May 11, 2019
We started off early from Etajima and caught a ferry boat in Koyo Port going to Hiroshima, the heart of Hiroshima Prefecture, which took us roughly 20 minutes. Travelling around Hiroshima prefecture requires one to go by ferry boat from port to port, and this is one of my favorite part of the trip.
Reaching the Port of Hiroshima has made me slightly emotional since I have been looking forward to this part of the trip itinerary.
A tram terminal is readily accessible just upon exiting the port. Trams or streetcars are one of the most convenient transportation to go around the city.
We decided to drop by an old shop which my in-laws used to visit when they lived in the prefecture way back. To their disappointment, things, indeed, have changed and prices have apparently escalated.
For me, the highlight of this trip was my visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. It's funny how we thought we were ahead of our schedule, however, we realized were wrong when we saw the line of people outside the museum. Since we were there for the Golden Week, the number of visitors queuing to get into the museum was lengthy. But, with the staff being very organized, we did not stay long in the line and were able to enter the museum in a very short time.
The place is filled with hundreds of stories of lives that were both directly and indirectly affected by the horrors of war. The photographs hanging on the walls were not just mere faces but each one gives a certain emotion which connects you to the past. It was a surreal and an emotional experience for me, and probably for everyone who was there during that day.
With the museum being packed, I was not expecting too much from this experience and only hoped for whatever best is left. Yet, in the end, I was wrong for thinking that way.
We left the memorial place with mixed emotions but with a light spirit, taking with us more knowledge instead of grudges for whoever is to blame for the past. We took off and headed for the shopping center of Hiroshima. The weather was pleasant so it was perfect for a stroll in the streets.
My visit to this part of Japan will be forever cherished. It's probably not the best time due to the number of tourists, especially local ones, but it has left an impression on me. It was as if I glanced at the past from the present.
A mother, wife, and an educator. I am a Filipino married to a Filipino Japanese descendant. My family and I often travel and stay in the country when needed. I am currently a resident of Minokamo, Gifu Prefecture. I have fallen in love with the country, the people, and its culture. I enjoy writing and sharing about expat life in Japan.