asia · hiroshima · japan · Travel

Nippon over to Japan (Part 8: Hiroshima)

After a short few days in Nagasaki it was now time to head up to Hiroshima.  We decided to visit both Hiroshima and Nagasaki not just because they are the only two places throughout history where nuclear weapons have been used in warfare, but also because they are both very vibrant and interesting cities.  I’m going to open this segment up with the signature dish of Hiroshima, Okonomiyaki.  Okonomiyaki is the ultra comfort food, it consists of a type of batter made from egg, flour and dashi.  The batter is mixed with with shredded white cabbage, topped with chopped spring onions, a sweet sauce, mayo, and either pork, seafood or both.  Okonomiyaki is the signature dish of two cities in Japan, Hiroshima and Osaka, but they differ slightly, in Hiroshima yakisoba noodles are incorporated into the batter and the whole thing is topped with an omelette style egg.  Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki is my favourite of the two.  I had mine topped with seafood, the only issue I had is that I bit into something that I really didn’t like, maybe some kind of roe, other than that it was amazing.

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The weather in Hiroshima at the time was so pleasant compared to Nagasaki where we both ended up cooked medium well.  Every night in Hiroshima the sun dropped down casting a mesmerising pink hue across the sky.

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It’s hard to believe that the beautiful Hiroshima of today was once a city reduced to ashes.  On August 6th 1945 the United Stated with the consent of the United Kingdom dropped ‘little boy’ the first of two nuclear bombs to be dropped on Japan.  The bomb actually missed its target the Aioi bridge by hundreds of metres instead detonating above a hospital.  Close the the hypocentre of the nuclear blast was Hiroshima’s exhibition centre, today what remains of the exhibition hall is known as Genbaku Domu (bomb dome), which remains the most iconic building in Hiroshima.  As the bomb detonated above the building, the steel managed to retain its structure for the most part, although as you can see in the image below it is very contorted.  When the bomb detonated everyone inside the building was killed instantly.  There is quite an eerie feeling you get when being in the presence of Genbaku Domu, knowing that this very building has witnessed one of only two offensive nuclear weapons attacks the world has ever seen and with it, the instantaneous eradication of thousands of lives.  The area today serves as a peace memorial to promote the idea of a world without nuclear weapons, an idea I am happy to get behind.

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For one of our days in Hiroshima we decided to go to a nearby island called Miyajima to explore the surrounding area and make the hike up mount Misen.  I’ll cover this in the next part 🙂

Matt

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