As Rob and I had JR passes and could take the speed train wherever we wanted in Japan, we decided to do a daytrip to Hiroshima. It is about 2-3 hours with the Shinkansen from Kyoto station, so it is quite doable – especially if you do like us and watch shows on your laptop. Our fist stop when we made it to Hiroshima was the Genbakudomu, or the A-bomb dome in english. This building has been perserved so that it looks just like it did directly after Hiroshima was hit by the Atomic bomb in WW2. Going to see this building always make me rather emotional, as it obviously brings out feelings about war and weapons of mass destruction. This time the dome ws being checked for soundness though, so a lot of it was hidden.
Another nice but also sad place to visit is the peace memorial, right across the river from the actual A-dome. Here you can see messages telling the victims we wont repeat the evil and so on as well as a torch with a fire they will keep burning until all of the atomic weapons in the world are destroyed. (This picture is from my visit to Hiroshima in 2009, with no construction work on the dome)
After going to the A-dome, we wanted to do something a little less sad so we took the ferry out to the isle of Mijajima. This isle is located right outside of Hiroshima and it is the home of many great temples as well as quite a few semi-wild deer. As we had to get back to Kyoto the same day we only visited the main temple and the enormous water gate a few meters away from shore. The water was low, so we could actually walk out to take a closer look. The deer were after me because I had food in my purse and a few of them actually followed me around for a bit, biting my purse and jacket. I have decided that deer are sweet, but a little scary when their hungry after my encounters with the deer of Nara and Mijajima. I still love Mijajima though and the view you have of Hiroshima from there 🙂