07.10.2019 - 07.10.2019
We do not usually visit a garbage plant while on holidays in a foreign country. But this week we did. We visited the Hiroshima City Naka Incineration Plant, built on reclaimed land by the water in Hiroshima.
This is not any old garbage dump, it is waste disposal facility designed by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, who was responsible for the redesign of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among other high profile jobs. It cost US$400 million and is fascinating to see. We were disappointed however that there was not any explanation in English.
The architect was aware that such a huge structure down by the waterside could be an eyesore, and a visual barrier, so he decided to extend the main road as a walkway right through the factory to the waterside. There is a huge glass atrium through the centre of the building. We had walked down the long street to the facility, and had noticed a stream of small garbage trucks, much smaller than we have in Australia. These trucks entered underneath the building, unloaded, and headed off again
As we walk into the Ecorium, we wondered if this facility was even working. There was no smell, and no sound coming through the thick glass walls.
We could walk right through Ecorium. Around us were glass walls, and behind them all sorts of stainless steel machinery. I read that 400 tons of garbage is processed daily and that energy is produced as a by-product. But what an amazing facility. We had already talked about waste disposal here. Everything we buy is covered in plastic, and I have to be quick to get out my reusable bag before they put the goods in a plastic bag. When we buy sandwiches, salads or yoghurt at the Seven 11 they add chopsticks, napkins, wipes or plastic spoons. Waste bins in hotel rooms don't usually have sections like many countries do. It makes this wonderful facility such a surprise...
Then to Miyajima Island, just a another short train trip away. The island is actually called Itsukushima, but is more commonly referred to as Miyajima which is Japanese for 'shrine island'. It is most famous for its giant Torii gate, which at high tide seems to float on the water, but also for its scenery, hiking trails, onsens and seafood. We knew we would not be seeing the famous floating Torii Gate as I had read it is currently covered by scaffolding
There were so many places selling food. Lots of oysters and conger eel.
It is a very pretty place. No beachside palm trees but cypress and lanterns.
We walked uphill to a couple of shrines. Lovely walking tracks all with those cypress trees I love.
Walking back past all the food shops was great. Many new dishes to see. Our curried oyster bun and icecream had been enough, but there were many foods I would have liked to try.
The island was a very relaxing place, lovely after the city.
That night we took a wander around the back streets near our hotel. The back streets have small eating houses, and we found one for an early dinner. We liked Hiroshima as a city. And what a history.