Started out with a trip to the shopping center today. Carie had to head off in the morning, so I was flying solo again. As with the rest of Japan, nothing in Hiroshima opens until 10am, so I just went back to the peace-park again and relaxed for a while. It’s strange. I felt that I was more strongly “moved” by the peace park displays than some of the Japanese people visiting the site. I was trying to be respectful of what happened in the park, and what it stood for, however Japanese kids were running all over the place yelling and playing, and being videotaped by their parents. It just didn’t seem to be quite the right attitude for the park.

Found an arcade with the Virtua-Cop 2 videogame, and played through to the end. Quite an improvement over the first offering, now with a “choose your own route” available in certain areas, and lots of stuff to shoot and interact with. Great fun! Grabbed lunch at McDonalds (it does taste the same all over the world!), and headed for the DAIMAI department store.

Now THIS is a department store. I loved it. It was kind of like a vertical version of Akihabara. With a “Radio Shack” style lower level with tools, scanners, amateur radio gear, up to TVs, VCRs, and satellite gear in the top levels. Also went to Tokyo Hands, which is a great “crafts/furnishings” store. Reminds me somewhat of IKEA, but with additional floors devoted to art/craft supplies. It would probably do rather well if a branch was opened in Vancouver (hot business opportunity?). While I was on the floor with artistic supplies, I saw a stand selling “self-teaching” videotapes for painting. All I could see was this guy’s hand drawing this scenic mountain view. Suddenly he decided to put a “Big Tree” in the front of the painting. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was the “Channel 9, Big Tree in the front of every painting” painting guy. I loved it! Here I was, over 10,000km away from home, and here’s this same painting guy (dubbed in Japanese) teaching a painting course…

Getting cold, and starting to rain, so I headed back to the hostel. I think my trip was about a month too early. Japan is still pretty cold. Maybe it’s was just this year? I’m planning on going again next year, and I think I’ll wait until it’s a little warmer!