|The Dome and the history of bombing.|
On August 6, 1945 America dropped atom bomb on Japanese city of Hiroshima. While this precipitated the end to the Pacific War & World War II, a nice and robust town having strategic industrial and military significance was flattened out totally with almost eighty thousand dead immediately and lakhs suffering radiation for rest of their lives.
Once it had been decided that we would be traveling to Japan for our summer vacations and would be spending part of our holiday at Osaka, I had very much decided that Hiroshima will be an integral part of our itinerary. Not only did I want to visit this city about which I had been hearing and reading since childhood, I wanted my children to experience the museum which graphically gave a full account of what happened and the effects it had.
Once again it was the bullet train (Shinkansen) which got us to Hiroshima from Osaka in less than 90 minutes. Traveling within Japan becomes very easy and swift due to these super efficient and fast trains. The more we traveled on bullet trains, the more value for money we got out of our Japanese Rail pass. We did utilise the pass very well.
At the train station we boarded a tourist bus and bought the tickets for full day. Here we made a mistake as we could have saved this money as JR pass was valid on this bus but we missed the sign that said so.
|This bus is very convenient as it takes you to all the tourist spots.|
The bus goes in a full circle and brings you back to the rail station. It is a hop on hop off bus. After every 30 minutes the bus leaves the rail station . You can get off anywhere and then after visiting the attraction you can board the next bus. We got off at the Hiroshima castle and spent some time reading about its history and relaxing in the gardens. This castle was similar to the Osaka castle. An hour later we boarded another bus.
|You can see the new modern buildings behind the Dome.|
I have titled the experience bitter-sweet as experiencing all this at the Dome, the memorial, and the museum makes you very sad. But seeing the bustling city today and the fact that world has desisted from this kind of use of Atom bomb since then - this is a pleasing aspect. I am really pleased that we made an effort to come here and this visit will remain an integral part of the memories of the Japan trip.
|The Tori gate - a symbol of Japan in advertisements.|
The Miyajima Tori gate in the middle of water is an advertisement you may have seen often in magazines and the net. You immediately associate this symbol with Japan so a visit here became necessary. Miyajima is an island just off Hiroshima and reaching here is not very difficult.
We went by the same bus from the museum to the station, had a quick lunch there and boarded a JR train to Miyajinaguchi station which must be around 40 minutes away. A short walk away is a ferry terminal and there is a JR ferry as well with a 30 minute service which takes you to the island of Miyajima. This ride is included in your JR rail pass. From the ferry you can see the island and the Tori gate as you approach it. The cameras start working from the ferry itself.
|Ferry terminal at Miyajima|
Miyajima is a nice island with lovely green hills. We walked till the Tori gate for a few pictures and then checked out the shrine . By now we had seen so many shrines and temples that this one looked no different. However the setting was quite pleasing to the eyes due to the lush green surroundings.
We walked back to the ferry terminal through the market and as you can see from the picture below, a lot of deer roamed around in Miyajima as well. Thankfully they were not as greedy as the ones in Nara.
|Many deer were present in Miyajima as well.|
We had made a booking for our trip back to Osaka on Shinkansen so it was time to go back. On the way from ferry station to Miyajinaguchi station we found a delightful cafe called 'The bluebird coffee shop' which served great coffee and frappes. The owner had started business in a vehicle many years ago before graduating to a full fledged cafe. The vehicle was part of the decor of cafe now and you can see in the picture below on the right side, each part of vehicle was being utilised.
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