No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

28 June, 2009


From Kyoto, we took the Shinkansen another hour and a half to Hiroshima, on the northern side of the island. It's a beautiful, vibrant and laid back city with 6 rivers running through it. The A-Bomb Museum in Hiroshima.

The museum seemed most dedicated to not only telling the story of the victims and survivors of the atomic bomb, but also to preventing another occurrence. This sign made the threats that North Korea has been making at the US, South Korea and Japan all the more real.

Click to enlarge the picture and read the story of this sad little tricycle and helmet.

The names of all 140,000 victims are inscribed on this memorial. The flame will only be extinguished when the last nuclear arm in the world is destroyed.

Teachers in particular may know the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Sadako was a young girl who was effected by the radiation fall out. She got very sick with leukemia years after the bomb exploded. Old Japanese folklore says that if a sick person folds 1000 paper cranes, their wish will come true. Sadako died from leukemia, but her classmates kept making cranes. Her story was told in the museum and there is a special part of the park dedicated to her memory and that of all the children who lost their lives and parents in the bombing.

Sadako's monument

Schoolchildren still send thousands upon thousands of paper cranes each year to this memorial.

The A-Bomb dome, just yards away from the hypo-center. The museum showed pictures and maps of the devastation. Hiroshima was completely flattened for a 4 km radius.

On a lighter note, meet my Japanese chikan (pervert). He was excited to chat with me and asked to take my picture. He seemed like a friendly old guy....then he accidentally showed me the pictures of all the girls on his camera. Seems he has a penchant for blondes of all nationalities. Aside from this guy, the people in Hiroshima were the kindest we have met anywhere in Japan. People were so friendly, willing to chat and interested in us. Amazing that your country can do the worst imaginable offense to their beautiful city and people, and they cannot only forgive you, but like you! People said hello on the streets, in the elevators, in restaurants and tried out their broken English. It's such a change from Tokyo where we just put our heads down and go about our business. Minutes after my chikan left, the Mormons showed up.

More okonomiyaki eating and grilling. Hiroshima is famous for their okonomiyaki which also has soba noodles inside.

And of course, Michael. His music blared everywhere we went and the newspapers splashed his pictures across the front.

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