by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
The young woman quoted on page 15 worked in a communications bunker near the castle. The only underground bunker in moder n Hiroshima is the Shareo shopping mall, an air-conditioned refuge from summer heat and a comfortable route from the centre of town to an exit not far from Hiroshima Castle and the city's remarkable art gallery, whose walls glow with pictures by Picasso, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Chagall. As I w rite, I'm wearing the cosy house shoes I brought back from Hiroshima on my last visit. Outside my window, it's a sunny afternoon in late winter. There's a cold breeze off the mountain -- but dow n the Channel, the wattles are bursting into golden bloom. In their Hiroshima home, my friends Michael and Fumi Shaw will have the air conditioner on full -- or maybe they'll be cr uising into tow n in their locally-built Mazda Roadster. The soft-top is sure to be folded back for summer driving -- in Japan at this time of year, there's no risk of hay fever from wattle pollen. To plan your Japanese holiday, contact RACT Travelworld on 1300 368 111 or visit your local branch. Chris Viney has travelled extensively in Japan with assistance from the Japan National Tourist Organisation. You can download the 'Affordable Japan' brochure at www.jnto.org.au From my office window I can see the two golden wattles that stand at the entrance to Yasuda Women's University. I confess that before I left Australia to live in Japan, a wattle was just a wattle. Now every March my wife Fumi and I souvenir sprigs of green and gold from the trees to decorate our Hiroshima home. "Roses show themselves for what they are. Sunflowers too," Ikebana master Ayako Maehara explained to me recently. "But unless you come very close to a wattle you cannot understand its true nature. In that respect they are much like people." Each year Mrs Maehara's Acacia Appreciation Circle celebrates Australia's Wattle Day, 1 September, by sending a thousand yellow ribbons to the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra. Decorating trees in the Gardens, the ribbons carry wishes for happiness, for the giver and receiver. I think of them as gifts from the City of Pe ace. Hundreds of Australian wattles once graced Peace Boulevard in Hiroshima, planted for their beauty during the rebuilding. Sadly, a powerful 1991 typhoon uprooted all but one. It alone added an Australian shade of green to the site of the annual Flower Festival, which draws a million and a half visitors to the city each May. Now that last wattle tree is gone. Deemed too weak to sur vive another typhoon season, it was felled by the city's tree-keepers a year or two ago. The final farewell was broadcast on local television. Mrs Maehara was sad but philosophical. "The colour of the wattles on Peace Boulevard touched me deeply," she says. "Those wattles reached their end, but we have planted others, so spring is still a time to look for ward to." Tie a yellow ribbon Michael Shaw writes from Hiroshima Destinations 17 August / September 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010