Thursday, December 22, 2011

(12/17) Hiroshima

Our first stop on the Honshu trip was Hiroshima. We left from the college at 7:30 on Saturday morning and took a plane to Hiroshima, changing planes in Tokyo. On the way, I was able to see Mt. Fuji.

Once in Hiroshima, the first things I noticed were that it was significantly warmer than Sapporo and that there were more traditional looking buildings.

For the most part, my time in Hiroshima was exactly the same as the last time I went to Hiroshima which was with a class in May 2010. We went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, the statue with the paper cranes all around it, and the Peace Memorial Museum. Outside, there were a lot of people standing around collecting signatures as a petition to ban nuclear weapons. I wasn't sure how they were going to convince countries like China, North Korea, and countries in the middle east to stop developing nuclear weapons by collecting signatures, but it was a nice thought anyway.

The Peace Memorial Museum is not a particularly fun place to go to, but is very informative and surprisingly unbiased about the history of the atomic bomb and its use. The first half of the museum is mostly about the history and the second half to two thirds is dedicated to artifacts from the aftermath of the bomb and stories from various individuals. At the very end were guest books where you could write your name and thoughts. Since I had seen it before and read a book about for a class, I already knew how many people did not die in the explosion and died in agony with severe burns or radiation poisoning, and how survivors were often discriminated against. So because of that, I made my way quickly through the museum and relaxed on the bus.

In the evening, we stayed at the same hotel that I stayed at last time and went out to eat in several groups. After that, I wasn't really up for doing much else so I just walked around on the streets near the hotel with a couple other people and then returned to the hotel.

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