During our stay in Osaka, Daniel and I decided to take a day trip to Hiroshima to visit a family that he used to coach in swimming when we lived in Austin. The Sekklers were so fantastic when it came to playing tour guide and honestly made our visit to Hiroshima as special as it once.
It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to get to Hiroshima, and once we arrived, we were greeted by the Sekklers and hopped on a train/ferry to Miyajima, the iconic “Shrine Island” that is off the coast of Hiroshima. It was fantastic getting to walk around Miyajima and enjoy the picturesque shrine and forest. We also made a stop at the ryokan on the island to warm up in the hot springs before venturing out to the Peace Memorial and Museum in Hiroshima.
Visiting the Peace Memorial and Museum was an incredibly powerful experience; the only thing I could compare it to was visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. when I was 17. The Japanese are a very introspective and thoughtful culture; while the museum was full of facts and haunting photos/videos, there also were exhibits that talked about what lead to the atomic bomb being dropped on Japan and the faults on both sides. The Japanese are so passionate about banning nuclear weapons in the world (as everyone else should be), and really took the time to educate the visitors to the museum about the why and because. Hands down, I think visiting the Peace Memorial and Museum should be mandatory for anyone coming to the Osaka/Hiroshima area. It is truly that moving and important.
After our visit to the Peace Memorial, we finished our day in Hiroshima with more okonomiyaki, but Hiroshima style. We actually visited a building were an entire floor was dedicated to different okonomiyaki stalls and it was a fantastic food experience. Our chefs were young, funny and charismatic, and were hell-bent on convincing us that Hiroshima was the one true king of okonomiyaki. No matter what my final choice was, it was a delicious one to make.
Our final post over Tokyo is next!