From Kyoto we headed to Osaka. As we were leaving from Kansai Airport in Osaka and we wanted to visit Hiroshima, it made sense to move south rather than continually back tracking.
We spent the afternoon of our arrival visiting the Osaka Castle. It had been raining in the morning but luckily the rain cleared for the afternoon so walking through the gardens was pleasant.
The next day we were up early to catch the Shinkanson (Bullet train) to Hiroshima. Even after seeing innumerable photos of the Atomic Dome, it is still a very confronting sight. It was another glorious day and we spent a very sobering morning strolling through the Peace Park.
One thing I haven’t mentioned is how many school groups there are at each historical sight. Within each primary school, the children are divided into smaller, more manageable groups, and are identified by their hats (school) and scarf (group). Children in more senior years have official school uniforms.
It was not uncommon for us to get on a local train and be surrounded by many hatted children! And they were all so very well behaved and quiet. If this had been Australia, the noise would have been deafening!
One memorial within the park that affected me the most was the Childrens Peace Memorial. Established by donations from school children after the death of Sadako Sasaki, we witnessed the hanging of hundreds of origami cranes by the child tasked by his school.
(Taken from Google)
The children’s peace monument (Hiroshima) is dedicated to all the children who lost their lives because of the bombing.
This monument was built after a girl name Sadako Sasaki died.
Sadako survived the bombing at the young age of 2, but was exposed to radiation and developed cancer as a result.
She died around the age of 12, and after her death, her classmates worked to build a monument for all the children who died due to the atomic bomb.
With help, her classmates were able to gather the support of students from over 3,000 schools around Japan and in nearly 10 other countries.
The story of Sadako Sasaki goes that until her death she was folding paper cranes because of the Japanese saying that if you make 1,000 cranes your wish will come true.
She died before she was able to fold 1,000 cranes, and it’s said that her classmates finished folding the remaining 300+ cranes to be able to bury all 1,000 with her.
Paper cranes are also said to be built every year in memory of Sadako, and the monument also has been given the name “tower of 1,000 cranes”.
There were many school groups here, all adding origami cranes in memory of Sadako, and world peace.
Our last stop was to Miyajima and the glorious tori gate (Itsukushima Shrine), situated in the water before the entrance to the island. Holding true to form, rather than see this wonderful sight, it was covered in scaffolding and covers, assumingly under repair!! Oh well, at least there was a lovely pagoda to photograph, plus more wandering deer!