Saturday, April 13, 2013
As a last quick weekend trip, I found myself in Hiroshima and the nearby island of Miyajima.
Hiroshima's Peace Museum catalogs one of the saddest, most depressing events in human history. The museum is full of heart-rending details, photographs, and stories. At the end, I was hitting random numbers on my audio guide and was overtaken by stories of parents and lost children, radiation poisoning, found objects, and hair falling out.
I would've spent the afternoon in Peace Park in a puddle of tears, except for the people just outside the museum, directly under the atomic bomb's epicenter, drunk while hanami picnicking. That's right, the beginning of sakura blossom season has covered Hiroshima with pink blossoms and bestowed upon Peace Park an air of springtime gaiety. Even the A Bomb Dome looks that much more like a symbol of recovery when the flowers all around are in bloom.
It's quite thematic to see a city like Hiroshima rebuilt from utter devastation during this time of cherry blossoming. Kobe had a similar sort of effect, with their recovery from the 1995 earthquake. And the same thing might one day be said for the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. For a tiny country, Japan sure has a lot of enormous disasters to recover from.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon at Shukkei-en Gardens sitting and/or drinking matcha, which is a lovely way to reflect.