Monday, September 12, 2011


Saturday we took a day trip to Hiroshima. It's about 45 minutes away from Iwakuni by train. This was our second time trying to ride the train. We found out the reason they weren't running last Saturday was because of the tropical storm activity. We hoped this time would be better. A one-way ticket is ¥740 per person.

Round 2
The next picture came out pretty blurry, but it is how the trains designate who can sit in certain sections. We discovered that people really didn't pay attention to it too much. Again, we had a wide berth between us and the Japanese. They don't mind being scrunched up with each other, but wouldn't come close to us.

Hiroshima is a nice big city. Not Tokyo- or Osaka-big, but big compared to Iwakuni. Once we got out of the huge train station we were met by lines and lines of taxis.

We bought a day pass for the streetcar that runs through the city. For ¥600 per person you can ride on the streetcar (think smaller train) throughout the city.

Our first stop was the Peace Park and site where the first atomic bomb was deployed. The a-bomb was detonated 600m above the ground on August 6, 1945 at 8:15am. Because of the way it exploded a nearby building was left standing. It is called the a-bomb dome.

The park has memorials scattered throughout to honor the victims of the atomic bomb. There is an underground museum for the victims and then a large Peace Memorial museum.

It was a sad morning, but we learned much about the history of Hiroshima and Japanese wars before World War II. Also, the museums were not heavily negative on the United States. Instead the focus is more on peace for all and never using nuclear weapons again.

Throughout the museums and park Dustin and I felt odd being there... like we shouldn't be. One gentleman asked Dustin why he was there. It was a bit awkward.

I signed the log book of travelers at the end of the museum. We were the only Americans to sign in for the whole day. Lots of Canadians, Australians, and Indians.

As we were leaving the park, three Japanese people approached us and said "hello." Their English was very crisp and they introduced themselves and then handed us a book and asked us to read. They were Jehovah's Witness and had a book with their speech translated into multiple languages. I thought that was interesting.

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