I cannot talk about Japan without talking about the VENDING MACHINE! The vending machine has taken over Japan and there is no turning back. Vending machines are everywhere in Japan. You could be walking in a dark, dark, alley with no cars, stores, streetlights, or people and there would be a vending machine. They are on almost every block and every stoplight in the entire country of Japan. You cannot escape the VENDING MACHINE! If you have at least 150 yen ($1.50), you will never go thirsty in Japan. The vending machines have drinks that you would never think to drink as you are walking down a street. The drinks can include coffee, all different juices, energy/vitamin drinks, sodas (mostly Coke and Fanta though), tea, and other drinks that look interesting. The drinks can come either hot or cold. There are not only drink vending machines in Japan; you can also count on food vending machines. They have machines that will spit out ice cream, noodles, sandwiches, ramen, and more. Other machines can offer you batteries, disposable cameras, toilet paper, and much more. My goal this summer is to become a professional vending machine taste tester and try all different drinks in the vending machines. If you want to research more on the Japanese vending machine, check out this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vending_machine#Japan
Let’s move on and I want to continue talking about my weekend in Hiroshima. As I was saying in my 3rd blog, after the 4 hour baseball game Ryan and I ventured our way to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park which surrounds downtown. When we arrived to our destination, we instantly saw the A-Bomb Dome. The A-Bomb Dome is what remains of the former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall after the atomic bomb attack on August 6, 1945. The dome is one of the few buildings to remain standing from the bomb. It was pretty magnificent to see, and I have never thought I would actually visit the place where the Atomic Bomb went off. I remember learning about the atomic bomb in school, and I never thought in a million years I would be visiting this historic place that changed our world so deeply. I guess you never know what you will do in life, but keeping dreaming and keep exploring.
The next area we visited was The Children’s Peace Monument. This monument was built with donations from school children who were touched by Sadako Sasaki’s story. The area has a statue of Sadako holding a crane above her head and the statue has a crane inside. There are millions of cranes from all over the world from people who want to promote peace within the world. It was amazing to see all of the cranes people have made over the years, and how people have created beautiful pictures with all of the cranes. If you have not read Sadako Sasaki’s story, I suggest you read it to become more familiar with the affects the Atomic Bomb had on the people living in Hiroshima.
After visiting the Children’s Peace Monument, Ryan and I started walking around the park area. The park was very peaceful and beautiful. It is covered in trees, and even though it is close to the city you cannot hear the loudness of the city. As we were walking around the park, we saw a green hill that was fenced in. The hill was where people’s ashes were placed after the bombing. I took a picture of the description so you can read for yourself about the hill.
The last area we walked to was the Memorial Cenotaph. It is a saddle-shaped monument that contains the names of those who lost their lives as a result of the bombing. When you look through it, you can see the A-Bomb Dome. If you want to learn more about the Memorial Park, go to this site: http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/travel/hiroshima_peace_memorial_park.htm
Well, that is about it for today but I am sure I will have more to tell you in the future. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying American food! (I miss it so dearly)