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Nagasaki's simple, elegance evocation for Peace

Nagasaki, Japan

November 17 Wednesday
Another 2 hour train trip begins our day trip to Nagasaki.
Our Japan Rail Passes let us board trains without standing in lines for tickets, to travel freely without evaluating the cost of specific trips, and to return to our Fukuoka hostel in the evening so we don't have to pack up each day and move.

In the shopping arcade attached to Nagasaki station,
we bought, for our lunch, bento boxes of cold rice and various delicacies
that make even the cold meal an adventure.
At the Atomic Bomb Museum and the National Peace Memorial for the Atomic Bomb Victims,
we learned the history leading up to the destruction of Nagasaki. From the entrance of the museum, we first experienced the people of Nagasaki before the bombing, through photos and memoirs... making the tragedy specific to individuals and families. Then we saw the consequences - horrible burns, shadows of people and trees burned into buildings, a rosary melted into a blob of glass, the diary of a survivor remembering two young girls laid out beautiful in death in their special kimonos and light makeup.
The Peace Memorial is a place of simple beauty and elegance, the names of the over 150,000 victims inscribed in volumes that are stored in a tall column, in a high-ceilinged hall with 12 tall skylight columns. On the roof above is a pool quiet with the evening sky above it and the 150,000 tiny lights, one representing each victim, emerging as darkness settles in.
We caught a bus back toward the station but actually rode further than Nagasaki Station, wanting to see the Spectacle Bridge, a two-lobed arch over the smaller of the two rivers. We walked along the river's lovely traditional scene, with so many arched bridges, people crossing each bridge in both directions, herons fishing below in the shallow water.
Trying to make our way back to the station, we first followed a quiet road past old temples, then found ourselves in a very chic covered arcade of shops and trendy restaurants.
A brisk half hour walk brought us into oversize urban architecture and finally to an arcade where we quickly bought 2 bento box for our supper, 2 beer, and Mary grabbed what she assumed were yoghurts for our dessert. After our "cocktail hour" on the train, Hamilton could well have asked his usual question of was I drunk yet.... tired and relaxed, I found the alcohol went right to my head. Mary and I talked, we ate and, when the train spewed us out at Hakata station, we amazingly walked the kilometer to our Khaosan Fukuoka hostel with some vigor.

permalink written by  chertop on November 18, 2010 from Nagasaki, Japan
from the travel blog: Japan and South Korea 2010
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My mother tells me that when I was five and she took me by train from Vancouver to Edmonton, we had barely left Vancouver when I declared "Enough train. Get down now." But, at age 11 when my paternal grandmother took me from Edmonton to California and Disneyland, the trip instilled in me a...

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