Written on FB on day 1:
After the hour ride to SFO..10 hour flight=two movies, one novel, 2 meals, and lots of snacks. Canceled flight in Tokyo (Norita) resulting in an hour bus ride to Haneda airport, then another hour and a half flight, another hour bus ride, a 1/2 mile walk, and we are finally safe in our hotel in Hiroshima. People have be...en helpful and gracious, we're tired... 20 hour travel day!
The view from our hotel room (both directions) in Hiroshima:
We are overlooking the Motoyasu-gawa River. The bridge in the picture is the bridge from the city to the Peace Memorial park, just a few hundred meters away from where the first atom bomb ever used in an act of war was detonated on August 6, 1945. Since the war, Hiroshima became a study in rebuilding, forgiveness, and prayers for peace. At least that is how it looks now over 50 years later. The monuments to peace are scattered all over the city, all with fresh flowers and fresh offerings whenever we walk by.
Yesterday morning, we took the tram from Hiroshim city to the Miyajima ferry line, where we crossed over to Miyajima Island to the Itsukushima shrine. The shrine is guarded by the Otorii gate, one of the 3 most photographed sites in Japan:
In this picture, we are coming up to the ferry dock area with a clear view of the gate at low tide. There are hundreds of people making their way over the sand to the gate:
We each took a shot of the other with the gate as background, because that is what gaijin tourists do:
Other images of the island were the tame deer that could be found everywhere:
Restaurants tend to have plates of plastic food in their windows depicting what you might like to order inside. This is one of the windows we saw on Miyajima, the little tags are the price of that particular plate:
The city of Hiroshima is full of contrasts. Waking down the street, you see a wide array of styles- from traditional Japanese kimonos to very western. School kids seemed to wear their uniforms, even on a Sunday, and businessmen wear their suits even on week-ends. Most people either walk or ride bicycles.
More to follow later.