After alighting briefly at our hotel, we took a quick street car followed by an also-quick walk to Hiroshima Castle, a faithfully restored structure surrounded by gorgeous cherry blossoms and home to a multi-level museum full of ancient works and an amazing view from the top level.
Just a few minutes walk away, you pass by the ED-ON towers – two neighboring 8-story buildings where you can buy just about every type of cell phone, hair curler, digital toy or electrical appliance ever conceived, and… it’s right there. The A-Bomb Dome, so named since it remained standing and even retained the distinctive dome despite having been almost directly below the bomb.
People stop to take photos or just stare, but it’s just part of life for the locals – framed by a river and a moving peace memorial on one side and metropolitan bustle on the others. Case in point, just a side-street away is a 6-level ascent into madness of claw machines, animated gambling systems, cosplay photo booths and just about every other entertainment contrivance you could imagine.
And that’s just on the fringes of Hon Dori, a winding multi-street covered arcade of high-end shoes, trendy coffee shops, eclectic restaurants and all manner of other storefronts.
Hiroshima, then, is a lot like Japan and in fact humanity – resilient, many-faceted, and home to far more complexities than you could take in over the course of a single afternoon – which, sadly, is all the time we have here.