We caught lightning in a bottle while in Hiroshima and boy…did it burn bright.
Some trips simply develop their own pace based on a variety of obstacles, barriers and challenges and then, on some days, everything simply comes together to create a lasting set of memories. For the “Canadian Four” trekking across Japan, like a jigsaw puzzle, pieces fell into place in Hiroshima and the least hyped stop on our trip turned out to be the best one thus far.
We were expecting sombre and sobering experiences while here in this city that literally raised itself from A-bomb ashes. We even expected a healthy dose of skeptical looks cast our way thanks to Americas lasting and dark legacy here. Instead, we met a community, not a city, but a community of people that were as welcoming as could be. They were real people, no pretension, no arrogance, every where you turned, welcoming glances were returned and conversation was easy.
Japan has been awesome but no place has felt like home as Hiroshima did, go figure. We visited it for a history lesson and received a life lesson, you can pick yourself and rise above those who knock you down.
Experiencing a city on foot, in the trenches of everyday life, is always the most rewarding way to explore a new place and Hiroshima just gave us kilometres upon kilometres of new streets to explore. The frenzy of Tokyo is not here. The cultural haze of Kyoto not here either. Instead, Hiroshima motors along at 1.4 million people as a hard working city and the most open minded of them all.
We took in all the sad and stomach-turning historical sights, the viciousness of that A bomb dropped here is hard to fathom when you are surrounded by a vibrant city. To think one nation would unleash such terror on another is even harder to understand.
On to a Hiroshima Carp baseball game, now that was a surreal experience, Japanese baseball. Fans chanting and cheering for nine innings straight but always respectful of one another. When the opposing teams fans cheered, the home team fans would wait until they were done and then begin their noise. So much more to write about this experience alone…
Then, Hiroshima at night…wow, what a throbbing heart beat it has. Side alleys alight in gaudy neon and main drags full of people but never a sense of impending danger, just impending fun and celebration….
there is just so much more, so much more…but that happens when you catch lightning in a bottle.