June 9th 1998, a Tuesday

Greetings! Today, our stay in Hiroshima was a bit depressing. I didn't even think before arriving that we would bear witness to a town that was the target of the first offensive atom bomb attack in the history of man. The Shinkansen took about forty-five minutes to reach Hiroshima from Kyoto, where we are staying. From the station, we traveled via streetcar to the Peace Park, the location where, on August 15, 1945, 600 meters above, Big Boy (Ironic, the same as the restaurant) detonated, killing 200,000 people immediately. I could not help but feel guilty, but I was reminded, the alternative was to rush the island instead, which was estimated to be 2.5 million deaths. War has no good alternatives, it seems.

To compound the sensation was rain. All day, most of us were drenched. Umbrella? Oh yeah, forgot about one of those∑

Several memorials are set up where literally hundreds of thousands of paper cranes were laid out by classes visiting the Peace Park.

I found the Museum even more depressing. As Sophie and I traveled through, articles were on display depicting the destruction. One, a chunk of sidewalk, was charred on the sides but was white in the middle where some unknowing civilian was hit by the initial fireball.

I can do nothing but hope that the détente we are in now will last. Sophie pointed out one display with a list of times atomic weapon usage was contemplated. In particular, the Korean War. Her mom is Korean. v Next on this day's agenda, was a boat ride across a small span of the Japan Sea to a small island. Still raining, we visited a Shinto Gate, or rather viewed it (it was a ways out in a bay). Unfortunately, by this time I realized my camera was gone. In the museum, I had set it down to sign a guestbook. By this time the park had closed and we would have to wait until the next day to try to recover the camera. Mr. C guaranteed me that I would get it back.

It ends up the Kyoto station is also three hotels, a shopping mall, and a Sega World, among many other things. I chose Subway for my dinner, and ate on the way home. The debate was "Who is Weirdest?" among the guys. It began as Larry #1, Ryan #2, me #3, and Dave #4. Suddenly, we stumbled upon the topic of movies and Ryan ended up tying Larry for first place. Ham knows every actor from every movie and gave us all plot reviews. I was amazed. Now if he would just apply that memory to school .

The rest of the night was spent trying to get my dang phone card to work and playing various card games with Sara, Gina, Sophie, Alice (HELLOOoo Kitty?), and Mr. C.