So i left Tokyo fairly early in the morning as I was getting the Shinkansen 'bullet train' down to Hiroshima. This is in the south of Japan and my plan was to see Hiroshima and then make my way back up to Tokyo stopping at various places on the way. I'd bought a Japanese Rail pass before i entered the country which is valid for 7 days I plan to make the most of it!
Arrived in Hiroshima early afternoon and headed to 'K's hostel". This one isn't as nice as Toco as its just a standard western style hostel, but nevertheless the people working here are lovely and hired a bike out to me for the afternoon so I could cycle around the town. However parking was an issue as there are very few allocated parking areas for bikes, and if you leave it at the side of the road it is likely to get towed away. Luckily two school girls came to my rescue and pointed me in the right direction, not before getting a picture though!
Hiroshima was the first city in history to be destroyed by an atomic weapon, dropped by the United States in 1945. The atomic bomb had a devastating impact, obliterating nearly everyone and everything within a two kilometer radius. Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the bomb's direct impact killed 90,000–166,000 people and many more died in following months due to radiation sickness and from the effect of burns. After rebuilding the city, numerous memorials were put in place including the Hiroshima Peace Museum which I took the chance to visit. It was extremely sad to read about the aftermath that the bomb caused, especially reading first hand accounts of the attack and viewing photos and displays containing items of clothing or locks of hair of people who were killed. Unfortunately I didn't get to see all of the information there because I got to the museum late in the afternoon and it closed earlier than I anticipated.
After this I visited other memorial peace sites including one in memory of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who developed leukaemia as a result radiation exposure from the a-bomb. She attempted to make 1000 paper cranes as an old Japanese story predicted that if completed then the maker would be granted one wish, and so Sadako's wish was that she would get better. However, sadly she died before she was able to make all 1000 and so her classmates continued the task for her. There is now a display in the peace park full of thousands of colourful paper cranes that people have sent in, including a statue in Sadako's memory.
Later, i managed to find a vegan restaurant by a yoga studio, and so I was excited as I hadn't actually had one proper meal since my first night in japan as I was too scared of getting meat unawares! Id just been buying tofu and fruit/veg from shops which is actually still quite expensive.. At the restaurant I had tofu pattys/burgers with brown rice, and treated myself to a sticky nut cake because i was fed up of eating savoury stuff all the time ha. It was soo nice