Well, I haven't followed up on the outcomes of the typhoon last night, apart from the early rain and some comments of hearing winds during the night, today dawned with a bright blue sky and fine weather. I did note some minor flooding and debris in the river as we left this morning, so there must have been some rain somewhere around.
Not a lot to report on today. Fourteen of the original thirty-seven on the tour took the option to travel to Hiroshima for the one day tour tomorrow. We met in the lobby of the hotel, said our farewells to the rest of the group and also Yuko, our guide, who did such a wonderful job of getting us around this beautiful country.
We took the 15 minute walk to the station with our luggage, found what looked like our local train, squeezed aboard then, once underway, managed to confirm we were actually on the correct train. Off at the first stop and then had a bit of a search and a helpful conversation with a JR employee and made our way onto the correct Shinkansen platform. It was the wrong end of the train as we didn't have reserved seating so we had a long walk down the crowded platform to get to the correct carriages. On board, lucky enough to get seats on the crowded train. Very smooth and fast ride even though it was an all stations train. Fast being the word as the train hit 303 kph and one point and we were in Hiroshima in less than 90 minutes.
With a free afternoon, we checked into our hotel which was right outside the station then took a local Loop Bus to the Shukkenien Garden. This garden was first built around the early 1600 and has been remodelled on a couple of occasions. Particularly after the atomic bomb of 1945 when the garden was almost completely destroyed. Photos from the time show the trees flattened and burnt and a stone bridge still standing in the midst of the ruined garden. That bridge is still a focal point of the garden today.
Quite a beautiful garden with a large lake and many islands. Lots of the big goldfish you see in all these gardens and also a large number of turtles either swimming amongst the fish or sunning themselves on the rocks and islands. The garden also has a number of memorials and shrines. Apparently many people fled to the garden after the bombing but died there before they could be treated. Many of those people were buried in the gardens.
After a couple of hours in the garden it was back on the loop bus to take a drive-by look at more of the city before coming back to the hotel then out to grab a bite to eat.
It was interesting to see that there are still old electric trams providing a passenger around the town.
Tomorrow we do an all day tour then catch the Shinkansen bach to Osaka to prepare for our flight home.