Tuesday 01.10.13 14,90 km
Here the aircon works, so just a sheet as cover wasn't much, so I'm up early.
I see which books they have: "Hiroshima - a tragedy never to be repeated" and
"My Hiroshima", the last one is a childrens book written by one of the survivers,
who was a child then.... The first also with drawings, but also technical parts
about bombconstructions, radiation a.s.o. There are more...
If I'd been in THIS building then (reinforced concrete) I would probably have survived - at least momentarily. If I'd been outside and directly exposed to the heat radiation, I hadn't, we're only 2 km from the hypocenter for the explosion.
Then I discover a book in norvegian and start looking for one in danish - yes, there it is: "Den sønderjyske farm" by Erling Jepsen. A little later I find one of a more scandinavian sort, written by Leif Persson (swede), but in danish.
The music in the background started at 7am. After Steve Miller Band with "The Joker" and Mamas and Papas comes "Mr. Tambourine Man" with The Byrds. That makes me feel at home...
I've fried eggs this morning. And eaten the usual blueberry yougurt. There's free coffee and tea and a fully equipped kitchen even all the pans are warped so it hurts.
This version of K's House is much smaller than in Kyoto. They're celebrating their 5 years birthday with a party with free food. It's the ideal size of a hostel, I think, but the building is new, so it's not so charming as Mix Hostel in Chengdu. They're the top...
The plan for the rest of my trip was made yesterday. I'll take the train not only to Kyoto, but further on to Nagoya, where I'll change and go all the way to Takayama in The japanese Alps. I've booked two nights in a K's House there. Then I cross the mountains (if I can) to Matsumoto, where there are many hostels. From there to Hakuba and in the end to Nagano, from where there's a Shinkansen to Tokyo.
I started at the station 3 minutes to 9 in the T.I. to find out if I had enough money for the ticket. 15.650 Y that was about what I'd expected. Then I went next door to buy the ticket. The man didn't speak english. Showed my a print where all was in kanji except the times. I knew already that there would only be 17 minutes to change in Nagoya Sta., and you have to go down stairs and along corridors and up stairs again. I wouldn't count on doing this, so I take the train an hour before and wait in Nagoya. It'll be lunch time after all. I couldn't explain this to him, so he gave up and called for someone who could understand (english). It doesn't matter for the ticket, but I wanted to be sure there wasn't any hidden trap, I'd overlooked.
Then I went on to the A-bomb Doom, which is the only thing standing from 6th of august 1945. For years there was disagreement on whether to tear it down or let it be, but as time went by those that wanted to keep it outnumbered the others. Since then The Peace Park and The Museum have been added. The Museum tells rather neutral the story of Hiroshima from the start of the 20th century - included the japanese expansion (=agression). Also the massacre in Nanjing is mentioned both with the lowest number 10.000's and the chinese 300.000. The correct should be around 200.000.
The A-bomb Doom
The whole flow is reviewed from A to Z: the way of decisions, construction, temperature, shockwave, radiation, radiation sickness, long term effects... diaries, drawings, melted roof tiles... You're also reminded of the thousands of nuclear warheads that still exixts, and the nations that posses them. The latter is perhaps the much thought provoking.
A photo of ther city after the explosion
And a model with the fireball hanging 600 m's above
After lunch I went to see the castle. It was destroyed at the explosion but has been rebuilt since.
Hiroshima Castle - beautiful - but rebuilt of course
At 7pm the party started. I came a little late, as I couldn't get the ATM at 7 eleven to work and had to walk all the way to the station to find a post office. We started with a drink. I should have had ginger ale and vodka, I don't know what I got but there sure was a lot of vodka in. Someone has been out for new supplies of alcohol several times. Also of food there was a lot - for me at last. We were asked to join the group for a karaoke bar, it would cost 2.000 Y. I didn't want to. I've heard enough people singing out of tune in my life - or am I just too stingy?
They had such a funny troll with a lot of holes in. You stabbed him with a knife (plastic) and at some moment he jumped up. He or she that made him do it had to empty a glass. I wasn't lucky.
But if this was their 5th birthday I'd like to see their 10th!
Now it's 10pm and I've withdrawn from the party. There were really many nationalities represented: France, Switzerland, Finland, Australia, Austria, Germany, Holland, Japan, Puerto Rico and USA to mention those I spoke with.