Thursday, 29 April 2010
Japan Trip Day 4 - Hiroshima
Mayumi and Erika escorted me to Hachimanyama Station and I caught the train to Tokyo Station via Shinjuku where I then booked my ticket to Hiroshima (i had a Japan Rail Pass for the trip, but reserved all my seats beforehand). Japanese trains are amazing, beautiful objects and waiting on the platform was an experience in itself - watching the Nozomi trains come in and the pink clad team of women going on board to switch the seats around (to the direction of travel) and clean the windows etc.
My journey was via Shin-Osaka where i had a brief stop, then onward to Hiroshima. The landscape was shrouded in mist, but i got brief glances of mountains and forests and the sea. I got a very brief view of Mount Fuji - the top and bottom were covered in cloud, but i could still the enormity of it - wonderful.
Arriving in Hiroshima the weather was a lot brighter and sunny, so after a taxi ride to where I was staying and unpacking my stuff I wandered out to the city centre to collect dandelions.
Hiroshima is a huge, bustling city and my stroll took me along Heiwa-o-dori and into the Peace Park. It was incredibly moving. There was a large bell that people kept chiming and the low deep sound resonated across the park - it was very eerie. At the A Bomb Dome I reached into the alarmed area to risk getting two dandelion leaves for the collection - and i got them! They are tiny and scruffy and I am thrilled i risked it.
The day ended at a little restaurant called Itsuki where I had the place to myself and ordered the local speciality (the only thing on the menu) Okonomiyaki. I had the veggie option which consisted of a pancake, noodles, cabbage (more than you'd think was physically possible to eat) and sauce all layered into a cake type dish. Very yummy - impossible to eat with chopsticks.
The image here is of the dandelion i picked at the A Bomb Dome - it's tiny on the photo, but look closer between the bars and you'll spot it.