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Freezing at 0 C / Hiroshima

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April 5th - Freezing at 0 C

My tent saved me

So I spent another night at McD's the night of the 4th - 5th. Why? Well it was super cold outside and I could not find a save place to set up camp. So a high calorie breakfast was secured. Doesn't look like much, but man it sure tastes good - Eggs spot on (I dont care if it's not really eggs :) ) pancakes sooo fluffy and the piece of bred was delicious:
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As the rain started again after the morning being pretty much only cloudy skies, I stopped for lunch at a 7/11 convenient store (short: conbini) - calorieeessss!!!!!!!
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I didn't take any interesting pictures, mostly because it was all grey and I didn't come across anything special, worth risking my cam getting soaked. I tok those two just to have taken some at least. Sad, rainy country-side
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And some Japanese neighborhood - looks like a very standard, generic Japanese village
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So the night from the 5th to the 6th was suppose to have temperatures going as low as 0 degrees celcius - to spare my american friends a quick google-search - that is where water turns to ice!

So 20 layers of clothes and a high-end jack wolfskin sleeping bag would not have done it - I had to set up my tent - for the first time. I had looked for a park with a pagoda in it the night before, knowing I would need as much shelter as possible in these inanely low temperatures during April! The pagoda of course did not have a grassy patch beneath it, only bricks, therefore I couldn't use the tent pegs. So I used my bungee cords to strap the tent to the pagoda - and it worked perfectly! It was streched all the way and stood on the ground.
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Here is my semi-creepy blair witch project shot from inside the tent:
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I fell alsspe around 11 p.m. and woke up around 9 a.m. - a good 10 hours of nice, deep sleep. I was not cold, nor did I wake up from the wind. The tent worked perfectly! Hd isolated me from both, the wind and the rainy weather. When I stepped out, the ground around me was wet - not oe drop entered the tent - I was happy :)

Hiroshima!!

Wish I had more time to spend here

So I woke up after a nice long sleep in this pagoda....
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...in this park
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The morning was still a bit rainy and cold, but the weather cleared up pretty soon and I could start taking more pictures again. Here are some imprisoned baby sakura
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The last 20 or so kilometers were along the coast - pretty nice view onte the ocean. For the first time I passed an industrial complex - I have not yet spotted anything like that during the whole trip! Strange...
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I arrived in Hiroshima atfer about 65 km, going about 18km/h on average. I passed some huuuuge bridges...
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...and crosses huge rivers before getting into the city center:
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Before I was going to vitis the famous spots I wanted to shower - so I visited an onsen - seems like a legit place, right? :)
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After refreshing, shaving, showering - overall becoming a new person - I went to see a place I have dealt with a lot. I remember having given one of my very first presentations at school about the nuclear bomb attack. On August 9th 1945, 8:16 a.m. the US-government decided to put an end to the war by dropping the first nuclear bomb ever used during war onto the city. The bomb's ironic name "little boy" did increadible damage to the city and killed more people than any other weapon that was ever used before and after. The 広島平和記念碑 (広島 - Hiroshima 平和 - Heiwa - Peace 記念碑 - Kinenhi - monument) burned out completely from the extreme temperatures created by the nuclear reaction. It withstod the forces of the bomb for the most part and became part of the UNESCO world heritage in 1996 - as "not only a strong symbol of the most devastating force created by humans, but also as an expression of hope for world peace and the final destruction of all nuclear weaponary".

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I took one more for color and size reference:
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It was weird looking at it, standing in front of it, imagening the force of the 12.500 tons worth of TNT that the bomb had released about 600 meters above the city. 600 meters above and yet it was able to burn and partially melt the stone the dome was made of. I sat down for a bit and just looked at it.

After I got up to go to the park just across from the dome, I spotted a group of people giving out free hugs in the name of peace!!
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Naturally I parked my bike on the bridge, crossed the road and collected all the free hugs they were giving out. I talked to them for a bit and they gave me a sign - so I joined them for a bit giving random peolpe hugs! It felt good :)
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The park was full of life - people were sitting down, having something to eat, taking pictures of the dome from across the river or just chatting. I sat down, too, since the weather was actually pretty nice - sunny'ish. I spotted the best thing all day! CORGY IN A BASKET!!!
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My god, I love those wobbly doggies so much!!!! I saw sooo many in Japan, but never touched one - so I asked the guy if I could touch it and he let me - man this was one fine, soft corgy - posing for me, too :)
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Tulips everywhere i this park! I guess seeds must have been on sale last year
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My last stop was Hiroshima Castle - which after being built around 1590, got destroyed during the nuclear attack, but completely reconstructed in 1958. It is surrounded by a pretty big park, I could have spent hours to take 100s of pictures - instead I decided for a bit of an unconventional way and just picked on single spot to take one single photo. Nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary, just a spot I liked when i saw it.
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The east side of the castle was surrounded by - of course - Sakura trees, kind of hiding the place from this angle. I met a grounp of Japanese having a nice big hanami-picnic.
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But my favourite photo so far is the main entrance of the castle, the south-side. It is so huge, hard to express in a photo - if you ever visit Hiroshima - make sure to go there, it is simply amazing! Oh if you use Firefox - press "F11" now, to see the picture in full frame!
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So that was it for the day - I wish I had had more time to spend, but it is really cold outside. So naturally I am sitting in...a well you can guess where, no need to tell...

Tomorrow I will will try to get just across from Shikoku - near the 7 bridges connecting Honshu with Shikoku.

This featured blog entry was written by Kitaine from the blog Crossing Japan.
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By Kitaine

Posted Sun, Apr 06, 2014 | Japan | Comments