Being an avid travel enthusiast, me and my wife Aparna Parnerkar had a cherished dream of visiting Japan and explore its variety– rich culture, way of living and above all, Japanese’s love for their land, the most revered of patriotic sentiments across the globe, finding places in hundreds of literature.
And, we were blessed with an opportunity to visit the ‘Land of Rising Sun’ one November, a couple of years back. Our trip was short, but no way had we fallen short of having enough fun and making everlasting memories.
We visited various cities and places of the island nation, including Osaka, Hiroshima and Tokyo during our short trip and explored their historical references, naturesque landscapes, culture and cuisine.
On our very first day, we explored Osaka city, which welcomed us with a warm sunshine and pleasant weather. We paid a visit to Nara and Kyoto, with hopping from one site to other– famous Todaiji temple to Nara Deer Park, then Kiyomizu temple, Golden Pavilion and Nijo castle. The trip was lovely, moreover because our chauffer was so friendly that we never felt like an outsider for a single moment in that country.
We kick started our second day with visiting Hiroshima, the only victim of Atomic bomb hitherto in human history. The devastation and pain of the gruesome attack unleashed by America on the city at the fag-end of Second World War on August 6, 1945, were evident in artefacts, tombs, pictures and almost all the items installed in the History Museum, Peace Park, Sadako Monument and Centograph.
While the museum displayed various belongings of the victims of explosion, snaps and video clippings, portraying the pathetic condition and deformities in people caused by the atomic radiation, the Peace Park reminded the pledge of not using nuclear weapons any more.
However, it breathed some hope into us after we saw the ‘Bomb Dome’, the only building, which survived the bomb attack and now preserved as national monument.
Our day ended with Japanese soup, though different in making and ingredients, equally delicious as our Indian ones.
What moved us both most were the pain of people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, the massive growth of the country in technology even after facing a massive destruction during the Second World War (1939 – 1945), was on the other hand awe-inspiring.
Next day we travelled in bullet train to Tokyo from Hiroshima via MISHIMA at the speed of 350 km per hour. In our way to the capital city, we visited picturesque Lake Hakone and world famous Mount Fuji foot hills. We stayed in famous Grand Pacific Le Daiba Hotel near Rainbow Bridge, connecting Daiba to main Tokyo city. The place was very beautiful and also has a replica of Statue of Liberty (New York).
Though we had a little bit of language problem, people were very courteous, polite and helpful, making it easy for us to communicate. The roads were absolutely clean and as they have a schedule to wash the roads every morning.
Besides all the fun and frolic, the Pacific Ocean island inspired us to change the way we live, think and work. To our wonder we found every Japanese citizen so honest and committed to their work that they put their best in the job assigned to them and hardly leave it undone.
Indeed, Japan is the ‘Land of Rising Sun’.
n Dr Anil Parnerkar (68) Retired chemical technologist
It breathed some hope into us after we saw the ‘Bomb Dome’, the only building, which survived the bomb attack (on August 6, 1945) and now preserved as national monument. Besides all the fun and frolic, the Pacific Ocean Island inspired us to change the way we live, think and work. To our wonder we found every Japanese citizen so honest and committed to their work that they put their best in the job assigned to them and hardly leave it undone