Japan Tour 5:
Hiroshima, Miyajima Park, and Shikoku

I toured these three areas in 1992 (to the best of my memory). Let me make some brief comments on each.

Unfortunately, on this trip, various items of mine didn't make it, including my checkbook and luggage. Hence, you see me wearing the same $3 of clothes that I bought along the way and riding a rented bicycle.


Hiroshima always conjures up images of the bomb. You'll see some on this tour, but Hiroshima existed before and after the atomic attack. Facing the island of Shikuku, Hiroshima long housed its own local lords and played a role, but never a dominant one, in the various local fuedal wars.

An industrial town after the Meiji Restoration, Hiroshima made parts for the Japanese war machine. While the bombing of Nagasaki made no military sense, the bombing of Hiroshima hit at the heart of industrial Japan. In fact, Japanese residents didn't take the presence of one plane, the Enola Gay, seriously since much larger formations had attacked the city before.

Miyajima Island

This island sits off the coast of Hiroshima and holds some very old shrines, all very plain in the pre-Heian styles. See Tour 1: Nara and Kyoto for a contrast. The Japanese consider the island so sacred that they don't allow anyone to die on its soil due to various Shinto beliefs about pollution.


The smallest of Japan's four big islands, Shikoku never played a leading role in Japan. Today, one most easily reaches it by car ferry. This outside position, however, meant that generally a single feudal family ruled the island leading to less warfare.


This is the Hiroshima Exhibition Dome.

The Japanese didn't restore the dome after the blast.

This honors a girl who tried to make 1000 cranes which, folklore said, would cure her cancer (but didn't).

The A Bomb Musuem backs the Peace Park.

Hiroshima Castle (of course rebuilt) dominates the town.

Here I model my $3 shorts.

The tiles decorate but also deflect water, important in a country that gets high rainfall during the spring monsoons.

Here the author stands in front of the museum.

Yes Hiroshima has a tower too, quite the rage in Japan. The view here shows a famous garden in the foreground.

The entrance to the most important Shinto shrine.

Yet few came to worship.

You ring the bell to summon the spirit.

From the Peace Memorial, this view shows the whole city.

The international memorial looks distinctly Thai.

This shows another view of the same memorial.

This offers another view of the city.

From the boat one can see Miyajima Island.

The arches of Istsukushima Shrine reach out into the water.

A very old Shinto Shrine, the "Floating Temple," dedicated to the Gods of the Moon and Ocean, predates Kyoto on Tour 1: Nara and Kyoto.

These arches symbolize the island and also the Iwakuni Naval Air Station across the bay.

I hiked halfway up Mount Miso in the sweating sun.

Ten minutes later, I would fall a good quarter mile down this slope and have to "break trail" back to the main pathway, a three-hour hard climb.

As at Nara, on Tour 1: Nara and Kyoto, the priests also keep tame deer. The practice, I suspect, probably predates the arrival of Buddhism.

The three story pagoda stands in too many trees.

I took a better picture of the five story pagoda, "Senjukaku Hall," dedicated in 1587 to Hideyoshi, the warlord so prominent in Tour 3: Osaka, Kobe, and Okayama.

This shows the temples and shops.

This trusty bike got me from Iwakuni NAS to the Hiroshima train station several times.

The boat sails away from the Harbor.


This shows Matsuyama, the main city of Shikoku, the "chiisai kaido," (small island)

The ubiquitious ferry boat drops me off.

Hiroshima and Masuyama both use
trolleys in lieu of subways.

The downtown looks like typical Japan, but
I saw a lot fewer foreigners in Matsuyama.

Masuyama Castle, built in 1603, center for the Matsudairas, a family whose ruled lasted throughout the Edo Period explained in Tour 4: Tokyo and Nikko.

The castle provides a good view, but it ends this trip.

Related Japanese Tours:
Back to Tour 4: Tokyo and Nikko
On to Tour 6: Okinawa

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