So, this past week in Japan has been Golden Week! Traditionally, this is a week where there are five or so holidays in a row, or almost. Unfortunately, this year Golden Week really straddled two weeks, but it was still a four-day weekend anyway.
My friend Tsubasa invited me to visit her home-town in 広島 <hiroshima> prefecture. She lives way out in the country. So much so that there’s not even a convenience store. I was surprised, but her house is really big! And in the old style architecture that most people imagine japan to be like! It was really cool for me to stay there.
On Monday, we went into the city to visit the 原爆ドーム <genbaku domu>, which, in english, is the Atomic-bomb dome. This was essentially directly below where the center of where the A-bomb exploded. Across the river is the Peace park, and the museum dedicated to the A-bomb event. If you’ve ever been to a Holocaust museum, it was something like that, but I think a little scarier. It really made me feel that such a thing is too dangerous to use as a weapon, and I felt really bad for all the people who suffered from it. I also thought that maybe they should teach about the A-bomb event more when they are teaching about the Holocaust, because it’s connected a lot more than I knew. And it’s one of those terrible things that shouldn’t repeat its self do to lack of knowledge.
After the museum, we decided to go eat お好み焼き <okonomiyaki>, as Hiroshima is famous for it. Unfortunately, we weren’t the only one’s with that idea, and had to go to three different restaurants before finding one that we wouldn’t have to wait for hours to eat. It was especially good, as promised. And, of course, I found myself stuffed. From there, we went window shopping for a couple hours.
Toward the evening, we took the street train (チンチン電車） to meet Tsubasa’s Mom and younger brother. We went to a “nearby” mountain temple where they were celebrating for the young boys (boy’s families put up a koi fish kite) for dinner. Because of how busy it was, it took maybe four hours for food to come up. Actually, I was still full from dinner, but was let (in the way that i didn’t really have a choice) to eat a giant rice-ball and some of the chicken. It was fabulously delicious, and I’d love to go back sometime when I’m not stuffed from a previous meal.
We also went to view some flowers, because “Japanese people love flowers!” It was actually really cool, even though we were a week after prime viewing season.
A big surprise from this trip was how much I was reminded of growing up and my family.
The house I remember best from my childhood was very much in the country. I felt that the country had a lot of the same feeling; the forest greenery was very pretty, and the houses (for the most part) were pretty spread out. The biggest difference I felt was that the fields are used for rice instead of corn and livestock. Of course, the stars were also beautiful at night.
Tsubasa’s family lives with four generations under one roof, which naturally led to thoughts on family. I was missing meeting with my extended family on holidays, when I returned home to find a bunch of comments from some of the family members I haven’t been able to talk with much recently. Talk about timing! It was a great surprise to return home to!
One last picture from the first night at Tsubasa’s House:
Her family does Kendo, which basically led into a conversation of the flexibility we all had.