"Once you've accepted your flaws no one can use them against you..."
(13 - 15 September 2000)
Hiroshima city is in western Honshu (the largest of Japan's four main islands). It's a big place and boasts around 1,100,000 inhabitants. Hiroshima means "wide island" literally and refers probably to the expansive delta on which it is built. It is in fact made of many islands, and none of them actually very wide - all long thin affairs. The city was founded back in the late 1500s by a Mori Terumoto, as a castle town to control trade and promote good order. A visit to the castle provides a great insight into the city's growth and construction.
|(Ferry ride to Miyajima Island)|
Hiroshima is a very pleasant place. The flipside of the destruction wrought upon it at the end of the war has been the freedom it has offered town planning since. Leafy parks and boulevards abound, and the city is broken up by seven rivers which carry breezes down from the surrounding hills to the island packed inland sea. This helps keep it cooler than other Japanese cities, even at the height of broiling summer. There are a few trips available on the rivers.
|(Miyajima, a temple island)|
|(Tame deers roaming the streets)|
Though many of the memorials in the park and the museum itself are ugly concrete structures, the sheer force of history is such that few can come here and fail to be moved. Downstairs in the museum and free is a small gallery of artwork by survivors of the bomb, with descriptions of what they saw, where they were and so forth. This is an incredibly moving exhibit that deserves a lot more time the main museum itself.
|(The Peace Dome)|