Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hiroshima and Miyajima

It has been quite a few years since I was in Hiroshima, and the Peace Dome park has changed quite a bit. More Park like with gardens, bushes ordering the paths and less of a great  open space. The effect of it is the same though, impossible to imagine the horror of it and the immediacy of death.

When I was here last there were list of chains of  paper cranes hanging format the bell of the children's memorial, ( Sadako's memorial) Now there are so many that they're in booths set up around:  and when you bring cranes to hang there is a sheet for you to register them. It is a hugely popular thing for schools to do Some of them are complex designs not just chains.
This time I visited the Museum, and one aspect that amazed me was that since 1968 The Mayor of Hiroshima sends a letter of protest to any Government  performing any nuclear test. There are 4 .5 walls of letters! We don't seem to beagle to give up the race in case someone is more aggressive. I would not feel too secure in Japan, so close to North Korea at present.
One of the 5 walls of letters 
After this somber visit, we went by long tram trip through the 'burbs to the Port to get the ferry to Miyajima Island. This is the site of the Itsukushima shrine ( actually it is the real name of the island Miyajima is the popular one. Itsukushima is a large, red-lacquered complex of halls and pathways on stilts, originally so built that commoners could visit without defiling the island with their footprints.

These days, strict measures are taken to ensure that the island's sole town retains a classically Japanese Edo-era look. Deer wander freely through the streets and parks. There are still a few bits of concrete warren that have snuck in, but the seafront promenade is particularly attractive, it would have been lovely to see  later in the day, when the stone lanterns are lit.

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