For only the second time ever, Japan Railways let me down and brought me to Hiroshima around 30 minutes late (a 2-minute change turned out to be just not feasible, putting tomorrow’s 1-minute change in doubt). With all accommodation unexpectedly booked up for the next few days, I hit the nearest manga/internet café, settled into a plush reclining chair with the usual array of free drinks and quickly discovered that: i) there was a dirty lino floor rather than a comfy mat; ii) the lights were not going to be dimmed overnight; and iii) people browsing the internet make a lot of noise. I therefore slept quite fitfully, but sufficiently to explore the city for the third time.
Unfortunately, it being a Monday, most of the non-atomic-bombing-related attractions were closed and I spent most of my time in the vicinity of the Peace Park. It turns out that there’s an abandoned baseball stadium just over the road from the A-Bomb Dome, which would also have been interesting had there not been far too many people around to make an entry feasible. The Peace Park, as expected, was largely unchanged save perhaps for a few more paper crane wreaths, but the Peace Memorial Museum had acquired a few new items from the time of the bombing. There were also a couple of temporary exhibits – themed artwork from survivors (highly disturbing) and the winners of an international children’s painting/poster competition (surprisingly Obama-heavy).
With a little time to spare before presenting myself at a Wikitravel-recommended capsule hotel (in a part of the city ominously described by the tourist-office-approved map as “a bit of a dodgy area”), I hiked over to the hills on the northern edge of town where a large stupa had been erected as a memorial from the people of India and Mongolia. It reportedly contains some of the Buddha’s ashes, along with artefacts from the victims of the bombing.