Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Japan pics (Hiroshima)

With new pics I mean pics that haven't been published before on this weblog. The pics below were taken a year ago during our visit to Japan. They were taken at the city of Hiroshima. I've posted about Hiroshima before (check: here and here). As most people probably know Hiroshima was the first city in history on which the first atomic bomb was dropped. Besides the Peace Memorial Museum and the monuments in the Peace Memorial Park there is not much that reminds directly to that horrible event on August 6th 1945. Nowadays Hiroshima is a vibrant city with good food places and a nice nightlife.

From my 11 visits to Japan 5 or 6 times I've also visited Hiroshima. For several reasons it's one of my favorite cities in Japan. First there is this fascinating and horrifying history. And I have some friends living there, the good food (Hiroshima is famous for it's okonomiyaki) and my favorite pub in Japan can be found here. If I have the time and chance I always try to make a few day visit to the city. In and around Hiroshima are enough and good sightseeing places. And on the night time I always go to my favorite pub after dinner. The owners Mac and Yuri are very friendly and laid back. The bar has a good mix of locals and foreigners, so there is always someone to talk to. The bar is open all night and another, for me important, plus is Mac's impressive music collection and they're always glad to grant your musical requests and they seldom disappont you.

In my former postings about Hiroshima all the pics were taken during the daytime. For quite some time I wanted to take pictures of the A-bomb Dome or Genbaku Dōmu in Japanese at night. This building is the only left and tangible memory of the nuclear blast that hit Hiroshima in the morning of August 6th 1945. If you see pictures of the A-bomb Dome and it's surroundings short after the blast it's surprising how much of the building survived the blast, also if you know that the detonation was almost direct above the building.

I can't explain the strange and ambivalent attraction I experience at places like this. A very bloody and atrocious part of modern history was written here and no matter how often I visit here (and I visited here every time I went to Hiroshima) it never leaves me untouched and standing at this place always send some shivers up my spine. If you want to read about Hiroshima short before the dropping of the bomb and the effects on the city and it's survivors I can recommend the manga (comic) books about Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa based on his own experiences as a Hiroshima survivor.

Normally I would say enjoy the pics but at a place like this I guess that wouldn't be appropriate.
(click on the pics to enlarge)
Same as previous but now with special B/W settings

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