After just feeling like we were getting to know our way around Kyoto, we headed off to a "new home" (as Eli called it) in Hiroshima. Much to our surprise, we found our hotel room to be much more spacious and very nicely located at the edge of the Peace Memorial Park! Since Eli had napped on the train we headed out for the afternoon to explore the park and visit the museum. To be honest it felt a bit strange to me, initially, to be a tourist in a place that my country had so harshly destroyed not that long ago. It was pretty amazing to see it all first hand and to learn more about the city. There were several memorials throughout the park including the Children's Memorial, the Eternal Flame and the remains of one building that had survived the bomb. We took turns touring the museum while the other entertained Eli but it was well worth it.
Children's Memorial (the colorful little "huts" you see are filled with 1000's of paper cranes on strings)
The Arch frames the Eternal Flame and remains known as the A-bomb Dome
The next day we took a much needed "break" day and spent a lazy morning wandering through the city, stopping off at a playground for Eli to run of some energy, looking back at our photos to date, eating some super yummy cookies (discovered them in a convenience store!) and just relaxing. That evening we did the same, stopping off at an Italian restaurant for some pizza and then on to another park. As we said goodbye to Hiroshima the next morning we looked forward to returning to Tokyo to spend our last five days with Hiro and Becky.
With the end of our trip in sight, we wanted to make sure there wasn't anything that was left out. We had a great Indian lunch on Saturday (ask Grant about the all you can eat rice and Naan) and then the guys went to a Public Bath (no photos, sorry). Sunday we all got to go to the zoo. Eli loved all the animals, running around and most of all the "tiny mouse" from the nocturnal animal exhibit. Not sure why that was his favorite but I think it might of had something to do with the fact that it was running around crazily which he found very silly! That evening we took these crazy "photo booth" pictures (way more sophisticated than our Fair booths), played at an arcade, and then ate at a noodle place.
Grant (Gorilla), Hiro (little Gorilla) & Eli (look closely it looks like he has three legs)
Happy noodle eaters
The beloved "Hiwo & Beby"
We spent our last full day in Tokyo doing our last sightseeing at Asakusa and then taking a boat ride. Eli loved being on the water and seeing all the other boats. That evening we met Hiro at a toy store near where he works in Shibuya and Eli was in a world of his own! Then we met up with Becky and had one last hurrah at TGIFridays for dinner. Good drinks, good food and great company!
Eli in Choo Choo heaven
Becky & I (bottom right) by one of the busiest street crossings. Its only a Tuesday night, look at all the people!!!
Our trip was amazing. Far better than we could have ever expected. We got to experience so many new things, learn about a new culture and best of all visit with good friends we hadn't seen in almost two years! Can't wait for you guys to come visit next, "Hiwo & Bepy"...We miss you already.
One tired, worn out little world traveler quite happy to be sitting in his own car seat eating Subway and chips heading home