Hi! Melina again.
This morning we woke up in Yo-san's house. It was a good morning, if not a little bit hot. The cicadas were very noisy that morning as well. We spent some time eating breakfast and getting ready for the day ahead of us. We all needed to get to the World Friendship Center on time so we wouldn't keep the speaker waiting. She was coming from a little bit of a ways away to see us. Yo-san was kind enough to offer us a ride to the station. He has been so kind to us while we stayed in his house.
The ones that were already ready got a ride down first, and we waited there for the others. It was a different station than the one we initially came from so I was a bit confused at first. It took awhile, but they fit the remaining people in the car we all made it in time for the train.
We rode the train to Nishi Hiroshima station and rode a bus from there to the World Friendship Center. I thought it was going to be a big facility, but it was just a little house!
We wanted to be on time to the center, so we arrived about 10 minutes early, but we were too early! There were still people inside. It was pretty hot today, but we waited in the shade for the most part, so that was nice.
When we went inside, we first had to get situated and then we waited for the speaker, a survivor of the A bomb, to come speak with us. Her daughter was there to translate.
After the initial introduction, Kano-san began to speak with us. She had written a book called "I Will Never Forget that Day" and even painted pictures for it. That book was passed around as she talked. She shared her personal story and experience of the day the bomb hit.
Kano-san spoke of the experience she had of looking for her sisters and descriptive visual of what she felt and saw. It was very touching and very personal. Something I've heard repeated over and over is how it was like hell. She has shared with many people her message of her hope for a peaceful world.
Something she mentioned was about the 2011 tsunami. She said that event was nature, and there is nothing we as humans can really do to prevent nature. But the atomic bomb was manmade, so man should do all they can to stop them.
After we took pictures with her and her daughter, and she finished sharing her story, she left and the man currently in charge of the Center spoke with us. he gave us a presentation on the history of their founder.
It took a little while, but after we were done with that, we headed back to the Peace Museum for lunch and to meet with people who were going to show us around the Peace Park. They are associated with the Center. So we walked quickly as we could down to the Museum for lunch. Everyone was divided into their team and left to choose lunch. We had to hurry because our appointment was coming soon. I rushed through my food so fast I almost choked. But Fullmer sensei said we didn't have to rush anymore after I finished, haha.
There were two guides, so we were split into two groups with one of the teachers in each group. Our guide was very kind. She said it was very hot and tried to stay in the shadows. It was very hot that day, and I had lost my fan so it was even hotter. Fullmer sensei reminded us often throughout the day to drink water.
Our guide showed us around the park and carefully explained the meaning behind the different monuments. I learned a lot of new things.
She talked about the trees and how people donated trees for Hiroshima. Something I think is very beautiful that has been said by many Japanese people and was in the museum yesterday is this: "That autumn, in Hiroshima where it was said 'for 75 years nothing will grow,' new buds sprouted. In the green that came back to life among the charred ruins, people recovered. Their living hopes and courage."
Nature is amazing to be able to grow again despite everything and all the disasters. But humans are amazing too. Humans were also new buds that were able to sprout and come to life through the ruins. Not just plants. They rose up from the Edisaster, "like phoenixes," and dedicated themselves for peace and "No more Hiroshimas or Nagasakis." I think that is a beautiful and amazing thing
There was a beautiful poem written in protest as well as this to mourn those that passed. When we looked through it, we could see the burned dome.
We were also shown the memorial for all the Koreans who died. I didn't know that all those Koreans died. There were a lot. We saw many other things, but I don't want to include every single one of them here.
We were also shown the children's memorial, which was originally made for Sadako, the story of a girl with leukemia from the radiation, who folded more than 1000 paper cranes in hopes of recovery. She died, but even still people leave paper cranes there for the children show died in hopes of peace. At that time, we were shown the children's workforce memorial. There were many kids working at the time of the bomb who were killed.
Around that area was the dome which stood tattered. The sides were still black. Our guide told us about the debate surrounding whether they should keep the dome or not, as well as the debate over adding it as a world heritage site.
Lastly, we walked a brief ways to the hypocenter. It is difficult to image the devastation, and the possibility of it causing even more devastation. I hope we can all remember this and let it impact our lives and perspective.
asI think part of the beauty of Japan is its incredible ability to recover from disasters and devastation, learn from them, and continue to grow. I think we can all learn from Japan in that aspect.
The bus back to the station was so crowded it took awhile to get everyone on. After the next stop some people left and we were able to get situated and sitting down. At one part, there was another bus right next to us filled with little kids. They were really cute and waved to us. At our stop, I accidentally dropped my phone on Aaron. Oops
On the train platform, some people stopped at the 7/11 kiosk for food and drinks. I accidentally got zero calorie Calpis, which was actually kinda gross-- would not recommend. We all boarded the train without any difficulty after that.
After arriving at Kyoto station, everyone met for a little bit and discussed who wanted to go where, since it was now free time. Jacob wanted to go to the conveyor belt sushi, and so did a couple other people (including me), but most everyone headed back to the house.
First we went ot a conveyor belt sushi place across the street of the station, but it was pretty expensive. So we went to a place recommended by some of the locals called Musashi instead. That was underneath the station. It was a little bit of a wait, but we did get in and it was pretty worth the wait. It was delicious! There were so many different kinds. We spent awhile in there enjoying the food.
The final tally for Annie, Shandon, Fullmer-sensei, Jacob and me was as follows: 4 plates, 13 plates, 9 plates, 11 plates, and 11 plates. I wished I could've eaten more, but I was already a little bit over my preset budget....
It took awhile to pay, so when we headed out, we missed the 7 o' clock bus. Since we now had a little bit of time, we stopped in the basement to grab dessert! I was really excited to get dessert, because I love Japanese sweets. They aren't too sweet, but they still retain all the flavour. I bought a Mont Blanc. I've been debating about buying a Mont Blanc this whole trip in a convenience store, but I never could bring myself to buy it. I'm glad now because I can eat a much more delicious kind!
Then we rushed to the bus station. Unfortunately it seemed like we weren't going to make it to the house before 8. We made it back around 8:30. After discussing the schedule for tomorrow as a group, I finished my cake.
Tyler and I went over the recipe for tomorrow and went out for ingredients with Edwardo, Jacob, Shandon, Tyler, and myself.
We came back and practiced the songs some of us hadn't learned yet before going to sleep.