Kade kneels next to a stream formed by the San Francisco Glacier, about two hours outside Santiago, Chile.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hiroshima


At every stop - significant ones, anyway - I would routinely send postcards back to Solomon Road.  I also sent postcards to Dad at the bank, but would rely just as much on e-mailing him.  Internet cafes, where you could pay by the hour (or half), were readily available in every Asia city - and island and small village, for that matter - I visited. 
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) was the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, 2000


I arrived in Hiroshima by bullet train from Kyoto, where I had spent several days. I met a Japanese guy as I exited the station, and we walked together to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. He either studied in the USA, or gew up here. We both were looking for a money exchange place or a bank somewhere. After a long, long walk, we made it to the park. I spent at least a half day touring the museum and walking the grounds.




In Japan, when I would talk with other travelers and go to bookstores, I first "got wind" of Lonely Planet travel guidebooks.  So, wherever I would go, I would try to buy a copy of the LP guidebook for that particular country.  Sometimes, in used bookstores or at street kiosks (in SE Asia), you could find used copies that travelers used, then unloaded, before heading on to their next destination.  Often I would buy these second-hand ones. 

Before arriving in Hiroshima, I read about Okonomiyaki, a hearty dish first created in the region.  The guidebook recommended a few places where I could find it, and I zeroed in on one.  So, when I got to the city, I was going to eat some Okonomiyaki at this particular restaurant.  I found it, and after talking with the hostess - actually, more just gesturing - I got a table for one.   I wasn't close to the kitchen, but I could see cooks making these giant pancake-like dishes.  The menu, all in Japanese, wasn't going to help.  When my waitress came over, all I did was point towards the item they were cooking in the kitchen, and pointed to a Coke logo on the menu, and that was that.  I was the only Westerner I could see in the whole place - out of about 100 customers.  I liked the environment, and was fascinated by being an outsider in it.  The food came, and to me it was just as good as I had imagined.  I then scratched it off my bucket list!!!!

For a class at UNCA, our assignment was to design a WebQuest project for a class level that we would day teach.  For me, it was a 9th-grade Social Studies class.  And the subject matter I chose was a trip to the Far East.  Destination:  Hiroshima!  Here it is!

And recently, a grandson of ex-President Harry Truman visited Hiroshima to attend a memorial service for the victims.  Here's the article.

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