Christmas was quaint but fun nonetheless. Nothing says holiday spirit like a cardboard tree handmade by Rudy and me and of course donated, homemade and a CPD Cruiser ornaments; military temporary housing and a partridge in a pear tree. Ha! This shows how special Christmas can truly be when you cut the commercialism and go straight for togetherness. We wrote Christmas cards (albeit a lil late) and settled ourselves in for a long winter’s nap(e)… that rhymed in my head in some way.
We ended up at Club Iwakuni and enjoyed some Christmas tunes played by a live band and a nice buffet all before stepping off into Iwakuni to check out the kids future daycare: Funky MoMo and hanging out at the mall.
And then there was Hiroshima…
So anywho, the day before New Years we grabbed up the whole fam and successfully navigated our way to, through and back from Hiroshima. What a city! I don’t even know where to start other than we couldn’t have picked a prettier city to spend the day in.
We took the JR train express from Iwakuni to Hiroshima blasting through tunnels and soaring along the inland seashore. Such pretty country. This is a blessing to see a natural beauty like the southwest of Japan with such virgin eyes. I might be romanticizing a little, but where else are you going to get the grandness of insanely steep foothills and the vastness of an inland sea all in one breathtaking view?
With Samurai and shrines abound it was an incredible visit through the very interesting military history of the city. We’re still so new here and there is still so much to learn. We cannot wait.
But there was plenty to see. We had lunch in the mall and then made our way around to the promenade; the main purpose for our visit.
As per the natural order of how you negotiate this side of town, we found ourselves on hollowed ground and directly below where the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan in 1945 during World War II. The soul of all things living on this planet can understand how solemn this place truly is. Don’t neglect the lessons of history because a short memory can create a painful future.
The rain on this parade only precipitates from a past we cannot turn our backs to. And so with this reminder of how things were, we now realize how things are. Sorry for such a downer of an interlude, but I would be remiss if I didn’t include some semblance of reality in what we experience.
Before we could hit the streets of Hiroshima’s Peace Promenade at night, we needed an early nightcap in a German (slightly Japanese) bistro and the only place that didn’t have reservations; weird how that happens.
We weren’t put out… we love the challenge. And no matter how hard the task a couple of Paratroopers behind the lines could accomplish the task no matter what. Damn right!
And then we set off to own the night.
The streets were a hodgepodge of everything from freshly shorn American service members and their significant others, tourists from all over, to those local to Hiroshima out and about and also the Muslim and Indian communities everywhere that were here to enjoy the festive light show the city puts on every holiday season.
Lights abound and people everywhere:
We managed boxed Sake at the local 7Eleven and walked the arcade before finally making it back to the train station and meandering the local rail line back down to Iwakuni. We topped off the night with a taxi ride back to the base and safely snug the kids into bed.
Happy New Years to all! Thank you so much for following our adventures in Japan and we wish you all Health, Wealth and Happiness in the New Year to come!