I'm currently sitting in the downstairs computer-station at the Fukuoka Youth Hostel. One of the first places I stayed in Japan was the Yoyogi Youth Hostel, near Tokyo. Both the hostels that I mention are part of the Japan Youth Hostel chain, so now that I'm solo and on missions that are keeping my away from my usual quarters, with Luke in Taktuski, I've decided to track down another Japan Youth hostel; here I am! They have clean and affordable rooms, they have hot showers, and best of all they're all over Japan! I ended up here, by no certain plan, this evening. I left Takatsuki early this morning with a loose plan, a guide-to-Japan type of book, a camera, and a change of clothes.
I started off by jumping on the Shinkansen and taking it to Hiroshima. In hiroshima I visited the Peace Park, which is dedicated to the strong stance against nuclear weapons, and their use. I also visited the Atomic Bomb Museum, which is centered around the Bombing of Hiroshima by the United States. I saw some truly awful, sobering and though-provoking images and testimonies. Of course I've heard stories and seen images, but this museum is full-0n. There were some really raw facts to take in! Enough of the downer bit though, Im' not writing, tonight, to bum anyone out!
After Hiroshima, I jumped on a train, bound for Miyajimaguchi, to ferry out to Miyajima. Miyajima is an island, not far from Miyajima, which boasts several famous sights, not least of which is the infamous torie (Water gate/shrine). The two sights I came to wee weren't in their normal state, because the sea level was extremely low; it was no bummer though, I wasn't really going into it with strong expectaions, one way or the other. After I saw my two sights, I walked around the island. There were wild deer running around, there were cherry blossoms that were constantly raining petals, and the golden light shone beautifily on everything, as it was nearing dusk. It was a truly beatilful time and place to be, and the experience was magnified by the fact that I was experiencing all of this in complete solitude.
After ferrying back into Miyajimaguchi and catching the train back into Miyajima, I jumped back onto the Shinkansen and headed for Shin-Yamaguchi, which would take my just south of my intended destination; Yamaguchi. Upon arival, in the late evening, I noticed that the next train to Yamaguchi wasn't supposed to leave for another 45 minutes, which struck me as super-odd. I got pretty curious and came up on some doubts, which led me to inquire at the information center. The woman who helped me did her best to get out some english and I did my best to get out some Japanese. I gathered that the one site which I had intended to go see, was a temple, which would certainly be closed by the time I got there; also, there wouldn't be very good odds of me finding accomodation! My next move was to get back onto a Shinkansen train and continue my journey south.
I had been planning on traveling around Kyushu, which is the second largest of the four island that make up Japan as we know it. I got into some brainstorming, while on the Shinkansen, and decided that Fukuyama,would be a super ideal place to stop for the night. So here I am, I'm in Fukuyama, I'm at a hostel, I've had a gloriously hot and envigorating shower and I'm ready to get some sleep. I'm looking forward to continuing my journey and the realization that I only have another 6 days on my JR Rail pass (which is my golden ticket around Japan) and that I have less than two weeks left in this country is really putting the fire underneath my butt; I've got to make the most out of everything I experience and I really have to make it all count!
Untill the next time...