24.04.2016 - 25.04.2016 22 °C
Hey everyone !!
I know it's been a few days since my last blog, but with good reason. We've been go-go-go, so much so, I've started referring to this trip as, 'Amazing Race Canada', and no longer vacation. We're just missing other contestants and the $250,000 grand prize at the finish line😁. Who signed us up for this anyways? LoL I'm serious though, it's challenging as h*ll. We eat, sightsee, sleep, pack, travel, eat, sightsee, sleep... etc. And don't forget navigating through subway lines, figuring bus routes, finding hostels. Oh, and the language barrier, that's not hard at all.... 😟 It's a catch 22, really. We want to see everything, but we can't. We're tired, and there's only so much time. Seoul was a whirlwind, as was Busan. Seoul has so much history. I sat on a 2hr bus tour, ready and eager to hear about Seoul's history.. until I heard about the 50th emperor and his palace. I imagine my dad and bro would eat this stuff up. Me.. not so much. Also, if we'd had bags of money to spare on this 'race', we would've enjoyed so much more of Seoul's nightlife. Food from all over the world, Korean, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Canadian. For real, a bar called the "Real Canadian Tavern". Clothing stores galore.. I mean, it's a fun place, Seoul, just not enough time to enjoy it. The Gangnam borough was the highlight of my trip !
The bus ride from Seoul to Busan was short and sweet, no problems. And Busan was uneventful, just another city BUT very significant to us, being the gateway to Japan. We decided to take the JR Beetle into Japan. Why fly when you can ride the waves? haha LAME. 🙃 I purchased myself a beautiful Baby-G watch at the Duty Free shop, and waited to board the boat. What? I needed a souvenir from Korea, and a new work watch.. 😜 My pops was worried about the recent earthquakes in the south of Japan, but we continued to cruise, 31/2 hours, across international waters to the most anticipated country on our itinerary. Very cool way to travel, btw 👍🏼
We spend the next 7 days crossing Japan from the west (Fukuoka), to the east (Tokyo) on the Japan Rail, a $350 purchase we made months ago that allows foreigners unlimited travel for 7, 14, or 21 days. First stop, Hiroshima. And wow, what a day. We hopped on this Japan Rail at exactly 12:08, only to arrive in Hiroshima shortly after. This bullet is so fast, we nearly missed our station. A man literally threw his bag between the doors to keep it from shutting on us 😳 What a guy.
So now, I'm sitting in the Hana hostel in Hiroshima, Japan, on the 25th day of our travels, feeling incredibly moved.. for many reasons.
Firstly, we spent the afternoon walking around the Peace Memorial park, where the first atomic bomb dropped, killing over 200,000 Japanese civilians on August 6th, 1945. It was incredibly bone-chilling, a surreal moment for both of us. We spent time at the Atomic Bomb Dome, admiring the years of preservation, the Cenotaph, and the Children's memorial. We learned that the crane symbolizes the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl, at the age of 12, who died of Leukemia, a result of the exposure of the atomic bomb's ionizing radiation. I left a crane at the Children's memorial today, as do so many other people around the world. And, I've challenged myself to put one together 😁.
Garrison will have so much more to say about our day at the sight, I will leave it to him to continue. We ate some delicious sushi for dinner and ended our night early, as we plan to get up for what?? More sightseeing ! lol
That's all for now, this Jim Bean is getting to my head 😜 I hope you're enjoying our reads, stay tune for our next few days in Japan ! 🇯🇵
Rob and Erin ✌🏼️