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Published: November 17th 2006
Me on the way to our hostel in Kyoto.
Ugh, that's a terrible segway, isn't it? Whatever, it’s true: Hiroshima is the bomb. I’ll explain in a bit, but I want to talk about Kyoto first, since Rob and I went there before we got to Hiroshima.
Kyoto was much different than Tokyo, and I can’t really say I enjoyed it. If you’re a temple freak, you will love it here - there are tons of temples to check out. Personally, I love temples, but after a while, they all start to look the same. Unfortunately, checking out temples seems to be all there is to do in Kyoto. The city is very drab and night life is almost non-existent. What’s more, the hostel we stayed in sucked donkey balls! It’s supposedly the cheapest one in Kyoto, so it would’ve been fine if we paid the lowest price, but all the cheap beds were taken so we were stuck with the 2,000 yen beds. This place is not worth 2,200 yen (about $20 CDN) - it’s maybe worth the 900 yen they charge for the cheap beds. Maybe.
There is one cool thing about this hostel though: you can sit up on the roof at night. We met
a dutch guy named Peter who we hung out with a bit, and one night we bought some beers and sat up there, just admiring the view. Peter saw a light on in one of the house windows, and saw a woman undressing. Naturally, Rob and I leaned over to watch, but too late, but show’s over folks - she was gone. Undeterred, Peter kept an eye out on the house, this time with a digital camera in hand. So here we are chatting when Peter notices the light on again and starts filming. Rob and I are watching too (seriously, what did you expect?), and things are looking up - clothes are coming off! Then Rob, who has eagle eyes, says, “That’s a dude!”. Well, let’s just say Peter’s production ended right there! When we finally stopped laughing, the three of us reviewed the tape, and on closer inspection, it’s actually a woman. A very flat woman, but a woman nonetheless. We think. The one thing we do know is that was way too fuckin’ funny!
Anyway, after Kyoto, we left for Hiroshima. And like I said, Hiroshima is the bomb! It is a fantastic city, and a
This is in the castle in Kyoto.
lot different than the other places Rob and I have visited. It has this certain vibe, unlike anything else I’ve encountered in Japan. It is very scenic and has an anime-like skyline. But it also has a certain vibe to it, which I think was lacking in Tokyo and Kyoto (well, Tokyo probably has it, but I didn’t see it. Maybe if I go back on the weekend...). For instance, it is a very quiet city, yet kids are playing their guitars down by the river and singing their hearts out. It’s a very cool place to be!
Maybe Hiroshima is a different place because of what happened about 61 years ago. If someone were to drop a nuclear bomb on your city, I’d think it’s safe to say the place would be drastically different than before. While it certainly explains the city’s architecture, it doesn’t explain the atmosphere here. I chalk that up to the Peace Park. The Peace Park is an awesome park set up to remember both the tragedy of 1945, as well as pay homage to the victims. There’s a museum, numerous commemorative statues, and the A-Bomb Dome - the remains of a music hall
It's actually a lot dumpier than it looks...
left standing so that people can remember what happened here. The point I’m trying to make here (long-winded as it might be) is that I don’t think anyone here has forgotten. People here seem more friendly here; more open, and maybe that’s what makes Hiroshima so great. Yeah, it’s got its shopping malls and sex hotels like every other city in Japan, but ultimately Hiroshima is all about peace and love. At least that’s what I got out of it.
Anyway, we also checked out Miyajima Island while in the area. It’s supposedly one of the three most scenic areas of Japan. I would agree with that! It’s a beautiful place - you can check out the town, do a little hiking, and you get a great view of Hiroshima. There’s also the orange gate standing in the water, one of the more famous pictures of Japan that’s out there. Rob and I hiked up Mt. Misen, a small little hike that was well worth the trek. If you ever go there, the deer are so used to visitors, they’ll come right up to you looking for snacks! Probably not too good for the deer, but very cool all
Rooftop view at our hostel - Kyoto
The one cool thing about our hostel is that we could hang out on the roof, which has an excellent view!
Man, this is a long blog! I think I’ll call it quits here. Rob and I are in Osaka right now, we just came back from Koyosan. I’ll let you know about that while I’m sipping a cold drink in Thailand! You guys should try that in Edmonton right now, you’re lips’ll stick to your straws! Ha ha! Enjoy your below-zero temperatures and snow, suckers! I mean that with love, people!
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