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Hi guys, long time no see. Haven't had much time to write, recently, but I have a slew of (hopefully) new material to show you guys. 

Two weeks ago my family came to visit for my brother's spring break, and I had planned a (pretty epic, if I may say so myself) cross-Japan trip for them. Over the course of 10 days we were going to visit Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji, Kanazawa, and Tokyo. After the fam arrived, we took the bullet train all the way over to Hiroshima (a 5 hour affair) and then worked our way back east towards Tokyo.

Our first stop, Hiroshima, dawned bright and warm. We started the morning at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which is at one end of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

The museum is, in a word, heavy. It's one of those museums where you feel like you should read every single bit of text and look at every photo and bear witness, albeit 70 years later, to the utter horrors that the atomic bomb wrecked on this city. 

As I walked through the exhibits, looking at the photos of rubble and mangled, burned, emaciated, survivors, I thought back to an 8th grade History Fair project I did, on Enrico Fermi and nuclear fission. As part of the project I interviewed a close family friend, Clifford Swick, who had been stationed in Japan with the U.S. army during the war. He snuck out of base one night, soon after the bomb was dropped, and into the closed-off, contaminated area. 

In his words: "There was nothing left."

A-Bomb Dome
View of the A-Bomb Dome from across the river, compared to its picture.

View down the Peace Memorial Park.

Children's Peace Monument

Ground Zero, which is located a few blocks away from the Park.

What you see if you look directly "up" from Ground Zero. 

From the Peace Memorial Park, we walked over to Hiroshima Castle. The original, built in 1589, was destroyed along with the rest of the city in 1945, so this is a reproduction, albeit a faithful one.

Hiroshima Castle across the moat. 

Hiroshima Castle's main gate.

The main keep. 

Our last stop for the day was Shukkeien, which translates to "shrunken garden."

The garden, which was built in 1620, is centered around a large pond, and small paths wind their way around the water for ideal viewing.

No idea why these were wrapped up, but they remind me of the Lorax.

View of the garden from the top of a hill.
Little red bridge over the pond.

Feeding some voracious koi (and one pigeon).

Nom nom nom...

We were lucky that the ume (plum blossoms) in Shukkein were in full bloom.

I have no idea what I was looking at.

The whole family, together!


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