Addis’ Trip to Japan: Hiroshima

Hiroshima

I noticed this while we were in Tokyo as well as here in Hiroshima. But I always wondered in manga, when it started raining, why they would stay beneath eaves or just wait until it stopped raining before walking home, etc. The main reason, I at least noticed, was because the Japanese do not normally use or wear rain jackets. Almost everyone carries around umbrellas. This is because they walk everywhere, and their suits don’t look so good with rain jackets.

Coming from Seattle, I find this uncommon. In Seattle, when it rains, we just walk through it with our rain jackets, not caring if we get a little wet. It’s even to the point where if you are seen with an umbrella in Seattle that you’re automatically assumed as not being from the rainy state or a tourist.

Since it was raining in Hiroshima, this stood out to me again, where citizens from Japan would even have their umbrellas open and in use if the ground was wet, showing previous rain.

We traveled to the site of the Nuclear Bomb (A-Bomb) site at 9am.

We saw the Atomic Bomb Dome, which all that remains is the Industrial Promotion Hall after the near-direct hit by the bomb.

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We made a quick stop by the Sadako monument that embodies the wish for world Peace because of the tragic after effects from the nuclear bomb. Thousands of paper cranes are there every day. We even got to watch an elementary school group gift the monument with another 1000 paper cranes before leaving.

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We went through the historical museum which took us back to the events of 1945, toward the end of WWII, when Hiroshima was hit with the first-ever atomic bomb. While this once-leveled city has rebounded to become the “City of Peace”, the remnants of the past are on full display.

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We entered the Peace Memorial Museum, which focuses on the devastation of the nuclear attack and its toll on the community.

They are creating a new museum that is set to open in 2019 where they plan to have more artifacts from the bomb that have been donated throughout the years.

The lot of us cried a few tears, even the guys. It’s indescribable. It’s one of the things that one has to see in person to understand how many emotions are contained within each exhibit in the museum.

It was already 1pm by the time we got back on the bus, and with 40 minutes until our next location, we stopped for a quick snack at one of the many 7-11’s.

After a 40 minute bus drive, we arrived at the amazing Miyajima, or Shrine Island and its floating torii (re: gate).

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It was built in the late 6th century by a priest and was rebuilt by a samurai in the 12th century. Even though it was raining, it was beautiful. There are so many shrines and temples on the island, it’s amazing. You could literally spend 8 hours there and not see everything the island has to offer. We saw the Itsukushima Shrine, which protects the island against sea disasters and war. We also spotted several deer, a five-story pagoda dating from 1407, and many Shinto and Buddhist temples.

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Coming back to my umbrella vs. no umbrella epiphany, I had several locals as well as our guide, stop and ask me if I was okay in the rain without an umbrella. It wasn’t raining hard, just slightly, not enough enough to put my hood up on my jacket. They wanted to know why it was okay getting wet, and told me I needed to put my hood up or I’d get a cold.

While this was entirely adorable coming from strangers, I told them I was okay and that I was use to it coming from Seattle. They wanted to also know why we didn’t use umbrellas like they do. I mean, here, there is literally an umbrella stand at the front of every single store. The locals will also give you strange looks if you do not use an umbrella in the rain.

I’m guessing the entire thing might just be a cultural difference, so if any of you have any thoughts on this, please let me know. 😀

It was 5pm by the time we got back on the bus to go back into Hiroshima to go for dinner.

We had okonomiyaki which is, what Americans call the “Japanese pancake”, however, the locals dislike that it is called this. If anything, it is more closely related to the Korean pajeon.

It can’t be called a cake due to the fact that there is no baking soda/powder in it to make it ruse like traditional pancakes. I mean, there isn’t even any flour in it. It’s actually a potato base usually.

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So, as you can see, it’s not even a pancake. The base is noddles, then cabbage, bean sprouts, bacon, egg and then the sauce. The toppings depend on where you get it from, and it varies in every store.

That’s it for my last day in Hiroshima. We’ve got to catch the 7.30am shikansen to Kyoto so I’m going to go get some sleep.

Oyasumi,

Addis

Addis' Trip to Japan: Road to Hiroshima
Addis’ Trip to Japan: Kyoto, Day 1

22 thoughts on “Addis’ Trip to Japan: Hiroshima

  1. Beautiful. I found the umbrella vs no umbrella thoughts interesting. There does seem to be a lot of concern about rain causing sickness in manga so I guess that maybe true in reality too.

    Why were there knit hats on the statues? That looked striking to me.

    Thanks for sharing. Enjoy Kyoto and rest well!!

    Safe travels

    1. Oh, and I completely understand what you meant about the emotion. There are places just coated in it. I loved the paper cranes though. That would be neat to see

  2. Thanks for sharing…The Umbrella Vs No Umbrella is indeed interesting. I always carry one in my backpack, since its summer here and its really hot..but we get sudden rains too. So multipurpose 😀

  3. During Japan’s rainy season, they will all carry umbrellas even if it seems sunny because it can rain randomly during the day. They also use it to block the sun haha. It’s a very common thing to see a whole section in the department store dedicated to selling umbrellas haha.

    I’ve been to the peace museums both in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and it brings tears to the eyes to see how devastating it was. Especially the stories about the children.

  4. Umbrella vs no umbrella
    I put it down to wind. Where I’m from you know the tourists for their umbrellas. Those umbrellas usually break in the wind as our rain comes with the winter storms. All the locals have jackets on and move fast to get out of the rain.

  5. I get what you mean about the umbrellas, I grew up in Port Orchard then moved to the east side of the mountains and anytime I see people with umbrellas for any kind of rain I just don’t get it.

  6. I love the statues with the hats. They look like they’ll just start talking to you any second.
    As for the umbrella vs no umbrella….not sure if you’d say cultural or locale really. I’m from the south. There’s rain I need an umbrella for, and rain where it’s not needed. But since my state is a hodgepodge, I see people who never have umbrellas, people who wear raincoats and those rubber boots, and people who will have umbrellas at even the hint of rain. Just how they were raised, I guess

  7. I have always thought of okonomiyaki as closer to Pizza than a pancake. A pizza has toppings that come from the local cuisine as well as what are thought of as “traditional” toppings.
    Some of the memorials in Europe related to WWII can also trigger the same reactions – for instance, a synagogue in Prague where the rabbis cataloging their collection knew that once they finished, they were being sent to concentration camps to die or be killed.
    I am enjoying your pictures. The last several people I knew of who posted their pictures of Japan had such poor shots it made Japan seem so unphotogenic. Glad you are doing your part to make it not so.

  8. one reason is that umbrella has always a been a big part of japan’s culture and traditions. decorated umbrellas that they use as part of their folk dance etc.. and umbrella is not just for the rain but also for the sun. since its summer, its still hot even if it rains so rain jacket might get uncomfortable. bringing rain jacket all the time for occasional rainshower is also incovinient

  9. War always leaves pain and suffering. So many movies and manga about war, and its made me cried 😔
    In my country, its up to oneself. I use umbrella. Sometimes use jacket too.
    Thank you for sharing addis 😚😚😚

  10. Oh, the deer are so cute! I’ve seen several around my house recently,too. The mothers are bringing last years babies to graze on the new grass 🙂 And I personally much prefer an umbrella or rain poncho since raincoats never fit me right (I haven’t worn one since I was 7 or 8.) If it’s just sprinkling I’ll just wear a jacket and get damp (since I’m lazy and don’t want to lug an umbrella around) but I actually do get colds if I get too wet. When I was a kid I loved to play in rainstorms though (once I even played outside during a tornado. The twister missed our house by a few miles, so it just seemed like unusually heavy rain. My mum almost had a heart attack when she found out later that night.)

  11. That Umbrella and No Umbrella is interesting .
    In my country umbrella is a must have thing to bring in all occasion for they who walk or ride public transportation and rain coat suit is a must have thing for us who is motor biker. Because we don’t know when the raining is coming, even in a such bright sunny day rain will come so suddenly. And rain when sunny day is a no no for us, at least when I’m a child. They said If you get rain water on your head when sunny day, you’ll absolutely get sick. So either you bring umbrella or you go searching for grass to stuck it at the top of your ear. That’s what the old folks say.

    That Jizo is so cute !! They all looked like a child wearing their mother knitted hat ^^ so kawaii
    But what’s the meaning of that?

    Okonomiyaki is noodles based food?! That’s new for me
    I always imagine it like a pizza ^^ guess I wrong, huh?~
    Thanks for sharing the truth behind Okonomiyaki!! ^^

    Thank You for sharing your great time in Hiroshima!! Hope to see the next sharing!! ^^

    Ps. I think War will always bring sadness, no matter where and how long that happenend TT~TT

  12. Thank you for your posts so funny because I’m also here in Japan too!! It’s interesting ‘re the rain as it was torrential on Sunday in Osaka and I was only wearing my mackintosh (raincoat) and no one batted an eyelid so maybe it’s regional? I hope I don’t find out as I’d be happy to have no rain for the rest of my trip haha 🤗

  13. Talking about Hiroshima, i read a book called “The flowers of Hiroshima” written by a woman who survived the nuclear bomb attack, and it was horrifying. When i was little my mum taught me how to make paper cranes and that if you fold a thousand it would make a wish of yours come true. So she also told me the story of two girls who had cancer because of the nuclear bomb and the one girl helped the other complete making 1000 cranes which got cured. Sadly she herself didnt manage to complete another 1000
    We also send paper cranes with our school to the monument in Hiroshima. Next, cuuute deer😣! tho it looks a bit like a fox, its snout at least XD.
    Its nice to see how much japanese care about their deities. Lastly, no umbrella, no raining coat for me, i like the rain, but im mostly inside during rainy days, as for japanese, it might have to do with their culture, most probably does, umbrellas were against the sun in the beginning, for royalty, so i think it was just passed down and now is most common. Also, if the weather changes quickly it is more convenient to carry a small umbrella at all times in your handbag. I wrote too much, sorry😅😊😊😊 have fun!

  14. Oh, Miyajima is fun! Did you have any of their famous oysters? or manju? I totally get the whole umbrella/no umbrella thing. I am from Battle Ground, WA, about 3hrs south of Seattle, We don’t bother with umbrellas either….too much trouble to carry those things around. It’s much easier to just wear a coat and flip that hood. 🙂

  15. Hello fellow Seattleite! I own several rain jackets, but must admit that I also bring an umbrella at times, even though I was born and raised here. It depends on the situation, such as if I am dressed up or not, if there is wind, etc. Most of the time the jacket hood works just fine, though. It’s funny because my daughter is studying in Seoul right now and I think she has bought at least three umbrellas since she arrived there!

    I’ve really enjoyed following along with your trip to Japan and love the pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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