Friday, March 03, 2006

From "Popeye" in Hiroshima. What a cute name for an Internet Cafe. So back in the seat in the non-smoking section. Yesterday afternoon I had a long and wonderful meeting with Haruko Moritaki, and caught up on her dedicated activities to shed light on the harm being done with DU weapons. Totally amazing woman. We enjoyed a late lunch of Okonomiyaki, the signature dish of Hiroshima at Hanayashiki, then went to Shukkei-en, a lovely garden which had plum blossoms starting to bloom, despite the unusually cold weather. Some of the trees looked like weeping willows with the trailing branches weeping riotous complex pink blossoms.

Some photos of our Okonomiyaki Lunch:

Anna & Haruko Moritaki, lower left - Okonomiyaki lunch, upper right
Some Shukkei-en views (plum blossoms were in season):

After finishing our visit, I rested a bit and walked to Hachobori again and enjoyed a simple katsu-curry dinner at a restaurant in the same spot for 50 years. The owners engaged me in a conversation, and by coincidence, the wife of the husband/wife team has a cousin living in San Rafael!

I later met an old friend, "Jon" Koike in the lobby of my hotel.. 30 years since we were students together at Hiro-Dai Fuzoku koko. It was fantastic to catch up on each others lives since we last had the chance to sit and talk about three years ago. Silly me brought my camera, then became so engaged in our conversation that I forgot to take a photo. Zannen desu.

This morning, by sheer coincidence the cute young girl who served me breakfast at the hotel is currently a student at the same high school I attended 30 years ago.

I sat on the wooden deck of the hotel after breakfast soaking in the early morning sun and romantic scenery, blossoms and trail by one of Hiroshima's famous rivers. Seemed the morning for dog walking along the trail, and the cleaning lady, sweeping an already immaculate deck, was so cheerful and smiley I would dare anyone who saw her not to have an uplift to their morning.

I freshened up again upstairs and then headed out with a book to stop and have some coffee at a friendly coffeeshop, one of the delights of Japan. I did enjoy a cup of mocha (not like what we have), but then I was surrounded by smokers suddenly, and decided it was time to leave!

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