We left Miyajima before the hoards of tourists arrived and took the tram to Hiroshima Station. We were staying at the Hotel Granvia in the station. We dropped off our bags and got back on the tram for the Peace Memorial Park.
The one enduring symbol from the park is this....
The Atomic Bomb Dome. Situated nearly right below the point of the atomic bomb's explosion at 815 am on the morning of August 6th, 1945, this UNESCO World Heritage site, has remained pretty much unchanged since that date. It was once the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall, designed by Czech Architect Jan Letzel.
It is a sober reminder of the destructive potential of mankind.....
As we wandered the grounds of the park, we could hear the sounds of children singing. This lead us to the Children's Peace Monument, which commemorates the young victims of the bomb. Growing up in Hawaii, I had heard the story of Sadaki Sasaki and the story of "A Thousand Cranes" many times. Her life, death, and story was the impetus for the creation of this monument.
We watched as various "classes" came up to pay their respects and drop off their folded cranes; accompanied by a speach and a song.
It was quite touching......
We can debate justification and all that stuff all day and all night long......but the collateral damage was without a doubt horrible.
There's quite a lot to be seen here. You could easily spend the whole day in the park. The chest in the Centograph stores the name of every known victim of the bomb. As each Hibakusha passes on, their name is added to the list. On the opposite side of the pond resides the Flame of Peace which was lite from the eternal flame in the Reikado on Mt Misen.
We decided to walk our way back to Hiroshima Station, winding our way through shopping arcades, stopping to browse and window shop along the way.
In the back and across the street from Parco Shopping Center is a four story structure which holds Okonomi-mura, basically "okonomiyaki village". There are no less than 27 okonomiyaki stands in this building. I was told that each vendor has a different riff on Hiroshima okonomiyaki and all the stands use a special sauce made especially for businesses in the "village".
The big questions was....which one to choose? While a handful of stands were fairly busy, most were empty at this time of the day. We started on the top floor and startedworking our way down.....
Eahc one seemed to have a theme as well..... I liked the "classic rock and roll" theme of the stand called Kazu-chan, after the owner who is a big rock and roll fan. I loved the photo of the Ventures on the wall and all the old Japanese rock and roll album covers.
And so the lunch process began.... I ordered the pork and shrimp; the Missus natto.....
Hiroshima style okomiyaki is notes for the use of noodles...... it's quite a pile of food.
It did kind of bother me that parts of my okonomiyaki were pre-made...some of the crepe like portions were already prepped. The Missus's natto version was made form scratch though.
Nice of moist and fresh shrimp though and the base protion was made fresh.....
I thought the Missus natto version was much better, but both were surprisingly lighter than versions I've had in the states which weem much more doughy. They do like their scallions on these....and all those noodles, man, what a carb bomb. We would later have Osaka style okonomiyaki which were just plain amazing....perhaps we should have worked a bit harder to find a place....but hey, who can refuse four stories of okonomiyaki? You gotta try it....at least once.