Sunday, 22 April 2012


Some images from two days spent in Hiroshima, during my recent three-week trip to Japan. We begin with a trip on a rather splendid Sonic express train from Beppu to Kokura:

You can even sit behind the driver to see the line ahead:

 Sonic luncheon bento box:



Hiroshima has a marvellous tramway system and, better still, the cars have been collected from other Japanese municipalities, so there are many different varieties and one never knows which of the numerous different types will next appear:

The ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel, where I stayed overnight:

A variety of Hiroshima trams:

The former exhibition hall, which is maintained in ruinous condition as a memorial to the atomic bombing of the city in 1945:

 As it was before the bomb - it could equally have been sited on the banks of the Danube:

Until getting up close, I hadn't appreciated that the building is in the Viennese Secession style and was actually the work of a Czec architect:

Downtown Hiroshima:

The museum and memorial park dedicated to telling the story of the atomic bombing is a fine example of the international style. It could serve any purpose and could be located anywhere, really:

 Fine concrete work on the pilotis, but once inside, I soon became exceedingly bored by the endless photographs of piles of rubble. The bombing was a terrible tragedy, but when you've seen one pile of rubble, you've seen the lot. Alas, my travelling companions spent ages looking at the images of piles of rubble and, just when I thought we were at the end, they found more galleries full of yet more photographs of piles of rubble. Fortunately, amongst these, I did find a few images of moderne buildings in pre-war Hiroshima, such as the rather fine edifice below:

Devastated shells amid piles of rubble after the bomb:

Another find in the museum was this superbly kitsch painting, intended by its artist to be a celebration of peace, but inadvertantly executed in a distinctly fascistic style:

The museum even had an international style fountain:


Time to visit a Sogo department store:

The kitsch porcelain figurine department in all its glory:

A curved escalator - the first and only example I've ever seen:

Today's Kitchen Show:

 Hiroshima viewed from my hotel bedroom:

And from street level:

 A local ferry trip:

Tram signs:

Hiroshima Ujina Port, from where we caught a ferry to Matsuyama:

To be continued!

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