Greetings from Japan! I actually got to Japan on the 26th of October and stayed overnight before taking the shinkansen to Hiroshima then onto Kure where I’m currently staying. Waking up this morning in Japan, news came to me of a synagogue shooting, though the first thing I saw was the twitterverse condemning Trump for it.
Let’s just say my early morning (Japan time) comment on Facebook wasn’t well received by someone I know. She had survived Las Vegas and we are off on a agree to disagree setting. Anyways, about the subject of this quick thought.
Opposites are just 12 or so miles apart. That was what I was thinking as I left the Hiroshima Peace Park and headed to Curry House CoCo Ichibanya (I had gone to the one in Naka-ku). Earlier that day I had just toured two museums that would be considered the centerpiece of Kure. The Yamato Museum and the JMSDF Museum at Kure. Both were museums whose sole purpose were to glorify the military. the Yamato for her ill-fated mission and how some technological advancements were utilized in modern-day shipbuilding, and the JMSDF Museum in promoting the role of Minesweepers and Submarines as part of a defensive strategy.
Hiroshima is the opposite if one were to go to the peace park. As I strolled around, mingling with other tourists and school groups, you can feel the solemnity in the air as the peace flame and the cenotaph are surrounded by people who are choosing to remember and honor the victims of the Atomic bomb. It was a bit serene. Around the park, a new Hiroshima grows and is filled with the sights and sounds of a very modern populace. The only reminders of the event was the Atomic Bomb Dome, standing there, held up by supports to keep it the way it was after the bombing.
I was close to tears after leaving the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial for Victims of the Atomic Bomb. I strolled around the park to try to clear my head and reflected at what I just did in the past five hours. I visited a museum that was the pinnacle of Imperial Japanese Navy might and technology. Then a museum that strives to explain what the modern-day JMSDF is all about. And finally an area where there is a decidedly anti-war and anti-nuclear sentiment.
A tale of two cities, so different. Hell, the arriving train chime in Kure was the theme from Space Battleship Yamato.
And then I discovered a building that housed an Animate, Melonbooks, and Lashingbang. My travel budget almost got sunk. This does not bode well for touring around Akihabara in two days. It also didn’t help that before I left Kure to go to Hiroshima there was a hobby store near the station. I was sorely tempted to purchase a few model kits.
By the end of the day though, I got my curry. Twice actually. Once in the JMSDF Museum as a late breakfast, than at CoCo’s for a late lunch/dinner affair.
It seems though most of my meals in Japan has been curry.