At the start of December we had a long weekend away in Hiroshima. We had visited this vibrant city on holiday in 2014, and thoroughly enjoyed re-tracing our footsteps.
On Saturday we made the most out of the café culture and western friendly eateries. After months of matcha latte offerings and ramen a good slice of pizza and glass of fresh orange juice was just what I had in mind. Every-day. For three days. Dan is usually a little more authentic in his tates, but even he could be persuaded by tasty food that didn’t have a seaweed topping. That is not to say we don’t still enjoy Japanese food! But nothing makes you crave breads, cheeses and non-fish based foods more than a daily life without!
We took a leisurely walk through Peace Park to Hiroshima Castle with friends. I took my big camera with me and indulged once more in some big camera shots. It is the weight of a small child, but I love the feeling of taking the perfect shot (they never are perfect, but I don’t know that at the time of shooting…so I trick myself) Saturday was topped off by meeting some fellow JETs and expats at a Mexican restaurant to enjoy some delicious vegetarian (yep, no meat picking here!) food. A brilliant day with great company all-round!
On Sunday it rained. This caught us off guard as I had only 12 hours before exclaimed how Hiroshima always seemed to have fine, bright weather. Alas, a downpour and day for soggy feet. We had a plan to visit a nearby town, famous for its Sake breweries, to overcome the wetness with alcohol. Which we did, only to find all of the Sake breweries closed. Still, it was still a beautiful train ride and on the train they had the heating on, so you can’t complain really. Instead we returned to Hiroshima and took a tour of some real ale bars. We spent a fortune, but it was money well spent to get Brew Dog ale in Japan!
Hiroshima is a bright beautiful city with a difficult dark past. The city has driven ideas of hope and peace into the hearts of millions. It stands up with its moving and creative memorials in Peace Park, promoting the anti-nuclear movement. It tells the stories of the atomic bomb sufferers and survivors and so their legacies remain strong. On Sunday evening we visited Peace Park to take a moment and look through the archway to the everlasting flame, with the peace dome in the distance. A slight mist had settled over the city, making the monument take on a ghostly and more emotive air. The water surrounding the flame was glass-like and reflected the white stone of the dome to our select audience. It was a fitting and appropriate way to end our final night in this wonderful city.
We are now planning our next long-weekend away to Hiroshima…