A very important lesson and takoyaki in Nagasaki

In Japan cranes are believed to  symbolize peace
In Japan cranes are believed to symbolize peace

Today, we all went to go see Nagasaki. We took a train ride there (probably the first experience on a Japanese train for some of us!) and ended up at the Nagasaki Peace Museum. This museum is dedicated to the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945. By displaying a lot of information, pictures and items from the place the bomb fell it gives a very clear overview of what happened that day and what the effects of the bomb were.

Even more impressive was the speech from an atomic bomb survivor (hibakusha in Japanese). He was twelve at the time it happened and he lost his mother and three of his siblings to the bomb. It was a very educational and emotional talk as he could describe everything that he saw back then in detail, giving an even clearer image of what happened there than the museum itself. Personally, I had been to the Nagasaki Peace Museum as well as the one in Hiroshima before, and I think having the chance to talk to an atomic bomb survivor added a lot to understanding what the people who experienced the atomic bomb went through.

After our time in the museum we split up for lunch and some free time in Nagasaki. I, Charlotte, Whitney, Sabine and Sami went to a temporary exhibition about Studio Ghibli in the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture. It was a lot of fun, there were a lot of cute and pretty items on display from the movies, for example a life size Totoro and Cat Bus. We are all very fond of Ghibli movies and it was super fun to see a whole exhibition dedicated to them.

I think the most interesting part was an explanation on how the animations are created. There were original sketches, notes and paintings that showed the process of animating. Even though all information was in Japanese it was easy to see how it all worked by looking at those. It was a really unique chance to see something like that!

Upon getting back home, my host family had a really nice surprise for me: as I had told them my favorite food is takoyaki (little dough balls with octopus inside) they treated me to a takoyaki party. Using a hot plate on the dinner table, we all made a whole lot of takoyaki together. It tasted just as good as in the restaurants I ate it at, if not better.

Jana de Bondt (The Netherlands)

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