Friday, August 21, 2009

A mistake never to be repeated - Atomic Bomb Dome

On a busy weekday, cars and electrical tramways come and go along the streets of Hiroshima. It is like no other business area, just a little bit quieter. Soon, you will come across a small entrance of a park, and in front of the park, there you will see it. The famous Atomic Bomb Dome of Hiroshima.

This building, now called the "Atomic Bomb Dome" by people all over the world was once a produce museum built in 1915 with a very European appearance. Designed by a Czech man, the building had a very modern European appearance for that age and was a famous attraction among the civilians of that time. However, it was only until August 6th, 1945 that the beautiful structure was to be enjoyed. On the morning of the same day, the first atomic bomb was dropped in the sky of Hiroshima and that area soon became a devastating inferno. Every building and every human was vanished in a blink of an eye, and what remained was only a small fraction of the produce museum's framework. Ever since the horrifying incident, the Atomic Bomb Dome remains in the same condition as it did from 64 years ago.

As soon as you arrive at the Dome, you will probably be left speechless at how shocking the building appears. There are shattered rocks piled around the Dome and bent iron frames stick out in directions from the fragile brick walls. Although construction for preserving the Dome has been done 3 times already in the past, it seems as if the building is going to collapse in a moment. The great power of the atomic bomb can sure be felt first hand. A river also runs beside the Atomic Bomb Dome, and although the building itself is quite shocking, the view of the river and the Dome is a beauty. The view will never be forgotten.

The Atomic Bomb Dome is located a few minutes away by electrical tramway from the Hiroshima Station. For the people in Hiroshima, it may be something that they see everyday and it has become a part of their daily life. However, the Dome never quits giving out its message to the whole world. The same mistake must never be repeated and world peace must always be maintained. You will definitely feel so when you make a visit to the Atomic Bomb Dome.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cell Phone Decorating Fever

When you walk out in the city, and notice people’s belongings, you may notice a “bling” that you may not notice so much outside of Japan. Japanese people like to decorate and tie cell phone straps to personalize their cell phones.

In Japan, people call it “Deco Den” which is short for “Decoration Denwa,” or Decoration Phone in English. “Deco Den” is specifically the term used for decorating and personalizing the cell phone itself, mostly popular among girls. Many people like to put rhinestones, glittery things, stickers, and any other possible items that can be glued onto the surface of their phones to make it their own. There are shops around the city like stands, nail salons, and department stores where people can pay to get it nicely done. They are expensive though, usually ranging from 5000 yen to 15,000 yen, which is an expensive purchase for many young. Thus, some people prefer to decorate it on their own by buying materials at shops to decorate it themselves. The most popular shop that people buy their materials is “The Loft.”

Besides “Deco Den,” people like to put cell phone straps. People tie from about 1 to 5 straps, also to personalize their cell phones. It varies among preference, but some like to put glittery things, stuffed animal key chains, and little souvenirs from places they’ve visited. Some people have a meaning behind the straps, but others just like to have it because they’re cute or look cool.

Stopping by at a cell phone decorating shop may be a fun visit as you can peek at numerous designs and steal ideas for your own cell phone.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hanabi Taikai -Fireworks Festival-

When summer comes, people of various ages in Japan are excited for Hanabi Taikai as Hanabi, or fireworks, symbolizes summer. Hanabi Taikai are firework festivals which occur almost every weekend, especially Saturdays, during mid July to mid August. It is a night event about 2 hours long, where tens of thousands of people gather to watch fireworks one after the other shot into the sky. Many like to wear yukatas to watch fireworks as it brings up the fun and mood. People never get tired of going to Hanabi Taikai as fireworks are always various in colors, shapes, and designs. Families enjoy Hanabi Taikai as they bring family bonding time while watching and voicing their favorite ones. Love birds usually go to Hanabi Taikai for dates, as holding hands and looking at the beautiful fireworks brings about butterflies.

Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai, Aomori Hanabi Taikai and Sendai Tanabata Hanabi Maturi are some of the famous Hanabi Taikai that are well-known and popular to the Japanese citizens. However, there are thousands of these events throughout Japan that are as good, so it is worthwhile to attend to one when you have a chance. Some Hanabi Taikai you can attend in Tokyo are Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai (July 25, Asakusa Station), Tokyo Wan Dai Hanabi-sai (August 8, Kachidoki Station), Chofu-si Hanabitaikai (July 18, Cho-fu Station), Edogawa-ku Hanabi Taikai (August 1, Edogawa Station), Setagaya Tamagawa Hanabi Taikai (August 22, Futakotamagawa Station), and of course, there are much more.

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