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August 21, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 11:56 am — Tags:

So, I went to Hiroshima for a day essentially and it was a pretty good trip.

As usual this post will include some random tidbits about things I noticed during the time period it covered. Including, but not limited to, train travel (and being older), food, and losing things.

First trains:

The trip to Hiroshima is approximately 5 hours long with a transfer at Shin-Osaka. I’ve noticed that trains have a high comfort level (especially the Railstar trains, even enough room for a giant like me), and if I’m on an aisle other trains as well. I can just there and listen to music (or not) and think. I don’t really get bored. I can imagine being younger and not being comfortable at all with all that time, confined. But now, time is so constrained, that any time I have to really just do nothing, I can run with it easily. Still, I have my limit. Sometimes I just have to be doing something, but I don’t know if that will be for awhile yet. (For that matter, even the 12 hour plane trip here wasn’t so bad). Possibly ways to instill that into children include making them have so much to do that they will similarly thirst for time to do nothing, and beatings.

I left at like 7, and got there at 12. I was almost late, one of the ‘problems’ with a highly efficient trains system, is that you can never be late. I was amazingly not late, no help to some retarded gaijin (foreigners) who I guess had never bought a train ticket before. It’s like they expect the world to fold around them and accommodate their failure. I don’t always know what’s going on, heck, I probably don’t know what’s going most of the time. But whenever that’s the case I try to be as discrete as possible, not wasting people’s time.

I spent the day walking around the park looking at all the memorials. Took some pictures, I was just a bit into the museum when my reserve set of batteries died. I guess that’s a testament to how much I was taking pictures, or how shitty the batteries were. It pissed me off to say the least. There was an audio guide in English (all the signs were also in English) that offered extra explanation. After awhile the museum is personal narrative after personal narrative, and even my cold nature was straining to maintain composure. I think once I even got something in my eye. I recommend everyone going there.

One pretty cool thing, was the fact that since 1968 the mayor of Hiroshima has sent a letter protesting every atomic test. They have them all posted on a few pillars. They’re all repetitive. “Hiroshima knows first hand how bad these things are, you should abolish all your nuclear weapons.” There’s also a fountain that beautiful and has a nice cool spray. Near the cenotaph which contains all the victims of the a-bomb, there’s also a flame of peace. It will burn continuously until all nuclear bombs are gone. I imagine, this will be after the nuclear annihilation destroys all things on and there won’t be a flame or anymore nuclear missiles.

I have lots of pictures, even paying extortionary prices to put batteries in my camera. These will all be available in the future. It was also hot.

After I was done with my initial touring, I went and checked into the hostel, which was a pretty nice place, where I got to practice a bit of my japanese. Also, I slept on a Japanese ‘futon’ but there were only 3 people in the room total, so it wasn’t so bad. They were some fairly solid canadians. Also, they told us not to put the air conditioning below 27. I set it to 20. I thought that was a fair compromise.

That night, I went and explored Hiroshima in my usual way, I walked around and turned down the streets that looked most interesting. My main goals besides just exploring were to find dinner and to take night time shots of some of monuments which lent themselves to night time shots.

After a bit of wondering around, I found a place to eat, and then later I found an arcade. Overall, a good night. Took some pictures of the park on my way back, and then went back to the Hostel. Solved the Rubik’s cube they had there and then went to bed. Boring stuff.

The next morning I realized that I forgot my ring at the arcade and that made me sad. In any case, I went back to the museum and a few other monuments and headed over to the arcade where I expected it would still be around somewhere, because this was Japan and that is something to expect. At this time it also started raining, and I got very wet, until I reached the covered arcade which fortunately contained the arcade, and excluded the rain.

I walk to the information counter and first ask her if she could handle english. She said no. So I tried to explain in Japanese, but there were key nouns missing from my vocabulary. things like, “left my ring” which were key. At one point, I tried to draw the ring for here, but that was a horrible idea and it’s embarrassing to think about it. Then she told me to write it in english, after which I guess she understood what I was talking about. She called some guy on her mic, and sent me up to get my ring, which was good. I was thankful.

Then I went to find lunch and catch a train. So Hiroshima is famous for okonomiyaki, and they even have a special type called Hiroshima-yaki. And my guidebook told me their was a set of like 30 restaurants in one place that served it. I wandered in what I thought was in the correct direction, and eventually I found the place. I picked a random place on a random floor and it was pretty awesome.

Okonomiyaki (hiroshima style):
So they take a bunch of random ingredients which include pork (bacon) lettuce type stuff and pour some batter over it. Then they flip it over and pour batter over the other side. Eventually, it is flattened down from it’s initial 8 inch height to sorta looking like an omelette. The hiroshima part is they add a layer of soba noodles and then make the bottom layer a fried egg. It’s pretty awesome, and it’s huge, and it’s delicious, and it’s cheap. Definitely, a good place to eat. I recommend it to anybody going to Hiroshima.

Then I went back to Tokyo. As I was transferring from the Shinkansen to the local Tokyo trains I realized that I had run right into what I call the 7PM rush hour. To answer my previous question, yes, it’s worse at rush hour than it is during the rush to leave Comiket. I couldn’t believe it, but experiencing it was pretty cool, to say the least.

So that ends that story, and my JR pass, so no more random trips around Japan for me. My trip is now waning.


  1. Oh, waning trip! It is to thee I cry-Two weeks of free rides and then poof! I am glad you got to go to Hiroshima-It was a pretty bad
    thing we did there as a country-but we would have lost millions in an invasion of Japan and the Japanese would have lost millions too.

    I can’t wait to see the pictures. Can you post them to this blog when you get back?

    So when is your last day in Japan? D.

    Comment by Darrel — August 21, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

  2. I want that kind of okonomiyaki. The kind I had in Osaka sucked, and I couldn’t enjoy eating food that sucked that much because the people I was with wouldn’t admit that it sucked. But it sucked bad.

    Comment by Tom — August 21, 2007 @ 7:54 pm

  3. Darrel: Yeah, I completely agree with that because it’s true. But there are elements of the bomb dropping that could have been changed. Collateral damage reduced. They have lots of replicas of official correspondence about the attack, and some of the main reasoning for the selection of targets was to maximize damage so that the full effect of the bomb could be seen. Also, yeah, the pictures will be posted here. In some form anyway.

    Tom: Next time we’re both in Japan, we’ll have to make it a point to go have some. I’m not the pickiest eater, but I’m pretty sure my opinion of its tastiness is correct.

    Comment by Erek Speed — August 22, 2007 @ 11:58 am

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