Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Bye-bye Yamaguchi!
Hello Hiroshima!

Hiroshima (広島市 Hiroshima-shi?) (About this sound listen ) is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M. on August 6, 1945, near the end of World War II.[1]
Hiroshima gained city status on April 1, 1889. On April 1, 1980, Hiroshima became a designated city

The JICA Science Students 1987 are now on our way to Hiroshima by Shinkansen. We were so proud to ride the Shinkansen, because this kind of transportation was not yet available in any other part of the world. Even for the Japanese, it was expensive to take one. The Shinkansen is known to be very punctual and so we were warned to also be punctual so we won't be left behind.
From Wikipedia: The Shinkansen (新幹線?, new main line), also known as the bullet train, is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964,[1] the network has expanded to currently consist of 2,387.7 km (1,483.6 mi) of lines with maximum speeds of 240–300 km/h (149–186 mph), 283.5 km (176.2 mi) of Mini-shinkansen with a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph) and 10.3 km (6.4 mi) of spur lines with Shinkansen services.[2] 
0 series train: The first Shinkansen trains, entering service in 1964, and withdrawn in 2008. Maximum operating speed was 220 km/h. More than 3,200 cars were built. 
According to Ted S., one of our JOCA coordinators, this Shinkansen model is already retiring or in Wikipedia is already retired. A similar model is now in display at the National Railway Museum in York, UK. 

From their respective prefectures, all ASEAN-Japan Friendship Program Delegates pass by Hiroshima and Kyoto.
We were booked at the Hiroshima Riverside Hotel.
We rode a Ferry to Miyajima.

Miyajima is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Hiroshima and may be a familiar view when talking about Japan.
Itsukushima (厳島?) is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest of Hiroshima Bay. It is popularly known asMiyajima (宮島?), the Shrine Island. The island is one of Hayashi Razan's (林羅山?) Three Views of Japan (日本三景 Nihon Sankei?). Itsukushima is part of the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. The island was the town of Miyajima prior to the 2005 merger with Hatsukaichi.
Itsukushima is famous for the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to records, the shrine was established in the time of Empress Suiko. The warrior-courtier Taira no Kiyomori gave the shrine its present form. In 1555, Mōri Motonari defeated Sue Harukata at the Battle of Miyajima.Toyotomi Hideyoshi built a large building, the Senjō-kaku, on a hill above the shrine.

as we arrived in Miyajima from the ferryboat

From Wikipedia: The dramatic gate, or torii, of Itsukushima Shrine is one of Japan's most popular tourist attractions, and the most recognizable and celebrated feature of the Itsukushima shrine,[4] and the view of the gate in front of the island's Mount Misen is classified as one of the Three Views of Japan (along with the sand bar Amanohashidate, and Matsushima Bay). Although a gate has been in place since 1168, the current gate dates back to 1875. The gate, built of decay-resistant camphor wood, is about 16 metres high and was built in a four-legged style to provide additional stability.
The torii only appears to be floating at high tide; when the tide is low, it is approachable by foot from the island.

From Wikipedia: Momijidani Park (紅葉谷公園 Momijidani-Kōen?) is one of the most famous maple leaves valley parks in Japan. The park is located at the foot of Mt. Misen, along Momijidani River, behind Itsukushima Shrine inMiyajimaHatsukaichiHiroshima. There are more than 200 maples, including 110 acer palmatum thunberg, 60 palmatum var. matsumurae, 10 acer rufinerveacer buergerianumacer sieboldianum miquel and acer amoenum carriere var. amoenum.

From Wikipedia: The island of Itsukushima, including the waters around it (part of Seto Inland Sea), and are within Setonaikai National Park. This sea is affected by strongtides. At low tide, the bottom of the sea is exposed past the island's Torii. At high tide, the sea covers all the previously-exposed mud and fills areas underneath the Shrine.

Visit to Hiroshima Castle
This is one of the first Japanese castles that we visited and is very picturesque. We enjoyed the photo opportunities we had here while learning a bit about Japan's feudal society then.
From Wikipedia: Hiroshima Castle (広島城 Hiroshima-jō?), sometimes called Carp Castle (鯉城 Rijō?) is a castle in HiroshimaJapan which was the home of the daimyō(feudal lord) of the Hiroshima han (fief). Originally constructed in the 1590s, the castle was destroyed in the atomic bombing in 1945. It was rebuilt in 1958, a replica of the original which now serves as a museum of Hiroshima's history prior to World War II.

Visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial, commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome or A-Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム Genbaku Dōmu?), in HiroshimaJapan, is part of theHiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The building serves as a memorial to the people who were killed in theatomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Over 70,000 people were killed instantly, and another 70,000 suffered fatal injuries from the radiation.
This place brings out different insights and emotions... sadness for death and for the effects of radiation... and hope for a brighter future. 

"Keep the flame burning until the day when all nuclear weapons disappear from the earth"

Visit to Atomic Bomb Hospital
We were given the chance to visit the A-Bomb Hospital where we were able to correlate with the pathology specimens there, especially on leukemias, lymphomas and multiple myelomas.
Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital & Atomic-bomb Survivors Hospital has 651 sickbeds for acute period patients in Hiroshima city(1,sendamachi,Naka-ku).In 1939,Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital & Atomic-bomb Survivors Hospital was established as Japanese Red Cross Society, Hiroshima Chapter, Hospital. In 1956, Hiroshima Atomic bomb Hospital was established and in 1998,when the 6th hospital building was rebuilt, the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital and the Atomic Bomb Hospital were merged. 

In Hiroshima, we also met a priest, Fr. Rudy Fernandez who brought us around Hiroshima by night.
We were in Hiroshima for two days but I guess, we were able to appreciate the "soul" of Hiroshima.

With the present saga of Japan in relation to the natural disaster of earthquakes and tsunamis, and the risks of radioactive effects from possible Nuclear Power plant accidents brings about the same fear. We pray that Japan will be spared from this!

The next day, we will be on our way to Kyoto, the cultural exposure and I will impart this is Part 9.

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