Monday, June 1, 2009

Hiroshima

No visit to Japan would be complete without seeing Hiroshima and so we decided to cycle there. I expected an ugly city and some crappy museum, but was very positively surprised. Hiroshima was totally destroyed by the A-bomb in 1945 but now it is a bustling and lively town again, just 65 years later. Indeed a lot reminded me of post-war Germany in Hiroshima.

The hypocenter of the A-bomb explosion has been converted into a peace park with a huge memorial (very much reminding me of the Berlin Holocaust memorial) and an extremely interesting museum where we spent more than 2 hours learning all the background information. I do not want to give all the details here, but be assured that we got a lot of food for thought.

Interestingly, Hiroshima was also the first place in Japan where we saw other Westerners. In 2 1/2 weeks in Shikoku we saw only 2 other Western people (and that was in a hostel), whereas here in the peace park you see almost more Westerners than Japanese.

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