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Returning Home

Japanese Moon. Last night in Japan

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Hard to think about leaving this place. It has been an adventure. Incredible to explore the land and its culture and learn about its history and its people. We have seen so much yet we have only caught a glimpse. It makes me want to know more. If I’m lucky, I will come this way again.

 

 

 

 

Final Days

We have been busy traveling to different parts of Japan and having many adventures. After leaving Hiroshima we went by ferry to the island of Miyajima a beautiful place that has many shrines and temples and a Tori gate that stands in the ocean

We took a tram to the top of Mt MIsen and saw amazing panoramic views

We hiked down and did some shopping and had lunch trying to keep it away from the deer which roam the streets of the island

 

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We visited castles

 

Beautiful Gardens

And today the biggest bronze buddha in Japan housed inside one of the largest wooden buildings in the world

Hiroshima

Today we went to Hiroshima.  Kyoto station is gorgeous, everything is clean and elegant. We took the bullet train to Hiroshima.  It is a sleek,quiet,beautiful train  and is a tribute to Japanese engineering and efficiency.

Hiroshima is a vibrant bustling city. After checking into our motel, we walked to Memorial Park and the Peace Museum. The first thing you see is the skeleton of the one building that remained after the bombing. It was left standing surrounded by rubble-a reminder of the day.dome-at-hiroshima

We went on toward the Peace Museum past a memorial gardenpeace-memorial

The mall was full of school children waiting to go into the museumpeace-musrum

Walking through the museum was a moving experience. You enter through a corridor lined with rubble and on the left is a life-size diorama depicting burned victims trying to leave the scene of the blast. On the right is a 3D map showing the site of the blast. Videos of actual footage play overhead showing the plane being loaded, the actual blast, and the aftermath. 20161012_022245

As you move along, there are glass cases with clothing from blast victims along with their stories. Who they were. Where they were when the blast happened and how they died.

Another room is devoted to describing the bomb and its effects. Another room describes the effects of radiation on the body and the environment. Another case shows items recovered from the wreckage.household-melted

The walls are lined with pictures of burn victims and a ruined city

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Despite all the people going through, the museum is quiet as people pass through absorbing all the details.

As you leave the main hall, there are benches and video displays with interviews from survivors playing describing the blast and the aftermath.  You continue on and you find hope as you read about the museums purpose.20161012_024829

As we leave the museum, many of our crew are emotional including our leader who came to Japan as an exchange student. She was invited by a Japanese man who went through the museum and vowed to devote himself to promoting world peace. His family hosted her to teach and learn about our two cultures. For her it started a lifelong connection with Japan and its people. On the way out, we stop at a statue dedicated to all those lost that day and pay our respectspaying-respects

We walk down to the river and I look around with new eyes at the beautiful, vibrant city that stands there today. It was rebuilt from the ashes and is a testament to human resiliency. I only hope that we will never see that kind of devastation again.

More Gardens and Observations

We spent the day visiting gardens. We walked and traveled by bus. There is excellent transportation here and the beauty is amazing.20161011_020617

 

The streets almost always have vending machines that sell drinks, coffee and cigarettes

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Japanese Grocery stores are beautiful. Food is abundant and they serve a lot of prepackaged meals as kitchens here are small and people are on the go

 

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There are lots of small shops. Here a woman buys tofu directly from a factory

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There is so much to learn. Here we are taught the proper way to drink tea

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Day two

We visited our first gardens and started to explore the culture.

Fun interesting observations The Japanese hang out their laundry20161006_213905

People wear masks if they have a cold.

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The Japanese have started celebrating Halloween their way

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