Good day readers!
Today was another one of our cultural days, where we visited Hiroshima. The day started early with a wake up call at 6:30 in the morning. The briefing was at 7:20 sharp, and there was no time to eat breakfast at the hostel so we had to eat our own, as we had to catch the Shinkansen!
The Shinkansen is more commonly known as the Japanese bullet train, which connects major regions within Japan. The train can reach speeds up to 320 km/h, and from the inside feels just like an airplane. The train departed at 8:23, and we arrived in Hiroshima at 10:35.
Fun fact: The average daily delay of the Shinkansen over 2016 is approximately 54 seconds, which is worse compared to the 36 seconds measured in 2015.
Once we arrived in Hiroshima we took the tram to the Hiroshima peace memorial, which is the building in the picture below. Because the atomic bomb that landed at 8:15 in the morning on the 6th of August 1945 exploded almost directly above this building, the blast and shockwave pushed down on the frame. Therefore, it is one of the few buildings that was not completely pushed over by the blast.
It was confronting to see the remainders of a building standing in a modern city. If you did not know better you could not tell that such a horrible thing happened to the city of Hiroshima such a short time ago.
After the peace memorial building, we continued to the Hiroshima peace museum. The museum had a very modern and simplistic feeling and atmosphere, but the content was shocking and gave everyone an impression (for how much a museum can give an impression of such a tragedy). Everyone but two people got an audio guide, which explained a lot more about all the pictures and artifacts. The most impressive part I think were the personal belongings that were left from the bombing. It is hard to imagine how inhumane an atomic bomb actually is, but the stories that accompanied the artifacts helped a little. We strongly agree with the message that Hiroshima stands for: never again!
After Hiroshima we took the Shinkansen back to Kyoto, and a lot of people ate curry by the river. The heat today was harsh, but eating dinner at 22:00 in the evening in a shirt and slippers does compensate a little.
Regards and see you next time,
Hessel and Bart