Hiroshima: Picking up the Pieces & Fukuoka

Trip Start May 01, 2009
Trip End May 15, 2009

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Flag of Japan  , Chugoku,
Friday, May 15, 2009

When we woke up in Hiroshima, we got straight down to business and headed to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which was conveniently located 4 blocks away. We had breakfast on a bench like homeless people, then headed to the museum. It was pretty heavy stuff but interesting. It's dedicated to the victims, obviously, of the August 6th 1945 Atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. It's major purpose is to try to eliminate all mass nuclear weapons. It's definitely sad to read all the stories and see all the items of the victims. We spent around 2 hours wandering around then headed to the park. We saw the cenotaph (arch) and the Flame of Peace that will only be extinguished once the last nuclear weapon is destroyed. We then went to the Children's Peace Monument where there were a ton of school groups gathering and sayign prayers, reading poems and singing. Almost 65 years later and it's still such a big deal to the Japanese. Surrounding the monument are cases containing colorful paper cranes that were made from inspiration of a victim girl who got leukemia and wanted to fold 1000 cranes before she died but never reached her goal. Finally at the north end of the park, across the river, was the A-Bomb dome where the bomb exploded directly over. It remains as a symbol of the destruction caused. it's the only thing that surrived in a 5-mile radius - everythign else was flattened. 

After a heavy morning, we grabbed some Italian food, then walked to the Hiroshima-jo (aka the Carp Castle) that was almost totally destroyed by the bomb but rebuilt in 1958. We only spent one day in Hiroshima cause we were headed to Fukuoka 4 hours west of Hiroshima. We got a cute little hotel room on the river and headed to explore the city. Maybe the area we were in was sketchy cause there were a ton of nasty drunk businessmen coming out of the courting bars. Yuk. The next day we bought ferry tickets for Korea, then explored a little. We went for soem famous Ramen soup where you order the soup from a machine, get put in this booth and get to pick/customize items in your ramen - special sauce, green onion, garlic and fat content and hardness of the noodles. We chilled and watched a band in the park, and in the evening we hit up an internet cafe. Now this needs some detail. This place was crazy witha  ton of computers and walls upon walls of videogames/Japanimation movies. At this place you can buy out seats for 24hours. My brother's heaven probably! Since a lot of people have all nighters at this place, they have unlimited free drinks and icecream - so we got our money's worth. We got coffee, Fanta, slurpees and icecream. Mmmm mmmm. We were beat so watched the Davinci Code in Japanese on tv only recognizing worlds like arigato, dayjobu (OK) and ichiban (meaning "Number 1"). We're pretty beat after 2 weeks of non stop travel and sight seeing in Japan, but it's an amazing country with so much to see and do. We're so glad we came here!! Next stop: South Korea!
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