Unaware that it was a long weekend in Japan we booked our stay to stay in Saga as we couldn’t find any reasonably priced hotels in Nagasaki or Fukuoka. It turned out that it was all we needed.
The hotel was within walking distance of the station (which had a super boulangerie for breakfast). It was very easy to find. The rooms are small but adequate. The hotel had coin operated washing and drying facilities and the staff were obliging and helpful.
After visiting Hiroshima we were eager to see the atomic bomb memorial site in Nagasaki. Here the impact was less in terms of total human casualties but was just as devastating to the areas it affected.
Although the bomb was far more powerful than the bomb at Hiroshima it fortunately exploded above a valley which limited the damage. Nevertheless, about 40 percent of Nagasaki was destroyed.
The human casualties were devastating. Out of a population of 270,000, approximately 40,000 people died immediately and another 30,000 by the end of the year. Until today many others have died or suffered the consequence of the atomic fall out.
The memorial Peace Park has a different feel from Hiroshima. Dominated with a massive Peace Memorial Statue at one end it is quite stark and has a lot of different exhibition tributes from other countries like South Korea.
The museum here relates many personal stories and experiences. They are horrific and inhuman. The suffering to children and old folk brings home the barbaric consequences of war to the innocent.
The museum has a full size replica of “Fat Boy” - the bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. It also includes many interesting facts about the nuclear arms race between Russia and America after the 2nd World War.
I believe that the dropping of nuclear bombs was one of the most inhuman acts ever carried out … hopefully it never happens again.
It’s good to see that both the quantity and the strength have been scaled back but it’s hard to fathom that Russia and the West were actually allies in this war.
Our Sunday trip here involved a long walk past the Fukuoka Castle to Ohori Park. Here there were many families, joggers, walkers with others in row boats enjoying a pleasant day outdoors..
In the park opposite the station there was a food market featuring many stalls of different food, food products and drinks. Here we enjoyed a delicious hiroshimayaki http://www.japanfoodaddict.com/pork/hiroshimayaki-hiroshima-okonomiyaki/ (a grilled pancake with pork, cabbage and noodles and topped with spices, a sauce and mayonnaise) together with a Kirin beer and topped off with a glass of sake.
We also did the open bus tour but as most were booked. So although you could do 3 different routes we could only get a booking on one. It was quite disappointing as we spent a lot of the time stuck in traffic.
Observations and Thoughts
- Check the country calendar for public and school holidays.
- The dropping of atomic bombs was a savage and uncivilized decision.
- The victims of war are innocent children and old people.
- Politicians appear care less about people … they care more about their legacy!