Berkeley Lab

Monday, 9/7/15

We had an early breakfast at the hotel, and then went to find a bus to get to Kinkaku-ji, since that is the easiest way to get there. It took about an hour by bus, because there was a lot of traffic, but we could tell when we got there due to the many tourists around. Kinkaku-ji, or Golden Pavilion, seemed to shine, even in cloudy rainy weather. Most of the outside was plated with gold, and the inside of the second floor. On our way out of the garden, I was stopped by a couple of girls in junior high, who asked me a couple of questions for a school project. They were very polite, and asked for a picture afterwards. We then walked a little while to Ryoan-ji, which is famous for its rock garden. It was 15 large rocks laid out in a sort of formation, with small pebbles all around. Something that really surprised me is that their toilets in the public bathrooms were different. They were literally just a hole in the ground, instead of an actual toilet. The signs outside the bathrooms said western style, if the restroom contained toilets.

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After the rock garden, we walked to a small subway station that was in the middle of a small suburb of Kyoto. From there we took the subway back to Kyoto Station, to get on a Shinkansen towards Hiroshima. Unfortunately, the Japan rail pass we had didn’t let us go directly, so we had to switch trains at Shin-Osaka, between Hiroshima and Kyoto. Whenever the shinkansen stops at bigger stations, there are always a couple minutes dedicated to cleaning the train, so there are always people waiting to clean it as soon as people get off. When we got to Hiroshima, we checked into our hotel, and walked to the peace memorial park. On our way, we walked past the Atomic Bomb Dome, which was pretty much right under where the nuclear bomb exploded. The peace memorial park itself was across a bridge, with many memorials commemorating the events that happened. We had dinner at a small restaurant in downtown Hiroshima. There we had Udon noodles for the first time.

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