I left my home in Massachusetts at 4AM on Wed. Drove one hour to the airport. Flew to Newark. Waited 3 hours, then 4, then 5…flight delayed. Good thing the United Club had lots of bananas and hot water for the oatmeal I always carry in my pocket! Finally we took off. I slept a lot on the 14-hour flight, but had a long, epic dream of the plane losing an engine. Not that big a deal, I always have airplane dreams, and besides, the triple 7 carries 2 engines. At the northern arc of our flight path, we touched over the arctic circle. I took a nice shot, although the photo really doesn’t capture all the majesty. The airline special “Strict Vegetarian” meal I had requested was actually quite good. I’m impressed, United. So we arrived 90 minutes late into Narita. Customs/Immigration took literally 30 seconds, a new record for me. I think by now they just open my passport, see a zillion stamps from past trips to Japan, and figure I can’t be too much of a freak..if only they knew.
I went to claim my bag, and a big box with my name on it was going around and around on the luggage carousel telling me to see a representative. Uh-oh. I figured this meant my luggage had flown out of the plane somewhere over the arctic, probably while I was having my bad dream. But no, they needed to let me know that I wasn’t going to make my connection to Hiroshima, but no biggie, they’d pay for me to take a bus to the other Tokyo airport, Haneda, from where I would catch a different flight, as all the Narita-Hiroshima flights were over-booked. Hey, what’s another 2-hour delay? OK, grabbed my luggage and hopped on the bus. 75 minutes later we were at Haneda. I checked in and was told they could get me on the earlier Haneda-Hiroshima flight, which just happened to be on the new, ultra-cool 787! Boarded a shuttle bus that takes you out to the plane (no jet bridge for the 787). An elderly lady was in my seat, but somehow through my broken Japanese and her 100% Japanese, we were able to negotiate that I’d find a different seat and that she could just stay there. I’d like to think this was because of what a nice guy I am, but the size of the cane she had hooked onto her seat may have entered my mind. The 787 is a pretty sweet plane. Nice blue lighting, huge luggage bins tucked way up high, so there’s loads of headroom. It’s also quieter and smoother than most other air rides. So I finally arrive at Hiroshima, bag too, ride to hotel is an hour, take-out dinner in a box, but just look at how nice, and finally at midnight, also known as 10AM Massachusetts time, or 32 hours after I had woken up to get to the airport, I was drifting off to sleep.
This morning I woke up and headed down to enjoy what I truly believe to be the world’s finest hotel buffet breakfast, featuring my fave fruit, the lychee. One thing about Japanese meals, they have little portions of so many different colored foods. It’s such a wide spectrum of taste, look, and texture, I’m sure it makes for a much healthier body nourishing. Then again, I’d be happy with just 20 lychees for breakfast. They really are the perfect fruit, or are they a nut? Kinda like a vanilla flavored large grape.
My laptop is under the weather, appears to be terminal, so it was not working all day. I may or may not be able to post any more updates, I’ve got it barely sluggin’ along now, propped up at just the right angle, with an apple, so as not to quit, but I doubt it will make it through the night.
Spent much of the day at the Peace Park. There are some newly planted sakura that were rescued from a sakura that survived the blast. This city is all about rebirth and survival.
It’s such a stunning sight to see the Atomic Bomb Dome. It fills one with sadness, but also with a sense of joy when you see how vibrant and beautiful the city and its people are. The flowers have come to the foreground.
The dropping of a bomb should not define Hiroshima, the resiliency and determination of its peaceful people should. Everyone should visit the Peace Museum and park.
Had a great late lunch at my favorite eatery here, The Vegan Cafe. How I wish they would open a 2nd location in the boonies of Massachusetts. Pretty sure I alone could keep them thriving.
Concert tomorrow night at 8PM. There’s still time for everyone to hop a plane and get here!