We left Hakata in the morning to catch our train to Nagasaki. The train ride was fairly short with great oceanside scenery. I wrote my blog entries along the way while Shoko fell asleep with the vibrations of the rail car. We arrived in Nagasaki just in time for lunch, and went to the hotel to check in and leave our bags. We asked for a suggestion of something local to eat, and from the recommendation of the hotel staff, we went down the street and had a good lunch. After lunch, we took the street car towards the Atomic Bomb Museum, and got started. The museum was really well done with a tasteful, matter-of-fact description of events, how the bomb was created, how it was deployed, the story of that fateful day and the aftermath of just what happened in 1-3 seconds of the bomb detonating. Moreover, seeing the pictures of the decimation of the entire area was incredible to think it could all happen in an instant, and for absolutely no gain.
Though most of the images were really moving, upon exiting about 2.5 hours later, I found myself completely struck with sadness at a picture of a young boy who had his younger brother strapped to his back like a backpack. The boy stood emotionless, but strong and with might, as it to about to salute. After reading the explanation of the photograph, it showed that he was there bringing his baby brother, completely lifeless (not asleep) to be burned with the other bodies of those lost during the explosion. It also read that during the cremation of the brother, that the little boy bit his lip so hard that blood was seen. To think of the horrors that so many generations before ours have seen, heard, and experienced really is incredible to think of how sterile and ‘soft’ our lives our with all our conveniences. I think one thing that can be learned from traveling, is the reality check of we all have a story. No one’s story is more important than someone else’s per se, but if you’re willing to listen, everyone has a story to tell—and usually, they’re pretty interesting. Our evening ended while walking through the Peace park and making our way back to the hotel to drop our bags and head out for dinner. We found a street that had some restaurants, so decided to stop at one called ‘Isshin’. The inside was loud, and the woman came to us saying they were full, unless we wanted to sit at the counter. Again, another perfect opportunity to meet people around you :)
A man to the left moved down to open up even more space for Shoko and me. As soon as he saw Shoko and I chatting about what to eat, he interjected complimenting my Japanese and continued on giving us recommendations of what people of Nagasaki eat. About two hours later, we were all taking pictures together with Mr Yashima, and knew about his family, his career (which he just retired from as well in the financial industry), the owner of the sushi restaurant, and the fun fact that Mr Yashima comes to this restaurant weekly. Well, every day that is divisible by 7 to be exact. IE: 7, 14, 21, 28. Mr Yashima also now has pictures of us, and SushiGuru is now known even more with new customers from our fun dinner that ended up being a great end to a full day in Nagasaki.