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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Hiroshima in Winter

広島

A tram running through the snow in HiroshimaI took the shinkansen bullet train from Kyoto down to Hiroshima over the weekend for a dosokai, or reunion. It was a cold and overcast and blustery day at Hiroshima Station. After meeting up with friends from graduate school, we caught the light rail tram in front of the Station. Our hotel was a "business" hotel on the tram line, which for a six-tatami-sized mat room cost a mere 5,400 yen (about $45). Tight but very comfortable—and just a twenty-minute walk or 5-minute tram ride into the center of town.

While waiting for others that were flying in later that night from Sapporo, we passed some time by walking over to the Genbaku Dome, the site where the atomic bomb fell on 6 August 1945. Snow was beginning to Hiroshima's Genbaku Domefall as the skies darkened. It made for an eerie yet beautiful site.

Back into the center of town, we walked past the city’s baseball stadium. From there we bar-hopped for a while as the snow begin to glaze the streets and cars.

The reunion was held at Sam’s Café, a homey and fun sports bar. A favorite of Hiroshima Carp baseball players and Sanfrecce soccer players, it is filled with sports memorabilia from around the world and had a Premier League game on tv that was big enough to watch but small enough to not overwhelm the bar. German beer drove the conversation, which lasted for hours. The walk back to the hotel at 2 am was quiet, as the city was blanketed in 17 cm of snow.

The next morning we made another trip to the Dome and went our various ways.

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