I thought I’d do something different this week. And so, I give you an abridged guide to Hiroshima’s most celebrated tourist trap. Miyajima is a UNESCO world heritage site, home to many of Japan’s most venerable shrines and temples as well as the most spectacular sea views I’ve ever witnessed. It’s overrun by cuddly sika deer, there’s stone lanterns everywhere you look, and a gate to another world is out in the bay. Enjoy.
At 8:15 AM on August 6th, 1945, the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, killing 80,000 people in minutes and levelling the city. I won’t bore you with a treatise on the morality or otherwise of the decision, but I will share an eye-opening revelation- before the bomb was dropped, Stalin had planned to occupy Hokkaido after the war. Whether America’s attack was primarily intended to intimidate the Soviet Union is still hotly debated.
Today is the remembrance day for the atomic bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. I’ll attend the ceremony later and will probably be blogging about the event, peace and pacifism in Japan at some point this week. However, today’s post is about the floods and responses to them.
When I arrived in Hiroshima, I was a day late and it was pouring with rain- the aftereffects of a typhoon. Dangerous weather conditions had forced the Shinkansen to cease operations the day before.
As a result, I had watched the reports of devastation in Onomichi, Kurashiki and other coastal towns, where flooding had destroyed houses, roads and train lines. The full scale of the damage would not become apparent for several more days.