Jimmy took us out to Hiroshima today. The 45km drive was all on a two lane rural road, dotted by towns along the way. The only thing that still stands from the 1945 A-bombing is the Atomic Bomb Dome (not called that then obviously. ) Because the bomb detonated a few thousand feet directly above it, it wasn't swept away from the pressure of thousands of atmospheres that every other building in the area was. It stands as a testament to the horror of the war and the Japanese resilience to re-build their city.
The Memorial museum was a short, but intense glimpse of what it was like that day. School children's charred and ripped clothing is all that remains of their presence that day. Each exhibit told a story of the child and where they were and when they succumbed to the effects of the bombing. Most impressive was the section of the steps and wall of a bank where an old woman was sitting and waiting for it to open when the bomb was dropped. All that remains there is her shadow. A most sobering look into that period of history.
After that we went shopping. Sounds so crass to say! It was rather surreal to be taking in a museum of one of the darker periods of human history one hour, and then the next be strolling through the city streets shopping for T-shirts. Matt must have picked up 7 all together. He's seriously addicted to their designs and words. Steve is turning Japanese as it seems he's overhauled his wardrobe with all Japanese clothing. He looks a bit like Michael Jackson, and we don't let up on the comparison.
Ate at a curry house and dashed into a SUPER-ENTERTAINMENT-COMPLEX-THINGY. It had 9 floors of pochinka, video games, claw games, bowling, table tennis, darts, pool, batting cages, and karaoke. We damn near tried everything! Our aspirations to join the Orioles next season were dashed again, as we realized we can't hit a ball.
The drive back was not too long, and we played the second night at Club Iwakuni. Full of Marines tonight, and one was celebrating a birthday. Really responsive bunch, and we saw some familiar faces from the night before. Went into town to do some FACE OFF Karaoke, where we'd pick a song for them (as wussy as possible) and they'd pick a song for us (equally as wussy, but we knew them all!) . If you ever get a chance to hear some tough-lookin' Marines sing Puff the Magic Dragon, it'll probably be them. They sounded like sweet, little angels underneath their tough demeanor. The band moved on with POC Jordan to a Reggae joint where they joined in a drum circle well into the early hours of the morning.