Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto… where did Leg 5 go?!?

Here I am sitting in Universal Port Hotel at Universal Studios Japan, using their free Internet. How did I get here?? The boat is docked just outside the hotel, meaning we get to hear the wonderful theme music day in and day out. The downside of this location is that we are pretty much in the middle of nowhere Osaka, but that is the price to pay for celebrity status I suppose. I`m getting pretty good at figuring out the train system here – I`ve even got optimum places on the platform to stand cased so that I get on and off the train in the right spot to make my transfer or leave the station. I know, I`m a geek.
Leg 5 is over in 2 days. Most of last week was spent grocery shopping and stowing quantities of food not seen since the dock in Victoria. This time, however, we couldn`t fit all the produce in the bunk… mind you, we had to change produce and can bunks around because of a starboard list, so the produce bunk is now half the size it used to be. Where were you, Jen, when we needed you! We now have some cans in the galley bilge, which will make some food prep easier – we won`t have to transport them half the length of the boat in heavy seas.
Backtracking to Hiroshima: visiting the A-bomb dome and Peace Park was a moving experience. I felt much the same there that I did at a concentration camp in Germany: horror at the destruction that humanity is capable of at the hands of a few people, but here there was hope. Hiroshima is at the centre of an international campaign to rid the world of nukes. Everytime a country tests a nuclear weapon, they send a telegram of protest, even today. It was quite impressive. Hiroshima was a pretty city with the nicest onsen we`ve visited yet (I`ve been to three now). I took the ferry out to Miyajima one day, an island in the bay near Hiroshima which is covered with shrines and temples. It has the large Torii (Shinto Shrine Gate) that seemingly floats in the water when the tide is up – it is apparently the third most photographed thing in Japan, so you`ve probably seen it before. When I get my photos up, you will see it, from every angle!
Osaka is fairly boring as far as culture goes. Its main purpose seems to be shopping, something it does with style. That and Universal Studios. It does have a sweet castle which Sarah L and I visited yesterday. The cherry blossoms are in full force right now and everyone (and their micro dog, all of which were dressed up in shirts and pants or skirts and bows, some with shoes… its slightly creepy the amount of clothes they put on dogs here) in town was there I think.
Today is more grocery shopping for the stuff we couldn`t get from the wholesaler and then, I hope we will be done. Leg end dinner/desert night is tomorrow and we have yet to plan that too…


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