Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hiroshima - Day two

We had a bit of a sleep in and then caught the tram up to the Peace Memorial Park again, this time to go to the Peace Memorial Park Museum.

We paid our Yen and got a headset to do the tour with English commentary. The tour took us about 1 1/2 hours and was one of the most interesting, confronting, emotional, sad, surreal, amazing experiences. Very very hard going in some places. Lots of salvaged items of clothing, watches, fused together glass, photos of the hideously disfigured and burned victims and photos of the deceased made it a very emotional tour. There were a number of times that I thought I was going to just break down and start crying. We didn't take any photos in the museum.

The end message of the tour & the Park though is a message of world-wide peace & hope.
We left feeling very heavy and found it a bit hard to talk for a while.
We then took the tram up to where we could walk to the Hiroshima Castle.
It had started to get very hot and so I was ducking for shade wherever I could. We eventually found the entrance to the Castle grounds. We stopped at the river to look at all the turtles & carp.
We finally got to the castle which was really really impressive. We could have paid and gone up to the top but it was way to hot to climb all of the stairs.
Too hot to walk we decided to cab it to wear the inside/outside shopping malls are. They are outside but have a big sunroof dome covering it. There are also shopping malls under the ground!
We naturally were drawn to the photo booth thingy again & the toy stores. I started to get a bit depressed because there was SO much fantastic retro, 1950s and kawaii stuff that I wanted to buy.
It was around 3.00 so we decided to get some Okonomiaki (which is like a pancake omlette with noodles and cabbage). We were now quite full so we waddled back to the hostel to have a rest and a shower.
At about 8.00 we decided to hire a couple of pushbikes from the hostel. Mick had the ingenius idea of attaching the video camera to the front of the bike. For an hour we peddled around the fantastically flat streets, wooping & waving at all the locals. Lots of fun. We have decided that we will definately be buying some bikes when we get home.
We had seen a noodle place just up the road from the hostel but when we got there it was closed so we wandered around before sticking our nose into a small eatery. It was unreal! It was filled and covered in Carps (the Hiroshima baseball team) memorabilia. Including signed bats & balls & posters. The boss was knocking back Lemon Sours & we had so much fun 'talking' to him & the cook (who had been to Brisbane for his honeymoon). We had some karage and some lemon sour & apple sour (so refreshing). Much to there delight we took photos with them. The cook took our photos and then vanished for 10 minutes only to come back with 2 copies of the actual photos. He had ridden up the rode to some photo printing place and had them developed! They then gave us a gift of an actual baseball from a Carps game & a plastic Carps baseball cap!!
We then thought we would try the big sardine. Sadly for Mick I got the back end of the sardine and he got the head & guts. He tried to pick up the good meat but the (now pretty drunk & very very funny) boss INSISTED that Mick eat the whole thing guts and all. Poor Mick held his nose and swallowed. YUCKY. We stayed until about 11.00 and had such a great time. We got there address so we will send them something when we get home. They seemed so honoured and a bit flaggergasted that on our honeymoon we chose 'their' place to eat in the whole of Hiroshima and we also wanted to stay & drink with them. The Japanese really are the most friendly, hospitable, polite, kind and hilariously funny people.
We hit the common room again to upload pics & check facebook. I hit the hay (oh wonderful bed) around 12.00 and Mick stayed up until around 1.00am chatting & drinking Chu-hi.


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