Monday, 30 March 2015

J Day +11 Onomichi to Imabari...

Tim and Tom are cycling the 70km across the islands from Onomichi to Imabari. I have the arduous task of driving the support vehicle!

The U2 Hotel Cycle in Onomichi...








Collecting the bikes...







Just before they set off...



I'll be sure to update with pics of the sights along the route and especially of how they look at the end!!!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

J Day +10 Hiroshima Castle and Peace Park…

The day started with a trip into the city, mostly rebuilt after 1945, where the Sakura (cherry blossom) was beginning to come into full bloom.

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We began with the castle, which was devastated in the nuclear bombing. One tower was rebuilt in the 1950’s.

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Words cannot adequately describe the feeling of visiting the A-Bomb Dome, Peace Park and Museum, so I’ll let a few of our photographs speak for us. The testimony of the survivors was very moving.

The dome is in the process of being surveyed…

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Part of a beautiful cylindrical mosaic inside the memorial. Each tile of the mosaic represents a person who died in the aftermath of the bombing.

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A young girl who developed leukaemia following the bombing believed the story that id you folded a thousand paper cranes your wish would come true. As she struggled with her illness she folded over fifteen hundred. Sadly her wish didn’t come true and they were given out at her funeral. They have now become a symbol of peace and every person entering the Memorial is given a tiny paper crane.

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It didn’t seem right to take any photographs inside the museum. The reconstuctions reminded me of Oradour sur Glane.

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

J Day +9 Hiroshima and Miyajima Island…

Billed as one of Japan’s three most scenic spots, Miyajima didn’t disappoint. Miyajima is a 25 minute fast ferry ride from our hotel jetty and is packed with sights, the most notable being  the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine and it’s O-Torii Gate, designated a World Cultural Heritage monument.

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The climb to, and the view from Mount Misen are pulse raising and spectacular . The mountain is covered with primeval forest and at 535 m is the highest on Miyajima. Athough there is a ropeway, or cable car, Tom decided that we should walk up and take the ropeway down! At least we did something that nobody else seemed to be doing!!

Deer roam the island.

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The views from the top were stunning – I’m running out of superlatives for the sights that seem to be around every corner.

Three of these stones were carried up by your intrepid climbers!

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A selfie from the very top…

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Miyajima is reputed to have the best oysters in Japan, producing  80% of all the oysters consumed in Japan.

More pics to follow after a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park…

Thursday, 26 March 2015

J Day + 8 continued…

A few more photographs of Tsuwano now that I have access to my camera and computer.

The ryokan or traditional guest house compared to the hotel at Beppu…

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Just a few of the important shrines at Tsuwano…

The Otome Toge Maria Seido Chapel and Shrine, a place where 36 catholics were martyred. This is now a place where many catholic believers visit.

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The Kakuouzan Yomeji Temple and graveyard.

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Taikodani Inari Shrine, built to pray for the peace and security of Tsuwano castle. Now believers visit to pray for good harvest of rice and prosperity, improvement of fortune or protection from evil.

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Our servers at the ryokan…

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Yes, Tim F. The fish were bony, but what flesh there was was delicious!

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Our room…

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All for about £120 a night including food for two people!