On July 3, Aja and I set out for Hiroshima.
To get to our destination, I drove 3 hours to St. Louis, then caught a two-and-a-half-hour flight, stayed the night in Brooklynn, caught a 14-hour flight to Tokyo, then an hour-long flight to Hiroshima, then a 30-minute bus ride, and finally a short drive. I was exhausted towards the end and I know Aja noticed. I hope I wasn’t being short with him. I definitely didn’t get much, if any, sleep during those two days of travel. It wasn’t entirely bad, however, I found the flight very accommodating. I even took pictures of the food. This marks the official start of my food blog.
As a side note, I also found it amusing that the music I was listening to managed to sync up perfectly with our landing in Tokyo. It even played “Midnight Pretenders” which is a Japanese song from the 1980s. This kept me more energetic which is what I needed more than anything to get through customs and the COVID test process. We also missed our connecting flight due to the wait time. The staff at the airport was very helpful, however, and helped us change our flight without any trouble or extra charge. If I’m being honest, I’ve never experienced customer service like this at an American airport. I’m already impressed with the polite attitude and attention to detail many of the workers in Japan are rumored to possess.
When we arrived in Hiroshima, Mirei, who is with the World Friendship Center, kindly drove us to a 7/11. It’s amusing that our first real experience of Japan involved a convenience store but I believe it is fitting. we got to sleep in our futons for the first time. Considering the fact that they’re on the floor, I’m surprised by how comfortable they are. The directors, Matthew and Malachi, promised to let us rest and ease us into the duties of the internship. I appreciate their effort to help us get acclimated and lessen the stress of culture shock. Personally, I felt some culture shock but my gut reaction was not negative but instead an interest in the novelty. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn more about life in Japan without getting thrown in without support.
Aja and I, after getting some rest, went to the Peace Memorial Park. The park is full of memorials for different people who were victims of the A-bomb or helped in the recovery of Hiroshima. I remember the children’s monuments the most. I will reflect on what I learned in other posts. For now, I found the memorials to be incredibly done and the park to be beautifully laid out and maintained. The A-bomb dome, in particular, is a point of interest in the park and serves as an effective reminder of the park’s purpose.
Thank you for reading! I will share the rest of the week in another post.