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Showing posts from October, 2015

CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?: Kurashiki (and Onimichi and Himeji) Oct16-20, 2015

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This blog features food, fun and festivals. Well in Japan that's many days. But our Couchsurfing Host Aki's pretty extraordinary. We can tell you he's overly generous, humble, non-confrontational, etc to a fault (more later). But he's on a mission to spread Couchsurfing across Japan. He's got a blog going and a book deal about CS lined up.  Couchsurfing  is just so un-Japanese. There aren't many hosts, and the idea of letting strangers, smelly foreigners at that, into your home, when you wouldn't even entertain your own friends...well that's just so American. As adverse as the Japanese are to uncomfortable truths, Aki admits there is a mutual disdain between the Japanese, Chinese and the Koreans.
The Japanese colonized Korea, invaded China and did lots of nasty stuff. My mom reeeeeally didn't want me going to Japan and remembers the war like the Japanese are still down the street ( so you better eat all you can, and as fast as you can)
And of course Chi…

Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Oct 14-16, 2015

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We open this blog the only way we can, with the tragedy of Hiroshima, which has since become a miracle through its rebirth and renaissance.
Not the warmest pict, but perhaps the most poignant. This bike belonged to a boy just a month shy of his fourth birthday. He was incinerated by the blast. His father didn't want his son to be alone in his death, so he buried him in the backyard with his bicycle and helmet. In 1985, foury years later, the father dug his son and bike up, donating the bike and helmet to the Peace Memorial Museum.

We hadn't realized Hiroshima was such a big city. Yet it's tranquil, well laid out and even more orderly than other places we've gone. Its got some great cultural sites and because of five rivers and hills on three sides, geographically it's quite attractive. 
The Atomic Bomb Dome, venerable symbol of the first bomb's devastation.
After and before, when it was considered a modern marvel.
The Children's Peace Memorial
Ten year old Sadako …