Hiroshima Travel Blog› entry 15 of 20 › view all entries
We ate breakfast at a little restaurant next to the hotel that head a breakfast special with waffles and a drink for 1,000 Yen. After breakfast, I got out my new little zippered bag I bought from the tourist shop in Tokyo that now contained my money. The Yen bills are larger than US dollar bills and they didn’t fit in my wallet, so I bought a little bag instead. As we were leaving, an older Japanese woman stopped me and stuffed a little coin purse into my hands. Apparently what I was using for money wasn’t appropriate. She had given me a little drawstring purse that women use when wearing traditional dress. It was totally unexpected and I was completely surprised! I thanked the woman over and over (in Japanese) and bowed several times.
After breakfast, we walked over to the Hiroshima Castle, across the street from the hotel. The castle was destroyed in the bomb but was reconstructed. The first building, an outer wall, had displays showing the reconstruction and several small triangular and rectangular windows over the moat. Some parts of the compound were not reconstructed and we could see a foundation where the wall was not complete. We strolled through the gardens and stopped at a little bunker. Some school kids were inside with radio equipment and they were the first to broadcast news of the bombing.
The castle had 5 levels, with different displays on each level. I liked the ones with the original materials from the castle including wood beams and roof tiles. There were displays on the genealogy of the shoguns, historical city maps, history of the region, clothing, and the best part was the samurai swords! Very cool! The very top was an outdoor viewing area where you could get views of the complex and the city. You couldn’t take pictures inside, except for the dress up area. Back down on first floor, there are two samurai outfits you can try on, so Linda and I spent about 20 minutes playing around and trying on the outfits. There was also a decorated helmet. After playing dress-up, we all met back up and worked our way to the tram so we could head to Miyajima Island. It was about 45 minutes by streetcar from Peace Park to Miyajima Station.