For obon matsuri, the summer holiday during which the Japanese honor their ancestors, we traveled to Hiroshima. The city has a very nice atmosphere, with trams and rivers and trees. Nothing except for the the Dome reminds of the atomic bomb that was dropped here by the Americans during the end of World War II. It completely destroyed the entire city. It is very good to see how beautiful Hiroshima is nowadays, considering it’s horrible past. We visited the A-bomb museum and Peace Park, and also went to Hiroshima castle. The castle is a cute, wooden, small version of the big Osaka Castle.
The folded cranes are a symbol of hope and peace.
Hiroshima’s number one food is Okonomiyaki and we went to the popular “Micchan” restaurant to try it out! Wow, so the Hiroshima okonomiyaki consists of a thin pancake, topped with cabbage, pork and squid, then a bowl of noodles is added, a baked egg and a lot of sauce and mayonaise. Whoa! Now that’s a meal haha.
But, Hikarimono suki! We like shiny things! And so we traveled to one of the most iconic firework shows of Japan: Miyajima Hanabi. Miyajima is a small island located near Hiroshima and is famous for it’s beautiful red gate in the water. When the tide is low, you can walk over to the gate.
It is behind the gate that once a year a huge firework show is held. So, we took our mat and found a spot on the beach. In Japan you can just leave your stuff on the mat and no one will steal it or take your place, so we could explore the island a bit before the show started :D. Miyajima is a bit like Nara in the sense that there are old temples and lots of deers walking around. The temperature was almost unbearable (36 degrees) so most deers (and people) were sitting in the shade under bridges and trees trying to cool down.
Around 6pm it started to get dark and the lights of the mainland were twinkling brightly behind the gate in the water. Thousands of people gathered around and at 7.40pm the show started!
The show consisted of four parts, each accompanied by music. In between the shows, a woman with a lively voice was telling a tale about Obon. The show was amazing!! Huuuuge fireballs on the water lit up the whole environment. The colors and shapes were beautiful. It was well worth the trip.
And for the grand finale…
Whoaaaa amazing show :D
However, imagine thousands of people all wanting to leave the island the same time on the ferries…. We were prepared, and as soon as the show ended, we rushed through backalleys and hidden streets straight to the ferry port. After about half an hour we and hundreds of people took the ferry to the train station, where we took the train (packed as sardines) to Hiroshima.