Japan Travel


On yet another rainy day I traveled by “shinka” to the west, from Osaka to Hiroshima, it was an amazingly quick 342 km – in 1h37m! Arriving at Hiroshima station I had to change to head to Miyajima, and from the station to Miyajima island was a leap, for those who have the JR pass, just take the JR boat for free. On the train I met two Japanese-Brazilians, Rosa and Márcia, mother and daughter traveled together. We became and together we went straight to Miyajima.

Miyajima have only two thousand inhabitants, it is beautiful mainly due to the huge floating “torii” in the sea, which provides an air of lightness. The original “torii” was built in 1168, and the current one dates from 1875. It is considered one of the three places most photographed by tourists. We took the tour of the beautiful Shinto temple Itsukushima accompanied by some deer. The temple has its roots dating from the 6th century.

On the way back we stopped in Hiroshima, capital of Hiroshima Province with 1.2 million inhabitants. It was the first city to fall victim to the atomic uranium bomb on August 6, 1945 (Nagasaki’s was plutonium three days later). The city, cut by rivers, had been completely rebuilt with the exception of the “A-Bomb Dome”, the only building left standing at the time which had become one of several memorials, only 380 m from the epicenter. It is estimated that more than 10% of the victims of the bomb were Korean prisoners working in factories in the region, as well as some Chinese. The rivers that cut through the city were filled with bodies, due to the heat of radiation, the people (who were not disintegrated) threw themselves into the river in an attempt to cool off uselessly.

Next to the Dome was a park, crossing the Motoyasu River, the Peace Memorial Park and its memorials, there was the Peace Memorial Museum in the background, I confess that it was not such a pleasant visit, but depressing and shocking, similar to the visit I have made to the extermination/concentration camp of Dachau in Germany in 2003. Seeing the photos, movies, and feeling the heavy weather of the moment was not so pleasant. But it was definitely worth it, I think it’s all worth it for learning and for general culture. Hiroshima offers no attraction other than memorials and a castle from 1589 A.D. that I didn’t visit. Outside the museum, a children’s choir finished singing a song to the dead by the bomb. Japan seems to ignore the thousands of victims they themselves have caused to the dominated countries of Asia and the Americans until World War II.