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Japan 2020 - The Idiot Returns

Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
With Gunkanjima out of the equation a bit of a slow day today. Able to get some washing done before heading out a bit after 9.
Passed the Bunmeido Castella Cake shop, would be making a return later in the day

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Another 2 or 3 minutes on foot and I arrived at Dejima
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Former Portugese then Dutch trading post that for a couple of centuries of the isolation policy was the only place that foreigners were allowed to be in Japan.
Land reclemation happened around the island and it eventually integrated into a Nagasaki neighbourhood, until in the early 20's being designated a Japanese Historical Site. The goal is to restore the island to it's original size and shape, being surrounded by water on all sides, which will involve re-routing the river and a road route.
Quite a few buildings have been rebuilt and are open on the island.
Bridge was added a couple of years ago, double the size of the original stone bridge as land was taken from the island to re-route the river during the Dutch occupation

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Lanterns from the original bridge
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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
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intermittent drizzle had now become steady and heavier. Lantern festival coming up and stumbled across preparations here and there.
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Dutch Slope, westerner's houses form the second half of the 1900's. All Europeans were referred to as Dutch. Spent about 2 minutes here
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Went back toward Nagasaki Station, and worked outward form there looking for something to eat
Stumbled across Manjusan Shofuku Temple
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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
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Kepy walking, found myself in a cemetery

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Happened to notice a small sign an a street post indicating air raid shelters were close by. Decided against it, as it was uphill and had already been let down by the supposed air raid shelters at the Peace Park. About 15 steps in had second thoughts and made my way up the hill. Glad i did.
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There were about 4 shelters, with a couple having gates locked at the entrance, the other 2 with no gates. Wasn't sure if I could just walk in, Japanese bloke stepped out of a little shed and pointed and nodded toward an entrance. Then asked me where i was from, seemed happy I was from Australia.

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Not a hell of a lot in there, but happy I was able to have a look.
Blue shed where the gentleman that spoke to me was housed

Kept walking , came across some statues and then some steps uphill to some parkland


And an animal park

Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
Very ordinary park, thankful that there weren't too many animals in small cages. A pen of ducks, pen of chickens, some lemurs and unfortunately a couple of goats in a not overly large area.
Over reaching a bit.



2 minutes to walk through and getting very hungry by now. I was after a covered shopping street, which I think every Japanese town has. Spotted a sign for Spectacles Bridge, so headed there as I would be able to re-orientate myslef.

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Few photos then kept moving. Another area being set up for the Lantern Festival
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Finally found a covered shopping street, but by this time I just thought f*** it and decided to get something fron the food court of the shopping centre near the hotel.
Dutch theme along the way.


Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
Stopped at Bunmeido Castella Shop to pick up a cake. What followed was as if I was receiving the crown jewels. Shop assistant took my money to another lady at a desk to the side, another took the cake and bagged it, while I noticed another lady, seemed a lot better dressed than the others at the back fiddling around with something. Change was presented to me by the first lady, then the well dressed lady at the back came out of the front of the counter and presented me the bag with the cake inside. Other 2 ladies then came to the front of the counter and all bowed to me. All for me spending about $10.
Added bonus, bit of drizzle outside, bag had a raincoat over the top of it.

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Went to the food court, ended up with a hamburger steak as the Japanese like to call them. Also what turned out to be omelette rice. I had seen someone eating the dish the previous night and was intrigued by what I though was a huge omelette. Normal omelette, over a heap of rice. Was quite nice unfortunately much like the Sasebo burger from the day previous, the meat pattie gave me a bit of repeating indigestion.

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Wandered around the food stalls and picked up a single peach castella, peach signifying good luck if I recall correctly. I gathered the cake would be peach flavoured, or have a peach in it somehow. Incorrect, it's simply icing looking like it's a peach. Way too sweet and the downer half an hour or so after I ate it smashed me. picked myself up for a little wander after dark, but didn't last long, back to the hotel and packed and ready to move on again the next morning

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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
The 8.28 Kamome to Hakata

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Unfortunately missed out on the cool black train again

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Plenty of room and comfortable seats though

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Pleasant scenery both sides of the train, unsuccessful at capturing how nice it was

Seamless transfer to the Sakura Shinkansen at Hakata, off at Hiroshima. Few minutes to find a large empty locker, then on to a local train to Miyojima.

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Nice sunny day, very cold though
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My planning of the trip had me going to Miyishima in the afternoon to get a photo of the Tori at high tide. While on the boat it came back to me that it wasn't going to happen. I had read about this, but it had been pushed way to the back of my mind.


Don;t know how this company is still in business, didn't see anyone getting on or off, same as a my previous visit

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The JR ride

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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010

Quite a few school kids around, young fella of about 12 hit me up to do a survey, outstanding English
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Lots and lots of shops selling the same sort of thing - chopsticks, fans etc etc
Quite a few outlets doing oysters, absolutely no business from me. Shops selling Momiji Manju on the other hand.
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Walked through Momijidani Park to the Mt Misen Ropeway
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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
Decided not to get on the ropeway, no reason to fill in time as I wasn't going to be taking any photos of the tori at sunset. Went for a little walk up the Momijidani trail instead.

Japanese Garden erosion measures developed to fight against erosion and to also protect against landslides
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Not at all prepared for a long hike so turned back after 15 minutes or so

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Goal umpires in Japan as well
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Pleasant walk back to the ferry, another survey done for some schoolkids

Grabbed my bags and into a taxi to my hotel, the Sunroute. Had 2 bags by this time, and had a bit of fun with the taxi driver. 1st bag had most of my stuff and was around 16/17 kilos, 2nd one had about 3 kilos in it. Passing the second bag to the driver did my best Dean Lukin impression, complete with sound effects. He had a laugh when he prepared himself to take the weight and got the light as a feather bag
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On arrival at the hotel taxi driver taking the bags out, gave the big struggle, complete with sound effects getting the light bag out. Touche taxi driver.
Since booking the Sunroute had changed it's name/owners to Sotetsu Grand Fresa. Had stayed at the hotel 4 years ago, new branding seeming to go a little more upmarket with te reception area and lobby given a new look. Rooms were pretty much the same though. Plenty of room and about $65 a night.

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Bags down, time for a wander


Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
Headed up to Okonomi-mura for an okonomiyaki

It was still early so only a few of the restaurants were open


It was okay

Headed back to the hotel for a bit of a rest, picked up some warabimochi on the way. Sort of a jelly in soy bean flour. Jelly had no real taste to it, the soy bean flour had a burnt, earthy taste. Not unpleasant, however not something i would rush back to eat

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Headed out again a little later on, now with an extra layer on. A deserted Peace Park, other countries in the world you would feel a bit uneasy in a deserted park, no such feeling in Japan.




Wandered up the covered shopping street for a while, picked up 2 of each of the pictured for the old man back home. Server got quite excited when I placed them on the counter to pay, though she must be a fan of the chocolate. She kept excitedly speaking to me, gave her the 'nihingo wakiramasen', had no effect she kept going.
End result she only allowed me to buy 1 of each, no doubt a law due to the alcohol content.


Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
Out and about and heading off to the Peace Memorial Museum. A few memorials on the way of my short walk
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Into the museum and able to get rid of some more coin with the ridiculously cheap entry price of 240 yen

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Pre-bomb photo showing the Bomb Dome building and also the built up area across the river where the Memorial Park is now situated
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The bomb target, the T of the Aioi Bridge
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Post the bomb
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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
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It is quite graphic at parts from this point on, didn't think it appropriate to be taking photos. The museum has been refurbished since my previous visit in 2016 with more personalised information and photos as well as providing a clearer flow through the exhibits
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Scale of Little Boy and Fat Man
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Before the exit there was a special exhibition - Damage and Restoration as Shown in Collections from Overseas. Some fantastic photos and stories, with the added bonus a free glossy booklet with the all the photos and stories from the exhibition included. They really need to be charging more for entry.

Continued on
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Visited Orizuru Tower which gives views over the top of the Bomb Dome. It was extremely cold and one of the guides told me I could sit in one of the tents in the photo, which had a kotatsu inside, for half an hour. I declined as I just wanted a quick look and to take some photos. Silly move in retrospect, as after I left the tower I ended up sitting in a coffee shop for half an hour staring at a wall.
1800 yen for entry, 1200 however for foreigners if you show your passport, also allows re-entries for the day you buy the ticket, which I didn't partake, so pretty good value if you want to go back at night.

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Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
Some shots from the tower.
The Carp's old stadium site, looking like a park going in

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Hiroshima Castle
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Aioi Bridge
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Peace Park and museum
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Bomb Dome
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1 floor below is a where you go in and have a crack at folding a crane. An ipad is provided and it guides you through step by step, or fold by fold. Unfortunately after 3 folds I was stumped, lady helper came over and guided me through the fold and off she went. She should have stayed. After about 3 more returns and then leaving me to my own devices she realised she was dealing with someone with questionable fine motor skills and eventually took over the whole project. I did however receive the enthusiastic applause when 'I' finished the project.
Huge admiration for those that fold the tiny cranes and also for Sadako Sasaki who folded over a thousand of them while dying of leukemia as a result of the bomb.
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After making the crane you're directed to a small entry to a drop on the side of the building, where you drop your crane and add it to the collection already there.
There are some displays and information on this floor and you still get some good views of the city

Shima Surgical Hospital the site of the Hypocenter. Everyone inside died, Dr Shima was away helping with surgery at a nearby town. Rebuilt the hospital, now called Shima Surgery.
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Shima Surgery now - the small building in the foreground


Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
Did you visit the National Peace Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Atomic Bomb? I've been a couple of times and find it more moving than the main museum as it includes many stories of those impacted and the wall of changing photos is so humbling.
I did, but must admit didn't spend too long there, having just spent a bit of time in the main museum. Main museum now has a lot more personal stories than previously and I was probably all storied out.

Noel Mugavin

Active Member
Sep 5, 2010
External stairwell to get down to ground level, however I would be a bit of a liar if I said i didn't use the slide to get through a few floors.

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Pictures on the wall of scenes around Hiroshima, Carp Stadium in its glory days

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Had lunch at a coffee shop and stared at the aforementioned well for a while. Wandered afterwards, picked up the liquor chocolates for the old man that i was denied the night before, then spent the last of my time in quiet contemplation across from the bomb dome.


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Stroll back to the hotel, taxi to Hiroshima Station. Another egg salad sandwich then the Sakura to Shin-Osaka, quick change to the Hikari which became quite full at Nagoya

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Off at Shinagawa Station where I let about 5 trains on the Yamanote Line depart before I jumped on one that was a little less like a sardine can.
Off at Shinjuku and a short walk to the Nishitsu Inn, dropped the bags and had an unhealthy late dinner of convenience store fried chicken and a curry bun.


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