Blossoms, Cranes and Compassion

Originally published on 30th March 2015 on Blogger

Well, I knew when I set out that today was going to be difficult. Hiroshima….. A city forever carved into every humans knowledge, our collective memory, of what we are capable of doing to each other. We woke up (after enjoying our very comfy, real, separate beds) to a glorious day. 22 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Hiroshima is a particularly pretty city. “The City of Water”….. It is immaculately clean (Japan) and the air is clear, the water is clean and the people are friendly and happy. We grabbed some breakfast sushi, as has become our routine, got on a bus, and headed for the A-Bomb Dome.

I’m not really sure what I expected, but when I caught a glimpse through the buildings, and noticed a very indiscreet marker on the street, reading….”this spot was the hypo-centre of the blast. On August 6,1945, the atomic bomb, “Little Boy” was dropped from the Enola Gay and detonated 600m above” the exact place I was standing. In amongst car parks, and small boys, wondering why this crazy lady was weeping, all of a sudden, it all seemed a bit surreal.

As we walked around the corner toward the Peace Park, I was floored by the beauty of the place. The sakura (cherry blossom) were all blooming along the rivers edge, and there were lots of families, sitting under the blossom, enjoying the sunshine. It is such a testament to the people of this city that they have turned such utter devastation into unimaginable beauty.

Sadly, the dome is under survey, so was under scaffold and not as visible as usual. However, the rest of the park was amazing.

Mya and I had spent some time reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes before we left Australia. We were totally enthralled by the statue and millions of cranes, from all over the world, that we were able to see. It was very moving….

Finn was not really able to cope with much more than this. Having been a bit like that as a kid, I get it. He sat outside the museum, while Mya and I went in. It was very confronting and traumatised Mya, a little. I totally lost it when we saw Sadako’s actual cranes that she folded. How anyone walks through that place without getting teary is beyond me. It was something I had always wanted to do.

Mya and I emerged, into the sunshine, and decided ice cream was what we needed. She had matcha, as usual, I tried sakura, yum yum, and Finny had his cookies and cream and tried to remain somewhat removed. We found a fast boat going to Miya-jima, and jumped on it.

Miya-jima is an island shrine, with tori gates in the water and buildings dating back to 1555. Bonus, more deer….Mya was very impressed that there were more wild deer, roaming free, happy to be patted. The shrine was spectacular, with an amazing bridge, that was so steep I’m not sure how you would walk over it, a complete conundrum. The island was very pretty, with blossom everywhere and deer as well. It was a full on day.

Our trip home was crap. Finn has little, to no patience for peak hour crush, which shits me, no end….him, not the crush….

Our night ended sitting in a bar, eating edamame and okonomiyaki, overlooking the lights of the city, and Skyping Ruby, Sarah and Rochelle. Sayonara, Hiroshima, you sure are pretty xx

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