Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hiroshima Day 1

(Back dated to 2 May 2009)

My first "hitori tabi" (solo trip)! I was both excited and nervous... Drove to Misawa Station and cheated by parking in the next door onsen parking lot... (More about that later ^^;; )

Then began my long day of train rides. I pretty much slept up to Tokyo, then looked over the translation for volume 4, chapter 19 of Hotaru no Hikari. Upon arriving in Hiroshima, I checked into my hotel and then headed out to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum.

(Photos: Genbaku Dome; Flame of Peace; Peace Memorial Park from the Museum)

The museum was pretty crowded, so I actually went through it a lot faster than I thought I would. But I figured that was OK since I’d be back the next day first thing in the morning. After leaving the museum I wandered into the Memorial Hall. It was pretty empty, so I was able to go through at a leisurely pace and to spend some time reading memoirs from the bombing, etc. After that I wandered around the park.

After the park, I headed back towards the station to find a teppanyaki-style okonomiyaki restaurant recommended on Wiki travel called Sankanou. It's really close to the station (across the street from the Ekimae Green Hotel, next to the Ekinishikoka Bridge) and is a great place for people traveling alone or in pairs.

Unfortunately I got a bit turned around leaving the park, and what should’ve been a 20-30 minute walk turned into a 90 minute walk. I wasn’t walking around the entire time, though; I stopped at a Book-Off I came across on the way. I was pleased to find a couple of last volumes of various manga I’d been looking for.

Anyway, the long walk was worth it! The master is super friendly, and there was a Hiroshima Carp fan from Fukuoka about the same age as me there, too, so I had some good conversations. (I wish I'd had the guts to ask him to take a picture with me! He really reminded me of Anton in terms of facial features and friendliness--or maybe that's just because I was talking with him (Anton) about his mission work recently?) Being me, of course, I didn’t talk very much, but I enjoyed listening and I didn’t feel like a loner/outsider even though I couldn’t really participate in the highly baseball-centric discussions.

I learned a bunch of random things, like baseball stadiums have set seating sections for home and away fans. Also, that I could get a plastic bag from a JT booth at the Flower Festival, and if I returned it with some garbage in it, I could get something! One of the customers even gave me a toy banana and crab claw (made out of squishy, stress-ball material). I’m not 100% sure, but I think he was saying that he likes to get the things (from UFO catcher or some such machines?) even though he doesn’t particularly want the stuff.

Originally I’d planned to arrive at Sankanou around 7pm and be back at the hotel to watch Godhand Teru at 7:56, but since I didn’t find the place until about 7:30pm, my plans had to change. I actually ended up staying until about 10pm!! All in all, a successful first day!

Facebook Album Photos from Day 1:
Genbaku Dome
Peace Memorial Park Area
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Other Day 1 Photos