Without the specter of train disruption our AM commute to Hiroshima today was much easier.  Our morning routine of up at 7 for breakfast, followed by an 8am departure was only temporarily interrupted by what appeared to be our first lost Train Pass.  Thankfully it was found, but not until after a $2 local train ticket was bought by the guilty party.  The students continue to learn what it means to be responsible for themselves and their belongings, including passports, train passes and the like.  Today we took our first shinkansen, or “bullet train” for a 90 minute speed southward.  Our group broke for lunch in Hiroshima’s Hondori Shopping Arcade before reconvening and trekking onward to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.  Under the shadow of the Atom Bomb Dome, Mr. Barrett gave some historical perspective for the students on the events of August 6, 1945, and Ms. Jackson taught the students how to fold paper cranes.  At the children’s memorial, by the statue of Sadako, students had the opportunity to place their cranes where thousands of other students from Japan and around the world had done the same.  The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was a grim reminder of the horrors of atomic warfare.  The students took time to carefully examine the exhibitions here.  While waiting outside the museum for the last of their classmates to finish, some students were busy interacting with locals, including a few enthusiastic Japanese who had the students singing songs!  Our evening was spent having dinner back by the Hiroshima train station where we all enjoyed a local specialty – Okonomiyaki!  Tonight students write in their journals before an early bed check at 9:30.  Tomorrow we are up at 5am for a long day, beginning with yet another unique experience no other Handsworth group has had yet… we’re off to see the famous Floating Torii Gate of Miyajima, before heading to Takayama.

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