Hiroshima and Miyajima (Day 12 – Dec 2015)

When the first atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the city became known worldwide for this unenviable distinction. The destructive power of the bomb was tremendous and obliterated nearly everything within a two kilometer radius. Today, Hiroshima is a beautiful and peaceful city. A great contrast to what we know from history about this city.

After buying our breakfast from Macdonald at Shin-Osaka station, we took the shinkansen to Hiroshima using our JR pass. The ride took us 2.5 hours. It was a happy meal breakfast for the family on board the train.

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Upon reaching Hiroshima station, we took a tram to Peace Memorial Park.

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At the tram stop, there lies across the road the remains of Atomic Bomb Dome.

After the war, great efforts were taken to rebuild the city and what standing untouched was the Atomic Bomb Dome. It was left as it was to remind people of the effect of war. It was here that Jaydon got to learn about Nuclear bomb and the impact it did to the city. There were school children and teachers at the site when we were there. I believe that they are what we all need to learn when we are there – the consequence of man’s sin and the impact it causes to us.

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It is surreal when you see annihilated Dome in midst of the beautiful and peaceful city of Hiroshima. I salute to the one who decided to keep the Dome to remind people of war and destruction. I think it has met its intended purposes. As I write this blog, I can remember the sight and surreality of the the Dome.

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As we continue walking towards Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, we continue to be amazed by the beautiful sight of the city as we constantly reminded that this city was destroyed to ashes 70 years ago. As a tripadvisor describe “At every site in this Memorial Park there is almost a cry for peace after the destruction of Hiroshima in 1945”. The atmosphere of peace is felt as you stroll through the Park and this is a huge contrast to what happen to this city.

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In the middle of Peace Memorial Park sits the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The museum exposes you to interesting information regarding the bombing of Hiroshima. Picture, artifacts and remnant in the Museum have been put together, showing you what life was like in Hiroshima around the time of the bombing and the after effects.

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We are careful to filter some of the pictures from Jaydon as some of the pictures are not suitable for kids. The museum itself is not large, and you can move through it in about an hour, but the exhibits are emotional.

Exiting the Museum we continue to enjoy the park, while making our way to the tram stop.fotorcreated12-08fotorcreated12-07

We waited for the tram to Yokogawa station and later took a train to Miyajima-guchi.

From Miyajima-guchi we took ferry to Miyajima.

Miyajima (宮島) is a small island less than an hour outside the city of Hiroshima. It is most famous for its giant torii gate, which at high tide seems to float on the water. The sight is ranked as one of Japan’s three best views.   Like the torii gate, Itsukushima Shrine’s (UNESCO site) main buildings are built over water.

On reaching Miyajima on the JR Ferry,  we walked through the street towards  Itsukushima Shrine & the Torii Gate. It was a lovely walk along the street along the sea. Interesting shops and cafe line up the street.

Wild deer on the island that have become accustomed to people. The deer roam the island and Jaydon was having fun trying to get close to them. The deer are remembered by Jaydon as the “paper eating deer” since the deer will eat up any paper objects that dropped on the ground. I not too sure how healthy is that to the deer but it does keep the island clean.

We took a break while enjoying the breathtaking view of the straits.

After the break, we reached Torii Gate and Itsukushima Shrine after a 10 mins stroll. Since it was low tide, we could walk down to the sand dune, close enough to have a close view of the Torii Gate. We walked across the bay.

We decided not to enter Itsukushima Shrine, since you got to pay for the entrance. Instead we decided to proceed up the hill towards the Cable Car station which will bring us up to the summit of Mount Misen. If you are tired climbing up the hill, there is a shuttle bus that will bring you up to the Cable Car station, and that is what we did.

 

You need to catch two rope ways (cable cars) to reach the summit. The first one holds a maximum of 6 people and comes frequently. The second comes every 15 mins and they squash 30 people into each car. Lovely scenic views while travelling. As we were going up Mount Misen in the late afternoon, there were no crowd and we did have a fun and relaxing time taking the ropeways up to the summit. At times, mummy was scared because of the height, and Jaydon being cheeky, will rock the car to make Mummy scared.

Before long, we reached to the Summit of Mount Misen. The mountain top was amazing.

From the summit you are able to view the breathtaking landscapes of the surrounding.

You could do a hike from the summit, however, we decided not to venture to far away as we need to take the last car down from the summit.

It was evening and sun was setting when we reached the foot of Mt Misen. We decided to head back  to the Torii Gate and Itsukushima Shrine, as it was said that the best view was in the evening.

We walked back to the ferry terminal when the sky turns dark. The streets were quieter and more peaceful, but all the shops are closing as we walk towards the terminal. The deer was more active and they were going into shops looking for left over food.

We caught the night ferry back to mainland and took a train back to Hiroshima for a quick dinner before taking  the shinkansen back to Osaka.

 

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