Tokyo guzzler: Days 65-66 – A day in Hiroshima

After our trek down the mountain the previous day, we woke up the following morning feeling in some considerable discomfort. Our calves were in absolute agony and even the simplest set of stairs was torturous. Despite our pain, we wanted to spend our last full day in Hiroshima having a proper look around. And if that meant walking around like John Wayne for the day, then so be it.

First up, we went to the Hiroshima Castle, rebuilt in 1958 after being flattened by the atomic bombing in August 1945. It has been restored to its former self and is now a museum on the inside:

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The leaves are changing colour here now, allowing for some good photo opportunities.

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Hiroshima Castle – a bugger to climb up when you can barely walk!

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The view from the top, downtown towards the hypocenter.

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Remains of barracks, blown away by the A bomb.

From the castle we headed down to see the atomic bomb memorials and museums:

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Hiroshima Peace Memorial, commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome. It’s part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruin serves as a memorial to the people who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Over 70,000 people were killed instantly, and another 70,000 suffered fatal injuries from the radiation.

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No idea how the structure didn’t collapse in the blast. Pretty much everything else was wiped out.

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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, built on an open field that was created by the explosion. Today there are a number of memorials, monuments and museums here.

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Hiroshima is totally different to Tokyo. It’s a fascinating place to visit from a historical perspective and the sites are very sobering. The city itself however seems very dated. It was obviously rebuilt practically from scratch in the 1950’s and 60’s. But it seems that since that point, there has been very little modernisation or development in the city. The buildings are all of a certain type – very boxy with little or no creativity. It’s a pleasant enough place, but it’s the polar opposite of Tokyo. The demographic of the population is much much older than in Tokyo and it seems like quite a sleepy, quiet place overall. The further out of the city you go, the more under-invested it becomes. As the picture above shows, the memorial park is very much a concreted area, which I wasn’t expecting. I wouldn’t necessarily rush back to Hiroshima, although I would rush back to the surrounding areas as they looked very picturesque.

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We stumbled across this monument purely by accident. It marked the place directly below where the bomb exploded, 600m above the ground.

Later that evening, we went for easily the best dining experience in our whole time in Japan to date. Amazing food in a beautiful restaurant, cooked right in front of us:

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Japanese restaurants take so much care and precision with their food. And it’s always so fresh!Japanese restaurants take so much care and precision with their food. And it’s always so fresh!

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Okonomiyaki – or Japanese pizza! In Hiroshima, the ingredients are typically batter, cabbage, pork, noodles, other bits and bobs and a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce. Amazing!

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Fillet steak to round it off. I can’t describe how good this tasted!!!

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