The shadow of the Bomb


1. CPH 12.08.13

2. Narita - Tone 13.08.13

3. Tone 14.08.13

4. Tone 15.08.13

5. Tone - Oarai 16.08.13

6. Oarai - Tomakomai 17.08.13

7. Tomakomai - Iwamizawa 18.08.13

8. Iwamizawa - Azahikawa 19.08.13

9. Azahikawa - Kamikawa 20.08.13

10.Kamikawa - Nukabira Onsen 21.08.13

11.Nukabira Onsen - Tokachigawa 22.08.13

12.Tokachigawa - Kushiro 23.08.13

13.Kushiro - Shibesha 24.08.13

14.Shibesha - Lake Kussharo 25.08.13

15.Lake Kussharo - Lake Akan 26.08.13

16.Lake Akan - Abashiri 27.08.13

17.Abashiri 28.08.13

18.Abashiri - Sapporo (tog) 29.08.13

19.Sapporo - Otaru 30.08.13

20.Otaru - Kamoenai 31.08.13

21.Kamoenai - Makkari 01.09.13

22.Makkari - Yakumo 02.09.13

23.Yakumo - Hakodate 03.09.13

24.Hakodate - Aomori 04.09.13

25.Aomori - Lake Towada 05.09.13

26.Lake Towada - Lake Tazawa 06.09.13

27.Lake Tazawa - Hanamaki 07.09.13

28.Hanamaki - Tsukidate 08.09.13

29.Tsukidate - Sendai 09.09.13

30.Sendai - Tone 10.09.13

31.Tone 11.09.13

32.Tone 12.09.13

33.Tone - Kurihama 13.09.13

34.Kurihama - Hakone 14.09.13

35.Hakone - Gotemba 15.09.13

36.Gotemba 16.09.13

37.Gotemba - Fujinomiya 17.09.13

38.Fujinomiya - Shizuoka (Kyoto) 18.09.13

39.Kyoto 19.09.13

40.Kyoto 20.09.13

41.Kyoto 21.09.13

42.Kyoto - Nara 22.09.13

43.Nara - Wakayama 23.09.13

44.Wakayama - Higashikagawa 24.09.13

45.Higashikagawa - Takamatsu 25.09.13

46.Takamatsu - Iya Valley 26.09.13

47.Iya Valley 27.09.13

48.Iya Valley - Imabari 28.09.13

49.Imabari - Onomichi 29.09.13

50.Onomichi - Hiroshima 30.09.13

51.Hiroshima 01.10.13

52.Hiroshima - Takayama (tog) 02.10.13

53.Takayama 03.10.13

54.Takayama - Matsumoto 04.10.13

55.Matsumoto - Hakuba 05.10.13

56.Hakuba - Nagano 06.10.13

57.Nagano - Tone 07.10.13

58.Tone 08.10.13

59.Tone - Narita 09.10.13

60. Narita - CPH 10.10.13


Letter 51


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.