffee, or buy a canned coffee from a vending machine, or a mix of the two. 

Waiting at the station we just missed a train (my fault) to the main station and a guy chuckled at us – he asked if we were visitors and we chatted for a while. He was from the Netherlands and is in Japan for a few months studying Japanese and was moving everything he had into a new place by train – he had two luggage bags and a backpack, and called it a ‘big move’ – but I guess when its everything you own in a country it IS a big move. 

It was cruisy to Shin-Osaka station where we ordered some tickets to a station near the bunny island, however we found it would give us little more than an hour to look around and the island is lush with history (and bunnies), so we ran down and tried to change our tickets – however all the reserved seats were full. The next bullet train left in about 6 minutes and the ticket vendor said we could just go to the non-reserved section. So we bolted through the station to the train and made it on, found an empty row and collapsed as the train set off. 

Red faced and flustered

It was a reading hour and a half to Hiroshima, where we left the train and walked about a kilometre to K’s house. To anyone who finds this blog and wants to stay in Osaka, I highly recommend NOT STAYING in Guesthouse Koma. It is shit. 

As soon as I set foot in K’s house here in Hiroshima I felt comfortable. We’ve stayed in 4 now, not too many more and we could complete the whole set!

For the afternoon we went to the peace park and had a gander;

Matt: ARG, we missed the lights! 

Swang: It’s alright, it will change again. 

Matt; You always know just what to say. 

I went to an underground hall where a panoramic image encircled a room and was made of 140,000 tiles, supposedly be number of victims by the end of 1945. 

A monument of a clock stuck forever at 8:15, the time the bomb struck.

Watching a video about an account from a schoolboy the year after, there was a line that will never leave me, “… and the fat dripped from my fingers like sweat.”
 

The A-dome (the cranes are in the distance, not working on it!)
  
How it used to look.
 

I then ventured to the peace museum which was only 50 yen, and I got given a postcard made from recycled peace cranes, which brought me to the next story that was very moving. 

A girl called Sadako was affected by the bomb, and made 1000 paper cranes wishing to get better (the idea being you get a wish after folding 1000) – she began folding smaller and smaller ones with a needle, beyond 1000; it said it was not about the number but investing each with the will to live. The section then finished with a photo timeline; the last picture showing her resting in her coffin surrounded by flowers. 

 

Monument for the children who bever grew old.
 
I then found the monument built for her and all the children that died.

 

Thousanda upon thousands of cranes
  
 

Wandered around a little more and found Swang. We hit the streets and found a nice shopping alley – off to one side was a restaurant offering nicely priced dinner and friendly service, so we ate there. 
  
Our waitress took it upon herself to give me full instruction on what to do with the various condiments and such that accompanied my meal. She did do this for Swang. We finished and wandered through he streets, back to the hostel for an early night – so we could maximise our time tomorrow. 

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