Thursday, August 6, 2009

Peace Park?

It's August 6, anniversary of the Bomb, yadda yadda.

I've been to Hiroshima. I forgot to pack the charger for my digital camera, and it was running out of juice by the time the bullet train got to Hiroshima. Fortunately, the camera was a Fuji.

Surely, I said to myself, there's a mall around where we can buy a charger for a Fuji camera. The nice lady at the train station Information desk told us there was a mall near-ish, but far enough that we'd want a taxi to take us.

And this is where things got interesting. I jumped in the cab, and the driver (sizing me up) said, Peace Park?

No, I said, please take us to the mall. Blank stare.

Peace Park?

I can't blame him for having rusty english skills, since after all it's his country. But no thanks, I'd like to go to the mall.

Peace Park?

He finally drove to a nearby hotel where he chattered away with the bell hop. The bell hop turned to me and said (in perfect english), Pardon me, but where is it that you would like to go?

The mall, domo arigato.

So I'm the only American who's ever gone shopping in Hiroshima, rather than to the dang Peace Park.


ASM826 said...

Nope, lots of Americans go to the Ginza, go late night bar hopping, and go shopping on the main downtown streets. Hiroshima castle is a great museum to learn about the samurai, and there are lots of good restaurants once you know where to look.

Hiroshima is about 30 km north of MCAS Iwakuni, easily reached by train, a little harder to get to by bicycle. The bicycle has the advantage of ease of transportation once you get there, and since the last train running is at 11 PM, the bike also allows you to stay and close the bars.

Peace Park is ok, everyone made a trip or two there. But once you've been there and got some pictures, there's a lot more to do, and it's one of the two most modern cities in Japan. Nagasaki being the other.

They close the city on the week of the anniversary and everyone acts like the U.S. was somehow the bad guy in WWII for a few days.

No one wants to discuss reality. A land invasion would have killed millions of Japanese. They were preparing to meet us on the beaches. It would have extended the war for years. All our POWs would have been executed, and estimates of U.S. casualties in a land invasion range up over a million men. We would have had to strip Europe, leaving it open to the Soviets, and potentially starting a new European land war in rubble of the last one.

Anonymous said...

So here I was in Washington. I walk up the stairs from the subway, and the dude standing there says, "Holocaust Museum is that way."

"Uh, ok.. which was to the NASM?"

I still don't get it.