The original one, that is, established 8:15 am August 6, 1945:
N 34 deg 23.699
E 132 deg 27.254
Had a lovely ride yesterday. Started down Route 157 from Kanazawa through the Hakusan National Park (wiggly and lots of tunnels) which looked like a great biking road. Sure anough, there was a gathering at a cafe by a dam, so I stopped and joined in. Even did the "There's a nice view, let's take a pic of it with all of us standing in front of it so you can't see it" thing (think I'm turning native).
Joined the expressway at Fukui. It's expensive, but the alternative was 350 miles of urban road through the Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe conurbation with death by traffic-light.
Japan has lots of great biking roads, all of which are completely spoilt by a) blanket 80km limit, b) most vehicles doing no more than 50km, and c) very little overtaking opportunity. Having said that, the scenery's fabulous so pootling is no great disappointment.
The Peace Memorial Museum here is to the bomb as the Haus Am Checkpoint Charlie museum is to the Berlin Wall. Simple, graphic, harrowing. Today's Sunday, and there are many groups of schoolchildren here, clearly doing 'projects'; it won't be forgotten (in Japan, anyway), and the overwhelming message is that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. There's an eternal flame; well, the hope is that it's not eternal really because it will be extinguished when the last nuclear weapon on earth is destroyed.
Can you believe a country where there are ciggy/beer/soft drink vending machines on every corner and the public loos are electronic, and absolutely nothing is vandalised? Re the electronic loos - the control panel buttons have pretty graphic legends regarding the spray functions. The one in my current hotel room doesn't even have a heated seat (it's a cheap hotel).
Posted by Cynthia Milton at October 17, 2004 05:02 PM GMT