Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Japan  , Chugoku,
Tuesday, September 2, 2008

You'd expect Hiroshima to be rough around the edges because of it's bleak past - but, it's not. It's thriving, clean and cosmopoliton.
It will forever be linked to the first atomic bomb which destroyed the city in 1945. Today that's one of the main reasons most tourists visit the city. We couldn't check into our Hostel until 3pm so we rented bikes and went straight to the Peace Memorial Park. The park which is now a UNESCO site, is situated where to bomb had the most impact-flattening everything in it's wake. There are memorials, monuments and museums.
The A-Bomb Dome first is the skeletal ruins of the former Industrial Promotion Hall. It was the building closest to the hypocenter that day and remains partially standing in memory of those who died.
The nearby Peace Bell is a big Japanese bell visitors are encouraged to ring for world peace..so we gave it a go. From there, we cycled to the Children's Peace Monument created in the memory of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died of cancer due to radiation from the bomb.She believed if she could fold 1000 paper cranes, she would be cured. She died eight months after being diagnosed. Her class mates raised money for the monument.
We finished up our visit at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. It has exhibits and information on the build up to war, the role of Hiroshima in the war up to the bombing and information on the bombing and its effects. There are lots of audio pieces by the survivors too. It's an amazing place, well worth a visit. 
We continued our bike tour to Hiroshima Castle which is located in a public park, not too far away. We didn't go in, we were getting tired nice to see it from the outside though!
That evening we hopped back on the bikes to visit a restaurant which
serves Okonomi-yaki -a traditional Hiroshima dish. It's basically fried
noodles with bacon and eggs served in a kind of a pancake. We tried it at a really casual restaurant called Ichiriki where
it was whipped up in front of us...still digesting.
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