I remember learning about Hiroshima in high school, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw there. Seeing it in photographs or reading about it in textbooks doesn’t come close to being there, physically in front of the wreckage. The Dome itself hadn’t been completely destroyed during the bombing because the blast actually vaporised in the air (interesting fact I didn’t know until I actually went there). The building’s ruins are maintained as a reminder and a warning of sorts so that we may never forget the devastation that nuclear weaponry brings.
We also saw the Children’s Peace Monument commemorating Sadako Sasaki and the many child victims of the atomic bombing. The story of the 1000 paper cranes (if you didn’t already know) stems from a Japanese belief that if you create 1000 paper cranes, you can make one wish and it will be granted – Sadako Sasaki’s was for the world to exist without nuclear weapons. At the monument we saw what must have been thousands of paper cranes sent by students from all over the world, and you could even register to put your crane donation in the exhibit.
It felt surreal being there, and there were countless students on excursion and people on tours around the Peace Park. It was definitely an experience to remember.
After the Peace Park, we headed to one of the local malls and found a place to eat okonomiyaki which is essentially a Japanese savoury pancake. The tables had a hot plate installed into in and the food was kept warm in front of us as we ate. We ate a seafood one that had udon noodles inside. The sauce and Japanese mayo put it over the top and it was just amazing.
After lunch we tried this Japanese dessert called imagawayaki (though we didn’t know that that’s what it was when we bought it) filled with azuki bean and sweet potato. While yummy, I still prefer taiyaki.
After stuffing ourselves with food, we began our walk to Hiroshima castle. The sun was setting at this point and the light against the trees were breathtaking! We don’t get very many autumn-coloured trees in Sydney, so I really enjoyed myself.
Afterwards we took a train back to Osaka station, where G and I wandered around the mall to do a little bit of shopping. I’ll admit with no shame that we spent most of that time in the Disney store and I was quite happy with my purchases haha!
After another long day, it was good to finally get back to our little relaxation area in the room to have some warm drinks and dinner with everyone. Tomorrow we’d be heading to Universal Studios and I couldn’t be more excited!