Japan – Hiroshima

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This bombed out building has been kept since 1945 as a reminder to all the world of the devastation wrecked on this large city by a nucleur bomb. This was at the epicenter of the bomb site so partially survived while all else around it was flattened.

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These 3 women connected to us through the peace organisation Servas acted as our English speaking guides at the Peace Park in Hiroshima. Their families have lived in the region for generations and were able to put a human perspective to the devastation.

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Peter and I standing in front of the Peace Park Cenotaph commemorating all the lives lost after the A Bomb was dropped.

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This is a children’s memorial immortalising one young girl who contracted leukemia following exposure to radiation after the bomb was dropped. She vowed to fight her disease by making chains of paper birds but unfortunately despite her determination to fight the radiation induced leukemia she died several years later. Much publicity and support was given to this brave young girl from many children throughout the world, many sent chains of birds to Hiroshima supporting her. After her death this memorial was built for all the thousands of children who also died from the effects of radiation.

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These moving words on the Cenotaph remind all that visit that war is a terrible event – with few winners and many losers.

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Chains of paper birds on display at the Childrens Memorial.

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Words from the Pope are displayed on this sculpture at the entrance to the Hiroshima Museum.

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Peter and I spent a very comfortable night enjoying a traditional Japanese Tatami sleeping experience, carefully prepared for us by our hosts. Dinner was preceded by a Japanese style bath. Then when we were dressed in typical lounge wear (borrowed from our hosts) we joined the extended family for a meal of sashimi, sushi, miso and all things Japanese. And a few things French as well, like good wine!

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Our host’s home had an ornate temple in keeping with their Buddhist belief system.

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Our young hosts lived happily and in traditional style with their extended family. We learnt how to drink many types (and a lot) of Sake from the host’s father. They also enjoyed sharing their fine French wine with us

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Peter posing with these delightful dancing sculptures outside the Hiroshima Railway Station just prior to us setting off on our 5 train journey to the Hakuba ski fields.

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Our wonderful Hiroshima hosts warmly welcomed us to their home

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Leaving Hiroshima by train for Hakuba. The train system in Japan is fantastic – destinations are displayed in English, the carriages and stations are very clean and the trains are always on time.

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