Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Osaka-Nara-Kyoto-Kobe-Okayama-Hiroshima trip – 13 Oct 10

 We have half a day in Hiroshima before returning back to Osaka and the only attraction which we went to is the Peace Memorial Park. We took a tram from Hiroshima station to Genbaku-Domu mae station which is about 15min ride away.
Tram in Hiroshima
Inside the tram

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park 広島平和記念公園 is a memorial park dedicated to the legacy of Hiroshima as the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack, and to the memories of the bomb's direct and indirect victims.

The first symbol which we saw in the park is the A-Bome dome. At 8.15am on August 6, 1945, Little Boy — the first atomic bomb to be used in war — detonated almost directly above the dome. When the bomb exploded, it was one of the few buildings to remain standings, and remains so today.
A-Bomb dome 
Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students
Peace bell
Thousand of origami cranes

The Children's Peace Monument is a statue dedicated to the memory of the children who died as a result of the bombing.
 Statue of the A-Bomb Children

The peace flame has burned continuously since it was lit in 1964, and will remain lit until all nuclear bombs on the planet are destroyed and the planet is free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.
Peace flame

The cenotaph holds a register of all the people killed by the bomb. The cenotaph carries the epitaph "安らかに眠って下さい 過ちは 繰返しませぬから": "Rest in Peace, for the error shall not be repeated."
Memorial Cenotaph
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Fountain of Prayer

Peace Memorial Museum consist of two building, the museum surveys the history of Hiroshima and the advent of the nuclear bomb. Opening hours: 8.30am - 6pm (until 7pm in Aug, until 5pm from Dec-Feb). Admission: ¥50.
History of Hiroshima
A watch stopped at the time of bomb
Reason for dropping the atomic bomb in Hiroshima
Replica of A-Bomb dome

Before the bomb...
...After the bomb
Camera of victim
Singapore textbook about WWII
Photos of the mushroom clouds
Walking into the exhibits on the damages of the bomb
Clothes worn by the victims
Lunchbox of a victim
A victim's bicycle
Human shadow etched in stone
 Notes burned from the atomic bomb
Fused roof tiles
Effects of the atomic bomb
Measurement of radiation

I left the museum with a heavy heart after looking through the photos and exhibits. War is cruel to mankind and let us pray that there will be world peace.
Ferry to Miyajima from Peace Memorial park
These students are asking tourists questions to practice their English
A gift from the students
Tram tracks

We went back to the hostel and collect our luggages. We took the same Shinkasen but I alighted at Okayama as I wanted to visit Okayama castle and Korakuen garden. The rest went back to Osaka as they are going to Osaka Aquarium. I felt pretty excited as I'm navigating around on my own in Japan!

After exiting Okayama station, I looked around for luggage locker to store my luggage. Then I decided to have my lunch at MacDonalds. I ordered pork burger set as I never tried before. I found nothing special about the pork patty as it taste similar to the Big Breakfast chicken patty.
MacDonalds in Okayama

I was very impressed that there is an electric socket at every seat and yet nobody occupied the seat for too long. Most left after they finished their meals but I doubt this will be the case in Singapore.
Electric socket
Pork burger set

After the lunch, I embarked on my solo journey. I encountered a German lady who is also going to Okayama castle. We chatted for a while while walking from Shiroshita tram station to Okayama castle and we parted as she has not taken her lunch.
In front of Okayama JR station
Tram station infront of JR Okayama station
Inside the tram
Walking down to the underpass
Direction to Okayama castle
Entrance to Okayama castle
A family having picnic under the hot sun

Okayama Castle 岡山城, also known as "crow castle" due to its black exterior, was built in 1597 in the style of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. The original castle was destroyed in the last year of WWII but a reconstruction was made in 1966. Opening hours: 9am - 5pm, Admission: ¥800.

Intially, I wanted to enter the castle but the steep admission fee deterred me. I took some photographs of the exterior and left. 
 Okayama castle
Another view of Okayama castle
A ricksaw puller waiting for customer
A cafe along the river

Along with Kanazawa's Kenrokuen and Mito's Kairakuen, Korakuen is ranked as one of Japan's three best landscape gardens. The local feudal lord ordered the construction of Korakuen in 1687 as a place of entertainment for the ruling family and a location for receiving important guests. Korakuen is a spacious garden that incorporates the typical features of a Japanese landscape garden, including a large pond, streams, walking paths and a hill that serves as a lookout point. Also found in the garden are groves of plum, cherry and maple trees, tea and rice fields, an archery range and a crane aviary. Opening hours: 7.30am - 6pm (8am - 5pm from October to late March), Admission: ¥400.
Spacious lawn
Plum trees 
So many Koi
An artificial hill in Korakuen garden
Meandering stream
Such a long camera len
Lotus plant
Pathway to the hill
Paranomic view from the hill
Visitors resting at a hut
Beautiful flowers

By the time I returned back to Okayama JR station, it's only 3pm hence I decided to shop around at the station first.
Okayama JR Station
Nice boots
So kawaii!
The grapes are so expensive
I like the packaging of Japanese products, so tempting...

I bought Matsuri-zushi 祭り寿司 for ¥1,050 ~ S$16, the local version of chirashi-zushi (sushi rice dressed with vinegar and topped with egg and seafood). I ate this for my dinner after I reached the hotel in Osaka.

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