Today we had our first big day in Hiroshima. We shared breakfast at a beloved café—a reunion of sorts for Prof. A—and then returned to the hotel for a seminar. Ready for the day, we set off for West Hiroshima to find the Peace Institute at Hiroshima City University (HCU). There we met with Drs. Bo JACOBS and Ran ZWIGENBERG to discuss the work of the institute, their research, and our questions.
We got to ride our first shinkansen (bullet train)! Students loved the power of the super-high-speed train to shuttle them from Kyoto to Hiroshima. Then, after decisively concluding that 11 people with luggage have no place on crowded Hiroshima city buses, we got settled into our accommodations in Hiroshima and never used a Hiroshima bus again. The women students would share Japanese-style rooms, sleeping on futon mattresses laid on tatami mat floors. But first, we had other fish to fry. We headed for the ferry terminal.
This is it. This is our first, full day in Japan. We started it off by eating breakfast together at the hotel. The buffet-style breakfast featured mostly Japanese food with some American breakfast food, like cereal. I had miso soup, rice with cucumber slices, two pieces of tamago (a sweetened egg omelet) and cold oolong tea. Though it did not keep me filled for long, it was tasty and healthy. We then headed out to meet our guide, Mr. Aki, at the Kansai train station. He was fatherly and personable and I soon found myself enjoying his presence in our group. After taking the train to Osaka, we walked through a park to reach the International Peace museum. Continue reading Olivia Lowery Reflection
We started our first full day in Japan with a day trip to Osaka. Our volunteer guide, Mr. Akihiro NOMURA (aka “Aki”) helped plan a packed itinerary to keep people moving through a day of jetlag.
In rain that turned to a downpour, the students gamely visited the Osaka International Peace Center (known as Peace Osaka), Osaka castle, and the shopping arcades Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi, before making our way to a train back to Kyoto. On our way back, we stopped at one of the most powerful and beloved Shinto shrines in the area, Fushimi Inari Taisha, and wandered through its many torii (Shinto gates). We parted ways with Aki in the historical Gion area of Kyoto, ate a light dinner, and the students had time to explore the area.
We have a wonderful group of travelers. Whether experienced in global travel or flying for the very first time in their lives, ours is a steadfast group ready to handle whatever comes.