Hiroshima & Miyajima

I arrived to Hiroshima in the evening, so no much to do after finding the guesthouse, which was difficult enough and took me a street car, as they call it (a tram) and a lot of time walking to find out where the entrance was. So besides lots of food, my day was quiet enough.

But next day I woke up with energies to explore the city. The first thing I visited was the park where the Atomic Bomb memorial is, including the museum. I enjoyed the walk from the guesthouse, I decided to walk everywhere to save money, but after getting there, the feelings started flourishing. It was like when I visited the war museum back in Saigon. A disgusted feeling for human kind started coming from my inside and I could not be bothered in being positive or anything, I only felt pain, sadness, pity for ourselves… How can we be so stupid, how did we still not learn? Why is peace so difficult? Why, in general. It was a lot to process. I made myself familiar with details I had no idea about and exposed myself to testimonies. I also saw reminders of stuff, things left, and pieces of clothes that made my head picture images I wish I could erase. The horror was real in my head and inside me there were only feelings of great sadness and sorrow. I felt drawn to that, overwhelmed. And also got to realise the reality of things, how everything was normal but this huge memorial was in the middle of the city, as a reminder to people that probably didn’t need to be reminded.

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The Atomic Bomb Dome

To cheer me up, I turned the tables and instead of seeing the Atomic Bomb Dome, the building or part of it that was left standing after the bomb, I went to the commercial area and explored the area for the famous okonomiyakis. I had been recommended to eat this for lunch and sounded like an excellent idea to evade myself for a while. So did I, and I enjoyed this pancake thing so typical of the city.

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That’s my okonomiyaki. Flip it, flip it!

Back to the area where I was, I saw the building with different eyes, and my engineer eyes explored the remaining structure, checked the parts missing, the plan, the reinforcements and everything in general, because I had to go around it a second time to make sure I was gathering all the details. And from I here, I had lots of pictures of this, specially the Atomic Bomb Dome but I have no idea what has happened to them but they are gone from my records. Quite bothering, because I took lots of pictures of details of this building that intrigued me, but… I am like that, a mess.

My day continued in the castle which I only saw from outside but enjoyed anyways imagining what could have been going around it some time ago because I love to picture the stories in my head. My walk to the gardens was pointless because you also had to pay for this and I was not willing to pay for every single thing to see in the city, I cannot do that and also didn’t feel I was missing out anything. Afterwards, in some random temple, I had my first deep feelings, I felt some kind of energy and I recreated wandering around until I found the statue of a carp and the explanation of what it represents in the Japanese culture. It stands for the relations, the work, the personal challenge… And touched it and made a wish, as it is customary. And I did the same with a statue of the two carps, which represents the loving relationships. I have to say that both wishes were very general and also very similar to the other. But as happiness has become my main goal, this just make sense.

That was my day, doesn’t look like much but I walked a hell of a lot, so I was tired. By the next day I had a day trip planned to this island close by, Miyajima, so I woke up quite early, took the street car again and also took a romantic ferry (because I love ferries) to the island. For my surprise, the place was crowded with deer here and there, quite passive to people walking by. It was cute. Then, I got to see the big Tori, orange and standing in the middle of the water as the sacred door for boats to the sacred island. After being here and there, I decided to get to business and climb the mountain to the temple at the top. It felt nice and at my arrival almost to the top, there was a sanctuary with the eternal fire that had been built to the love, encounters and marriage. After the news I had just had that morning, I had to take a candle to offer it with my best thoughts and wishes. After taht, I moved on to reach the top, where all the people were and where I also found 360 degrees cool views and a nice spot to enjoy my lunch. On the way back, I got to see a few more temples, of course, and I enjoyed a not-crowded trail until I saw some notices warning of Japanese vipers around. How nice to only know when I am almost done here! The big surprise came when on the way back to the ferry I got the see the tori I saw in the morning with low tides: the water around it was gone and now there were only people taking pictures and also people digging in the sand to find shellfish.

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The big Tori

A ferry and a street car later, I was back to the guest house where I could get something to eat and pick up my stuff. I had the brilliant idea of taking a shower before leaving, the shower that could have been the most expensive shower ever because the owner of the place wanted to charge 500 Yens! Well, I was not paying, there was nothing of that in the rules I had to read when I arrived to the place and he said nothing when he saw me preparing the shower stuff. You want to scam me, you do it properly.  Next time, advise of the price of the shower prior to the shower, not after. And that is how I left the place to find the night bus that would take me to Kyoto, where I still didn’t know where I was going to stay or what I was going to be doing, but only that I would be arriving there early in the morning and that is all I was caring about.

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