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Published: June 12th 2013
Hiroshima - original Ground Zero
I will call it simply the A Dome
. I left Kyoto on one shinkansen then had to change to the Sakura Kyoto shinkansen at Shin Osaka. Osaka is so close it is only about 18 mins, then the Sakura is pretty fast to Hakata as minimal stops and about 2 hours. Fortunately coming in (I knew where it was anyway) I saw from the train the green neon of the Green Hotel where I was staying in Hakata. In case you are confused, Fukuoka/Hakata are the same thing – originally two towns but the station is in Hakata so they call it that. Nice to have a hotel so close to the station – in fact the 11th
floor room actually looked over them but no real noise.
Cos I can with the JR pass decided that I would jet back to Hiroshima so to speak (it only takes 70 mins after all on express service) cos it is an important place to visit. I was originally there on an Intrepid trip and just happened to be there on the bomb anniversary on
6 August 1999. It was very impressive seeing the A dome at dusk/candlelight as hundreds of candles burning around there and floating on little floats down the river. Not as impressive or as atmospheric this time as half of the building is under scaffolding (like Italian museums etc ‘sul restauro’ – under restoration). If you don’t know what I call the A dome is the structure that was effectively ground zero no.1 and the steel girder frame of the dome is still standing and most of the actual brick building surrounding it. Although under scaffolding as they are doing extensive testing on the structure of what remains – can hardly rebuild a model recreation of such an important building.
Along from there near one of the bridges was a place called Cafe Ponte, a sort of Italian place. So decided to haul up there for dinner as it was al fresco and barely from the A dome. For starters a baby shrimp and asparagus salad, but more lettuce than asparagus. With a gin tonic (they seem to omit the ‘and’). Then a spaghetti dish that had a cream sauce of spinach and real oysters, as it is Hiroshima oyster
season. Not sure what genuine Italians would think of spaghetti con ostriche! It was fine though and about 6 oysters in it.
Then a walk back to the station along the main covered mall where there are many food places and shopping . It being Sunday a lot of teenage girls out with others or with their boyfriends wearing their Sunday best kimonos (I assume Sunday is the day this mostly happens). On the way down, near the station I of course had to cross the road when I saw the awning with Rockin’ CDs and DVDs – blow me, but a pretty good second hand CD shop! Always a bit hard to work out how these things are sorted as Kanji script of the CD spine not of much use to me but a lot of these were Western. So got 4 CDs for about $32 which was pretty good value.
The shinkansen home was relatively the late night non-express stopping all stations and took 2 whole hours (what a disgrace!).
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