Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Salon: home again

No, we didn't really spend the last few days down at the pub (see previous post) but we did take advantage of H having the week off and went away for a few days. We got back last night and while it's always fun to go away it's always nice to be home again too.

First stop was Hiroshima where we visited Miyajima (an island a short distance from Hiroshima famous for it's Shinto shrine, Itsukushima Jinja) and Mount Misen. The next day we went to the Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum. This was one of those places I felt I should see at least once in my life. Before going on our trip I started reading The Ash Garden by Dennis Bock which I had remembered was in my stacks and is about the meeting, many years later, between a survivor of Hiroshima with one of the scientists who helped create the bomb. It's fiction but based on facts from the time. Seeing some of the things that were mentioned in the book has certainly helped create a clearer visual in my mind while reading.

Next stop was Himeji, famous for its castle. The sakura had just started to blossom there, so we were about a week early for the peak, but it was impressive all the same. Then on the last day we spent a few hours in Kobe before heading home.

As for reading, well... a couple of days I didn't even read at all! We were too busy visiting here and there and then at night I was simply too tired to read before falling asleep. So I didn't get a whole lot of reading in while we were away. I did read a fair bit in the bullet train on the way home yesterday though so I'm now about 3/4 of the way through The Ash Garden. I hope to finish it tomorrow to count it as a March read but we'll see how it goes.

Continuing with the Hiroshima theme, I picked up Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse at the library last week before our trip. I took it with me but needless to say I haven't started it yet. It's due back in a week so I'm not sure whether I'll have time to read it all or not this coming week. Hopefully I'll be able to borrow it for an extra two weeks. Neither of these books are on my challenge lists but I had to make room for them so I could read them while the visit there is still fresh in my mind.

We got to see a lot and our days were full. It was great visiting these places that I'd never been to before and had long wanted to see even though I feel like I now need a vacation to recover from the vacation! As usual I took loads of photos and I'll share some of those soon. I also have lots of blog reading to catch up on but I hope you all had a good week and read more than I did.


  1. Sounds like a wooonderful trip! The Ash Garden definitely sounds like a book I'd be interested in.

  2. Welcome back Tanabata :)nice to have you back,

    I wish I could make this journey, I will look closer at the sites you indicate this evening.

    I borrowed BLACK RAIN from my library and can keep it 2 month or more, the last time it was checked out was 1982 ! So no there is no waiting list. Let me know if you are going to read it and I'll read it along with you, compare notes being you visited the place this book takes place at. If not I'll just read it anyway. But no hurry, I am keeping it a while.

    I bought a new camera through the, it was time to replace the other one. Besides the lense being scratched there where other problems. soon as I receive it in the mail and figure out how to work it ;p I will join "Week-end snapshot". it has been so cold here 30+ the buds on the trees are still hard and brown, so I am hopinge to take pics of their progression from bud to flower etc... and of course pics of Oliver.
    Will e-mail you tomorrow, have a nice week tanabata :)

  3. Welcome back, Tanabata!

    The Atomic Bomb Museum sounds impressive. I know what you mean about wanting to visit it at least once in your life. And The Ash Garden sounds like a good book. I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

  4. Mount Misen looks beautiful. Did you see any monkeys? And the castle at Himeji is gorgeous. I can't wait to see your pictures! Glad you had a fun get-away. I need to start thinking of some long weekend trips to take this summer. Unlike last summer, we don't have any major trips planned.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I know exactly what you mean from needing a vacation from a vacation. Lately I have been very tired as well and thought I attempt to read before bed it doesn't really get me anywhere.

    Happy Sunday and happy reading.

  6. I tried to read Black Rain once a long time ago (as a teenager) and just could not get into it. I'll be curious to hear what it's like, if you read it before it's due!

  7. I'm so looking forward to seeing your pictures! Glad you had a good time, welcome home :-)

  8. I'm glad you were able to get away for a few days, Tanabata. I imagine the Atomic Bomb Museum was very powerful. Such a sad time in history.

    I can't say I read much at all until today, despite my plans It's just been so crazy lately. Anyhow, I hope you have a great week.

  9. Glad to hear you guys had a great time. I can't wait to see pictures! The castle in Himeji is impressive.

  10. Andi- It was a good trip but man am I tired! ;)

    Madeleine- Thanks. I'll let you know if/when I start reading 'Black Rain'. I look forward to seeing the pictures you take with your new camera.

    Nymeth- It was worth seeing. I'm glad we finally got the chance to go.

    Les- We did see some monkeys at the top of Mount Misen. It was the first time I'd seen them that close. Himeji castle was fabulous. The new wide lens we got came in very handy. :)

    Megan- I'm totally wiped out today. It was a good trip though, I just need a few days to recover. Thanks for stopping by. :)

    Jeane- I would like to read it, or at least try. I'll have to see how it goes this week.

    Janet- It was a good trip, thanks. :)

    Literary Feline- It's the kind of museum where people don't chat much while looking at the various displays so even though it was quite busy it was fairly quiet. I actually think I've caught a cold but hopefully I can take it easy for a couple of days this week. Hope this week is less crazy for you.

    Iliana- Himeji castle was very impressive! I'm so glad we went.

  11. Hi again, just want to let you know I removed BLACK RAIN from my books to read for now. Went through the book this morning and also it has 250+ pages it is a emotional read I rather read at annother time, so I did return mine to the library. There are several challenges to meet and books I want to read. Hope it is allright with you, you might need a change of ideas after your trip to Hiroshima. But please let me know the next Japanese book you plan to read whenever.
    As far as the pictures, I looked at the trees this aftrnoon and they are still bare! Which is good I'll be able to take picture of their progress, they are so beatiful when in full bloom.
    Rest and take care :) If someone here lives near Virginia, they probably know what trees I am writing about, I think it is Japanese crab?

  12. It must be so exciting to see such wonderful places; plus, I'm glad you had time with your husband. You're so right about needing a vacation from the vacation. I hope you don't have too much laundry to do!

  13. Madeleine- No worries. It is a heavy topic. I just started it last night and I do think I'll read it while the images from the Atomic Bomb museum are still fresh in my mind. I'll definitely let you know when I next pick up something Japanese to read.

    Bellezza- It was great to visit these places I'd only heard of, and nice that my husband had the week off. I never seem to catch up on laundry which reminds me I should get another load in. :P

  14. That sounds very intense and emotionally exhausting as well as a wonderful trip. I would love to hear more about the places you went!

  15. oakling- We countered the sadness of the Atomic Bomb Museum with the beauty of Miyajima and Himeji Castle so it was a great trip. I'll be posting pictures, just haven't had the time yet but hopefully this week.


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