Field Trip to Hiroshima, 2015 Fall
From September 11th to the 14th, UC students and Prof. Takahara's seminar students visited Hiroshima to gain a better understanding of Japanese history.
They had an opportunity to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park, Okuno-shima (the site of a WWII era weapons plant), the Fukuromachi Elementary School’s Peace Museum and the Kure area. They also had an opportunity to hear of the experience of a survivor of the atomic bombing.
[ A student’s reflection on the trip ]
One of my main reasons for choosing this program is its Hiroshima field trip. For a really long time, I wanted to visit the famous red torii and the island of Okuno-shima. In the end, it certainly didn't disappoint as this trip was one of the best experiences of my life.
We bonded with each other at 200mph on the Shinkansen.
We came to Japan for sushi, but we got something better: Okonomiyaki and Miyajima oysters.
We learned about the Hiroshima bombing through a guided tour of the memorial park in English and a seminar with an atomic bomb survivor.
We visited the island of Okuno-shima. It is popularly known for the hundreds of rabbits that now live there. However, we did not make the visit to play with the animals, but rather to learn about the poison gas manufactured there in WWII. Our friendly tour guide took us around the island and showed us the former facilities for the production of this terrible weapon. It was a moving experience, because we saw a site linked with the deaths of many war victims. Fortunately, the rabbits that followed us are a gentle reminder that despite what happened here, we can overcome past problems.
We took a trip the shrine on Miyajima Island. We walked all the way to the red torii at low tide, had a rest in an ancient wooden temple after lunch, and befriended the island's curious deer.
We had a guided tour in the shipbuilding city of Kure and also visited the sunny hilltops.
We had hotel rooms (I got a single room!), Shinkansen tickets, guided tour, and museum tickets that were reserved and paid for by the program.
We got first-hand encounters with the friendliness and passion of the Japanese people.
We got to know one another and couldn't ask for a better start to the program.
Every time I see the sunset, I remember the time when my newly-made friends and I left Miyajima before dusk. I still have waves of nostalgia and reminders of how perfect the trip was. I want to go back to Hiroshima with the friends I made there. (Written by Max)
The students also took an excursion to Miyajima.