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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.