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Thursday, March 30, 2017

SHINKANSEN - BULLET TRAIN FROM TOKYO TO HIROSHIMA

 SHINKANSEN (BULLET TRAIN)
TOKYO TO HIROSHIMA

Loved our ride on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from Tokyo to Hiroshima.  The four hour journey was super comfortable, smooth, quiet and very relaxing.  When the Bullet Train passes you at the station or outside on the tracks, the speed is mind boggling.  The huge "swish" sound takes your breath away and grown ups and kids alike freeze and smile.  Inside is another story.  The ride is so smooth that it feels like your not moving.  Look out the windows and you realize you are flying through time but inside it is like time has stopped.  The Reserved Seats are spacious and comfortable with attendants going down the isle after every stop.  Snacks, food, drinks and beer and wine are all available at a cost.  I enjoyed a glass of wine and sandwich on the way to Hiroshima.  On the way back we brought food purchased at the train station and feasted all the way back to Tokyo.
Click link below for more information on the Shinkansen;

WE TOOK THE 7:10 AM SHINKANSEN FROM TOKYO TO HIROSHIMA
THE SLEEK BULLET TRAIN 






CLEAN, COMFORTABLE, SPACIOUS AND RELAXING
RESERVED SEATING CLASS
PLENTY OF LEGROOM, FOOT RESTS AND RECLINING SEATS
PLENTY OF ROOM FOR THE GIRLS
ATTENDANTS PROVIDE TOWELS AND OFFER FOOD/BEVERAGES DURING YOUR RIDE
THERE IS EVEN A MENU
TOILETRIES, GIFTS AND FOOD AVAILABLE ON THE BULLET TRAIN



ORDER FROM THE CARTS
SUSHI BENTO MEAL
EGG AND HAM SANDWICH
THIS IS THE WAY TO ZONE OUT ON THE BULLET TRAIN
MAKING PAPER CRANE'S FOR HIROSHIMA MEMORIAL



ARRIVAL IN HIROSHIMA ADJACENT TO HIROSHIMA CARPS BASEBALL STADIUM AND A COSTCO
ARRIVAL IN HIROSHIMA
CHEESE AND CRACKERS AND A CHICKEN SALAD ON THE RIDE BACK TO TOKYO

HIROSHIMA ORIZURU TOWER - JAPAN

HIROSHIMA ORIZURU TOWER
HIROSHIMA, JAPAN

After meeting us at the Hiroshima Station, our local tour guide in Hiroshima literally ran us to a bus stop where we boarded a local city bus.  She paid the fare and we stood amongst many locals and a few tourists.  Our destination was the Hiroshima Memorial.  I was quite surprised when we arrived as our guide took us to what appeared to be a modern office building located next to the Memorial.  I wanted to go to the Memorial and did not see why we had to stop at an office tower.  I went along and was so happy that our guide started the tour here at Orizuru Tower.  After paying the entrance fee we were greeted by the staff and taken to an elevator to the top floor.  As the door opened we entered into one of the most beautiful and dramatic simple rooms I have ever seen.  Simple wood ceilings and floors with huge windows overlooking Hiroshima.  We had the entire floor to ourselves and it was magical.  As we walked towards the large windows facing the Hiroshima Memorial my heart dropped as the Memorial became clear.  To realize that this was "the" spot of the the dropping of the Atomic Bomb was numbing.  To see the Memorial from this room alone with my family and a few friends was pretty special.  Something that I will never forget.  Our guide was silent for a time and then began telling us the story of that grave day in August of 1945.  140,000 people from Hiroshima died that day and another 140,000 died in the days and years after from the effects of the radiation.  The Genbaku Dome stands as a reminder of this day and to the strength of a city and its people.  Was interesting to learn that the Atomic Bomb was actually detonated 600 km from the ground above the city.  The actual impact or explosion zone can be viewed from the Orizuru Tower.  Before leaving this  beautiful and tranquil space we were escorted downstairs to interactive displays and an area where you can make an origami Crane to place inside the walls of the Tower.  We made the paper Cranes and then went to a glass bottom walkway where you can drop your Crane into the air and watch it fly down the glass wall joining thousands that have came before us.  A quick prayer to all those who died in Hiroshima was in my mind as I dropped my Crane down the chamber.  
Click link below for additional posts on the Hiroshima Peace Memorial;

HIROSHIMA ORIZURU TOWER GIVES YOU A GREAT VIEW OF THE GENBAKU DOME
SIMPLE, ELEGANT ARCHITECTURE IS CALMING AND PERFECT SETTING FOR VIEWING THE DOME
ENTRANCE FEE FOR ORIZURU TOWER.  BRING YOUR PASSPORT FOR 50% OFF ADMISSION
THE TOP FLOOR VIEWING AREA IS SIMPLY STUNNING AND BEAUTIFUL
WALK UP TOWARDS THE LARGE GLASS WINDOWS
WRAP AROUND VIEW OF THE CITY OF HIROSHIMA
OUR FIRST VIEW OF THE A-DOME WAS STUNNING FROM THE ORIZURU TOWER
THIS WAS WITHIN YARDS OF GROUND ZERO FOR THE A-BOMB
THE SMALL WHITE BUILDING ON RIGHT SIDE OF BLUE BUILDING IS GROUND ZERO
THE A-BOMB EXPLODED 600 KM ABOVE THIS SMALL WHITE BUILDING
INTERACTIVE DISPLAYS ON LOWER FLOORS
TECHNOLOGY MEETS FUN
THE MAKING OF CRANES TO COMMEMORATE THE LIVES LOST AT HIROSHIMA
ENTER THE GLASS HALLWAY WITH YOUR CRANES
CRANES ARE DROPPED THROUGH THE GLASS HOLES
YOU CAN VIEW THE DROPPING OF CRANES FROM OUTSIDE THE ROOM
CRANES GO DOWN THE WALL AND LAY IN TRIBUTE TO HIROSHIMA
AN UNEXPECTED SPECIAL MOMENT AT HIROSHIMA
RETURN TO LOBBY VIA STAIRS, ELEVATOR OR A SLIDE!

WE TOOK THE SLIDE DOWN TO THE LOBBY OF ORIZURU TOWER

HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL - ATOMIC BOMB DOME

 HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL
ATOMIC BOMB DOME
HIROSHIMA, JAPAN

The A-Bomb Dome (Genbaku) stands as a symbol of peach and a memorial to those who died when the first atomic bomb was dropped by the B-29 bomber Enola Gay at 8:15 am on August 6, 1945.  It is a powerful sight that was almost demolished to make room for the rebuilding of Hiroshima.  The bomb was intended to be detonated above the Aioi Bridge just 790 feet from the structure.  Because the atomic bomb exploded directly overhead, the building was able to retain its shape.  The buildings vertical columns were able to resist the nearly vertical downward force of the blast, and parts of the concrete and brick outer walls remained intact.  The center of the blast was displaced 490 feet and 2,000 feet vertically from the dome which was just 160 meters from the hypocenter of the atomic blast.  Everyone in the building was killed during the blast.  A total of 140,000 people were killed this day with many being woman and children.  Another 140,000 have died from of the effects of radiation.  Truly a heartfelt moment standing before the memorial.

I asked our tour guide who was an incredible local who grew up in Hiroshima why Hiroshima was chosen for the bombing.  Evidently Hiroshima was an important port/industrial city with over 40,000 military personnel living here.  The blast created what they call Black Rain which came down for miles around the city.  The Black Rain (nuclear fallout) yielded some 200 different kins of radioactive isotopes (nuclear fission particles of uranium and plutonium what escaped fission)  Following the explosion, these and other materials irradiated by neutrons from the bomb were carried hight into the atmosphere. The mixing of enormous amounts of airborne irradiated materials combined with heat and thermal currents from the firestorms let to rainfall over Hiroshima within 30-40 minutes of the bombing.  As the fallout particles were mixed with carbon residue from citywide fires, the result was the awesome - and injurious - "Black Rain".  Along with Black Rain, blast temperatures reached as high as 10,000 degrees with everything and anything flammable near the site being destroyed.
Click the link below for more information on the Hiroshima Peace Memorial;
https://greateatshawaii.blogspot.com/2017/03/hiroshima-orizuru-tower.html

THE ATOMIC BOMB DOME (GENBAKU) STANDS AS A PEACE MEMORIAL
SIMPLE YET SO POWERFUL








  

MEMORIAL TO ALL OF THE SCHOOLS WHO LOST CHILDREN
PAPER CRANES ADORN THE MEMORIAL


After Sasaki Sadako's death (12 years old), a campaign started, commemorating the spirits of children victims of the A-bomb and raising funds to build a memorial for Sadako and all of the children who died from the effects of the atomic bomb. Later, the news spread over the world, and people from all over the world visit the "Children's Peace Monument" to lay down folded-paper crane around the monument. The number of paper crane put down is over 10 million annually. A bronze girl who holds a gold crane is standing on the top of the tripodal domed statue, and located next to the domed statue, there are the statues of boys and girls symbolizing bright future and hope.







OUR GIRLS MADE 50 CRANES AND LEFT THEM AT THE MEMORIAL