Arrived at Kyoto

September 10, 2008

This morning we went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park which was a short walk from our hotel. We spent some time in the Peace Memorial Museum which was fascinating but a bit eerie. It has lots of detail on the build up to the bomb being dropped, at 8:15am on August 6th 1945, as well as many "relics" from the site and information on how the city recovered - believe it or not, 3 days after the bomb hit some of their trams were back up and running.

There were models of the city in the museum which showed the city before and after the bomb hit as well as exactly where it detonated - 600m above ground level. We learnt the story of Sadako Sasaki a girl who was 2 when the bomb hit. She survived the bombing and showed no signs of radiation poisoning until she was 10 when she developed leukemia. She attempted to fold 1000 paper cranes as she thought she'd get well by doing so. She actually managed to fold around 1500 of them but unfortunately died aged 12. Since then, paper cranes have been used as a tribute to the victims of the bombing and there are thousands of them around the park. We passed a museum on our way back which had an exhibition of over 1 million cranes which had been collected from the park in a year.

There were lots of Japanese schoolchildren in the park obviously on some sort of historical outing. When we left the museum we were stopped by a couple of groups of them and asked to fill in a questionnaire for them - check out our photos to see some of them! Also in the park are a number of memorials including a cenotaph, peace flame, peace bell, clock tower and children's memorial. At the north end of the park is a bridge which was the target for the bomb (it was destroyed and has been rebuilt since). Nearby is the A-Bomb Dome which is one of the few buildings that were left standing and was quite spooky to see. The whole atmosphere around the park was very tranquil, peaceful and very sad.

After we'd finished there, we headed up to the train station and jumped on another Bullet Train to Kyoto which got us here in about an hour and a half. We're now staying at the Hearton Hotel which is very nice and in a good location. We've not seen much of the city as yet but I'm sure we'll manage to do so over the next couple of days.

We've uploaded the remaining pictures from the China & Hong Kong leg of our 2008 World Tour as well as those from Hiroshima. Click the links on the right hand side to see them all or click here for the Japan gallery.

We've got 2 nights at this hotel and are hoping to book into a traditional Ryokan for our last night in Kyoto...we'll keep you posted!

Cara & Richard

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Ric's Mum & Dad:
September 11, 2008
You sure you've been right up the 3 escalators to the top of the Station and seen all the shops? First time we only saw the low level and didn't know what all the hype was about!
Ron Young:
September 12, 2008
Greetings from sub tropical Edinburgh! Cara, all well at RL with nothing much to report. Got some briefing notes I needy ou to look at, got a spare 5 minutes??
Andrew Myles:
September 12, 2008

The trip sounds great so far. I hope you're finding food edible by western standards in Japan and haven't had to resort to the vending machines too often. I believe that Terri said the Imperial Palace was worth a look if you haven't been already.

PS Richard, Emperor Akihito sends his regards and Ronson was wondering if you wanted a drink? I told him you were busy.

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