Tag Archive: Hiroshima

Our first home base was in Osaka. Right in Namba’s Dotonbori area. The aroma of food wafting from the food stalls and restos kept us going especially on our first night. We have made our wagyu dinner reservations but ended up in the wrong resto branch. And that’s after some time looking all over the place, scanning all the alleys. We were tempted to just skip it and instead check out the many ramen or yakitori or crab places but how can we give up on matsusaka beef 🥩? The staff in the “wrong branch” took us to the right outlet just a few meters away. Seemed like they’re used to guests getting lost or missing the right branch. The night ended well and we were satisfied with our first dinner in Osaka. 👌

Wagyu Dinner at Matsusaka-gyu M
Fushimi Inari Looking Empty of Visitors

Woke up early the next morning for a train ride to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, but it seemed most everybody had the same “brilliant idea”. Walked all around until our knees went jello, then moved to Fushimi Inari where once more, a long line of visitors have already assembled. Alas, the gods smiled on us and we found a break in the line so we promptly took snapshots of the shrine’s vermilion gates looking empty. By the time we were done, we took the Keihan Line to Kyoto’s geisha district, Gion. This time, we failed to spot any geisha, geiko nor maiko. But we enjoyed Hanamikoji alley in peace as the sun set in Kyoto.

Another Tourist Trap: Arashiyama Bamboo Park
Sundown in Gion District

Osaka and Kyoto are just 15 minutes apart via Shinkansen. So convenient. And from the JR Namba Station near our Osaka crib, we took the rapid express train to Nara Deer Park the next day. Just under an hour. Easy. But not as easy is the trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima. Took the 1.5 hour Shinkansen, the half-hour local train from Hiroshima to Miyajima and finally the 8 minute ferry ride to the island. But hey, if you have the time, and the JR Pass, it’s worth visiting. The pass is good for the Shinkansen, local train and ferry. Just make sure you don’t doze off on the ferry ride or you’d end up making a round trip!

Miyajima Island
Nara Deer Park

On our way to Tokyo, we broke our journey in Kyoto for a quick visit to Kiyomizu-dera and to enjoy some Uji matcha delights. Suitcases left in the station’s coin lockers, we were off to take the local train from Kyoto Station to Kiyomizu-gojo via Tofukuji. The uphill climb from Exit 4 took a half hour. The thick crowd we met served no encouragement to truly explore this beautiful temple but we’re not complaining. Time enough for a visit and catching our late afternoon Shinkansen to our next crib, Tokyo. Watch this page for more of our adventures!

Kiyomizu – Dera


The War ended, but at the expense of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Just 3 days apart, 2 atomic bombs were dropped on these 2 cities on August 6 and 9, 1945, sealing Japan’s unconditional surrender. In my year-earlier trip, I visited Hiroshima but very briefly stayed and moved on to Miyajima Island, just a few more minutes train and ferry ride away. Too depressing to visit Hiroshima, I thought. Yet here I am in Nagasaki, wallowing in the same depressing vibes as the bombed-out Hiroshima. The Peace Park, Ground Zero and the Museum are more than enough reminders of the city’s devastation and the people’s undeserved suffering.

The explosion unleashed a destructive force which resulted in 60,000 to 80,000 deaths. That is not counting the many consequences of the radiation exposure on the health of Nagasaki survivors. Yet more than these physical ailments resulting from the blast and radiation exposure, how about the mental anguish of Japanese survivors? Imagine a father burying his 3 children and wife after the bomb dropped. Or living through hell with missing limbs, suffering from leukaemia. How to stay sane after finding yourself alone, having lost the rest of your family? What agony!

The open spaces in the Peace Park and Ground Zero help ease the depressing thoughts. The Museum is another matter though. Film clips of the blast, tattered remains of clothing last used by atomic bomb victims, other reminders of this human-inflicted catastrophe are on display in the Museum. Not so easy to dismiss, especially after reading some haiku, essays and recorded interviews of those who came home to bury their dead. The anguish, the agony, the insanity of feeling guilt after having survived while many loved ones were lost. Just how do you even begin to share your depressing stories?

The Japanese in power during the War learned a hard lesson. Emperor Hirohito’s historic address to his Japanese subjects may have brought the humiliation of defeat, the unthinkable pain and suffering of losing dignity, BUT IT ENDED THE WAR. It also ended Japan’s imperialism and paved the way for its rebirth. All that after too many innocent lives were lost.

Today, the Museum and Park are grim reminders of the War. There are many, many war stories to tell — on victories, on defeat, but worst, on sufferings endured. May mankind’s cruelty never ever happen again. 🙏🏻

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Only last June, I was in Tokyo ( A Quick Break)  with my elves for a week. That was a fun holiday filled with many activities. 

This October, I’m back with my Sydney-based niece. Visiting more areas in Japan over 15 days to do justice to our JR Rail Pass. This is the summary of many blogs I’ve written on Japan. More blogs for posting, so drop in from time to time for blog updates. 











Lake Toya






Nakatsugawa (Nakasendo)




Hiroshima & Miyajima





And don’t miss this post on Japan’s gastronomic delights! 




Only in Japan 

Happy Travels, everyone. 

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