7 days trip to Kansai and Hiroshima worth nothing more and nothing less than just an ordinary vacation. What makes it extraordinary are the accompanying friends (all YSEP from Indonesia + Andy) and those helping friends (Mbak Titin, Mas Dedy in Kyoto and Priska in Osaka).
Well.. there’s a lot to tell about the trip. But I think you should read what I’m going to write; about the last town I visited – Hiroshima. Not only became the last, but it left traces on my heart –> exaggerating, haha.
We’ve just had 1,5 days and 2 night in Hiroshima. It always rained since the first night we came there…
We spent the first day in Miyajima island. It took a 10 minutes ferry boat to reach this “Island of God”, where the famous “floating” torii gate lies. It should be really beautiful, but the rain ruined it all. We made it until the 2nd highest observatory point in Mt. Misen by using ropeway but we’re all trapped inside. It’s too cold to go out and it’s all white by fog (later when we went down, we saw a thermometer showing 4 C degree temperature…).
But the food were fantastic! There’s a kind of maple-leaf-shaped cake filled with various cream, from red beans to cheese, called momiji cake. That’s the traditional one. But there’s a shop that sells deep fried momiji cake (like tempura!). I ordered the cheese one while there’s a live TV crew taking shoots from the shop *lucky me :)*. The cake costs 150 yen but really the cheese melt in your mouth! Of course you could get the same effect by just heating the cake, but the tempura thing made it crunchy too.
And there are a lot of oyster thing in this island. From yakitori-like-senbei-with-oyster-flavor to a real baked oyster! Maaaa, sure it’s a heaven of oyster lovers!
In the night, we went to an okonomiyaki shop. Well, we heard that okonomiyaki from Hiroshima is really different and delicious so we want to give it a shot. While waiting to be served (I don’t want to tell you the details about the okonomiyaki cause somehow it made me sick — maybe because I used too much mayonnaise and sauce, or maybe because I saw how the chef cook it with the same pallet used for pork okonomiyaki ordered by my other 3 friends -_-‘), the chef talked with us in half English and Japanese. The chef’s friend married with an Indonesian. “There’s a lot of Indonesian here in Hiroshima,” he said.
There were another Japanese customer came and the chef greet them happily. Then he introduced us as “Indonesian”. The topic between them then started with what is Indonesia like, with the chef talked like he was promoting us.
Suddenly the chef asked me and Fafa, “Indonesian man could have 5 wifes right?” –> or something like that, like what I said before he’s speaking in partial Japanese-English.
Perhaps what he means was Muslim men. But well, it’s absolutely wrong.
“No, maximal of 4,” I said.
The chef happily turned to the Japanese customer, “See? It’s four!!!” And they were amazed with the chef’s words.
“But see, there’s a lot of restrictions and requirements for that,” I tried to explain. But to my surprise, he said “Psssst… keep it a secret,” and he smirked.
What? I guess that was just sweet-non sense-exaggerating talk to make his customers happy without any intentions to telling the truth. *Sigh* But I could tell that there is probably a misperception about Moslem, and since the majority of Indonesian is Islam then it became generally accepted as Indonesian.
Next day, because we didn’t have enough time, we just visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the museum. The museum was awesome, yet terrifying. The museum talks about the first Nuclear Bomb exploded in the world, that was at Hiroshima in 1945. The museum explained it all with a time story lined tour, started from what was Hiroshima back then before the bombing, the development of nuclear bomb, the process and why Hiroshima was chosen as the bombing target, the explosion, the reaction, the effects, the victims, and how those Hiroshima people build again their city from a scratch and yell for peace.
I just know that the effect of nuclear bomb is really damaging, the intense heat and radiation which was very dangerous. But I never know that before they die, they had to suffered not just burnt, but also melting skins, dehydration, and worsen by black rain. Not long after the bomb explode, the radio station requested the eyewitnesses who survived to send drawings or pictures of what they saw. Over 2500 pictures sent, and mainly it tells about the victims condition.
Those pictures were mainly expressed with nude people all over the road (their clothes were all burnt), bleeding and burnt, or with tangled-melting skins that made them looked like zombies carving for water. Thirty minutes after the explosion, the heat on the earth surface made cumulonimbus cloud which brought rain. But burnt and radiated materials affected the rain so the rain color turned to black. Having very bad dehydration, people started to drink the black rain like fish (opening their mouths toward the sky) or like alley cats (drinking from ponds). Soon after, they’d die.
An eyewitness drew a corpse’s hand with still flaming blue-flamed-fingers.
Another one tells about how he still remembers the victims calling out for water and still regret why he didn’t gave it *the thing is, giving water is prohibited to the victims due to the burns*.
A collection showed tip of a boy’s thumb and his skins. The boy said to be really thirsty so he sucked his thumb all the way to his school. Her mother finally could see him, already died, and took his remains – the thumb and the skins.
What could be even worse? Most of the victims were kids. At that time, students were moved to demolished buildings in Hiroshima so it could not be the air bombing targets. So when the explosion happened at 8.15 in the morning, most of the students were outside doing demolition.
The museum moved me… And until now I could still clearly imagined what happened back then at the explosion. Horrible. And those countries still possesses nuclear bomb. Could we stand still and saw them do that again to this world?
Over all, I could feel that Hiroshima is a peaceful city. Although the people of Hiroshima has great scar over their heart, they have great will to speak to the world about the nuclear bomb. So I think this city would do anything to stop this nuclear bomb things, as there were still some physical relics left as it is scattered around the town, to show how painful a nuclear bomb would be…
I could feel its presence…
Beautiful yet painful city.