Hello again! Here comes another blog post by Brianna. I hope that my word painting will give you a clear image of what we experienced today.
On July 13 we all woke up before seven so we could jump on a bus to go to the Kyoto Station. From there we got to board our first Shinkansen (bullet train). You’ve likely heard about them before—super fast trains in Japan. Apparently they regularly go 200 mph, which makes them one of the second fastest trains in the world! Suitably so, they look like a bit like airplanes without wings: built for aerodynamics and speed.
Well, we weren’t on the first Shinkansen for more than ten minutes. We had to make a quick transfer at Shin-Osaka station to the main one that would take us all the way to Hiroshima. We got a little bit of free time on the way there.
When we arrived at the Hiroshima station, we walked across the street to go to lunch. There was a 6-story building and at the top floor there were a bunch of restaurants. We split into two parties, went to two different restaurants, and both ate some Okonomiyaki. It's kind of like a vegetable pancake, made of cabbage, bean sprouts, egg, bacon, yakisoba, and topped off with special Okonomiyaki sauce. They cooked it all right in front of us, too. Here’s a picture of mine:
After lunch, we had the opportunity to go and visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. It was a very reverent place and we got to learn a lot about what had happened there. The park was built on the area that used to be the bustling city center of Hiroshima, and was obliterated in the atomic bomb explosion. Instead of rebuilding the shops and restaurants, the city chose to make it a memorial for all those who died there, and to teach the world about their story.
You've likely heard it before. On August 6th, 1945 at 8:15 AM, the American atomic bomb "Little Boy" detonated above the heart of Hiroshima. Thousands upon thousands of lives were lost in the initial explosion, and many of the survivors perished in the aftermath of it. Even years after the bombing, radiation poisoning continued to take lives.
These were the things we learned in the museum. Out in the park, there were more memorials to go to, including the Children's Peace Monument, dedicated to a school girl who died of leukemia from the radiation. There were millions of paper cranes made by students around Japan, wishing for world peace. Several dozen school children on a school trip surrounded it, which was felt really special to me.
We also saw the A-Bomb Dome, an iconic monument there since it mostly stayed in tact, in spite of being very close to the hypo-center. Many people in the past wanted it torn down but the city ultimately decided that it should stay up, as a reminder of the devastating power of nuclear weapons and a symbol of peace.
This next photo is of a very significant fountain. The clock indicated the time 8:15 when the bomb exploded, and the clock face points up to where it would have done so in midair. The fountain is surrounded by roof tiles and other parts of buildings that were destroyed by the explosion. The water in the fountain, and the water in every fountain in the park is for the survivors who, after being burned severely, cried out for water.
The city of Hiroshima today is thriving once again, but they will never forget their horrific past. They continue to pursue world peace and advocate for the abolition of all nuclear weaponry. A common quote I heard in this park was "No more Hiroshimas", which reflected the purpose of the place. This last photo frames several of the monuments at the park. Under the curved monument, the stone reads: "please rest in peace, for the evil shall not be repeated".
,Thank you for taking the time to read that. I would encourage you to research more about Hiroshima yourself.
We took the Shinkansen back to Kyoto station, where we split up. Some of us wanted to do a bit more shopping and the others had things to do at home. That was about it for the day, and I guess that ends my last blog post! That's right, you don't have to deal with me anymore.
Thanks again for reading,