GH Jr Animation Festival Day 1

Japan is well known for its anime. Many Japanese anime have become popular worldwide. However, anime isn’t only Japanese. “Anime” is just a shortened version of the word “animation.”

And at the Hiroshima Animation Festival, animations from all over the world are screened. Many of them are in competition, others won awards from the past animation festivals, and still others are simply there to be enjoyed. The animations can be happy or sad, calm or chaotic, harsh or peaceful, or a mix of everything.

GH Jr Animation Festival Kids Workshops

Did you know that if you go up to the fourth floor of the animation festival this year, you can find some animation workshops. And here’s some more good news. Kids’ admission is free! One of these workshops is a tutorial on how to use an animation program called Pimco. The kind-hearted souls who want to help sometimes can only speak Japanese, but I noticed that this drawback seems to motivate them even more.

Peace Winds Japan Dog Team In Action

peace winds 1International relief NPO Peace Winds Japan which is based in Jinseki Kougen in the east of Hiroshima Prefecture despatched a search and rescue team to landslide affected areas of Hiroshima city on August 20 and searched to no avail for survivors throughout the day and into the night.

Up and Down Miyajima: Climbing Mt. Misen

I spent some time recently perched, cross-legged on one of mount Misen’s ancient rocks, listening to the wind and the thud of weary hikers stomping by on the warm stones. I gazed out to sea and wondered what lies in the ocean and beyond that intangible horizon.

I am in constant awe of the formidable mass that is our earth, which over time has developed into a deep, surging wanderlust. This is what led me to where I was a week ago. The vast blue expanse stretched out in front of the scattered islands, small villages and the great city of Hiroshima. The mountain on which I sat is situated on a small island off of the coast of Hiroshima on the central island of Honshu. The island is called Miyajima and is home to one of the highest points in Hiroshima prefecture, Mount Misen.

One of Miyajima’s top views under scaffolding until October

© Miyajima Tourism AssociationThe Kangen-sai Festival to be held this weekend on Miyajima will be one of the last opportunities to get an unsullied shot of yourself flashing the peace sign from Itsukushima’s hira-butai – the long wooden platform that extends from the main shrine building out over the water towards the O-torii floating shrine gate – as it undergoes restoration work.

Raku Beer

One of the best places to sample some of Japan’s finest craft beer in Hiroshima is Raku, located right downtown, just a few minutes walk from the PARCO department store.

Over the past decade and a half, microbreweries have been popping up all over Japan. Japanese craft beer is starting to make a name for itself at home and abroad. Small batch brewers across the country produce fantastic brews that showcase local ingredients, and also pay homage to traditional brewing methods.

Can Hiroden bring the star crossed lovers together on this rainy Tanabata night?

tanabata tramsWith precipitation of almost biblical proportions ahead of super typhoon Neoguri (aka Number 8), it is likely that star crossed lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi torn apart by a jealous father-in-law’s penchant for fine cloth, will have to take a raincheck on their annual rendevous until Tanabata comes around again on July 7, 2015. It is said that the magpies usually form a bridge across the Milky Way out of their outstretched wings don’t like getting wet.

All may not be lost however, as Hiroden tram schedules may conspire to help them out.

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