Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A very sad end to a wonderful holiday - May 2010

Miyajima Island
The weather for my last 2 days was postcard perfect. Took the early morning bullet train to Hiroshima. Everyone said that Miyajima was a must see so I headed there first. I didn’t find it spectacular but nor was I disappointed. The stalls and small shops that lined the main shopping street reminded me a little of Blackpool, the seaside town I frequented regularly as a small child. Stall owners gently called out (in Japanese) announcing what they had to offer. My favourite was the steam bun stall. Those seemingly small buns were extremely filling; a smooth exterior concealing the moist, succulent beef gravy.
The tide was out so I didn’t have the opportunity to see the Torri Gate (of the Itsukushima Shrine) surrounded by water. But never the less I enjoyed my visit to this beautiful little island.

Hiroshima Peace Park
I guess it’s not the norm for people to cry on holiday but I could not help but shed a tear or 2 as I was shown around the Hiroshima museum that brought to life the harrowing events that took place here almost 65 years ago. (Made me slightly embarrassed to be a part of the human race). This experience was made all the more poignant as the guy who showed me around was a survivor of this awful tragedy. Seiji Tsuji was only 3 at the time but assured me he remembered it all. Thankfully both he and his older brother survived. He beamed with pride as he informed me that, despite smoking and drinking, his brother went on to live until his eighties.

A walk through the peace park; a visit to the Hall of Remembrance Hall; a look at the children’s peace monument and the A bomb dome; it was all a very sombre and sobering experience.

Alas I reached the end
As my last night in Japan dawned hubby and I reflected on the last 2 weeks over an okonomiyaki; a traditional Hiroshima dish made of an unsweetened flat bread base, noodles, vegetables and a variety of meat and sea food. I loved the fact that it was made right on front of you on a teppan.

I love Asia, I love the culture and particularly the people and their hospitality. Nothing is too much trouble and it’s as though they are only too happy to go out of their way to assist visitors. The language barrier proved more of a hindrance than in Thailand but nowhere near as difficult as China. The Japanese food, though great for the most part has finally taken its toll on me and I can’t wait for a homemade shepherd’s pie, or better yet a plate of chips and runny eggs. But it has been an amazing and educational 2 weeks and already I’m looking forward to my next visit to this wonderful part of the world.

1 comment:

  1. Sil, thanks so much for keeping me updated on yr travels. Sounds like you did a lot in 2 weeks so appreciate u taking time to keep blog updated. It's been great reading about yr travels - next time, TAKE ME WITH YOU!