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  • Writer's pictureGus Ramirez

Lets Go to Bed - The Cure

"Ma" calls attention to the emptiness between forms and their significance in understanding the shape of things. The essence of Japanese Minimalism. Many of the sites we visited, embodied this principle. From the strategic emptiness of the temples, we visited, down to the large turf areas with minimal trees or sculptural pieces. The space around them is just as important as the objects themselves. The site specifically that had me astounded by this principle was the Chichu Art Museum, where the rooms were vast and materials simple, leaving the artwork to be the center of attention.

Our journey thus far had left us all exhausted physically but mentally, we pushed through knowing that only a few days were left on our trip. By this time, we had started to use public transportation, trains instead of private buses. Our first stop during this period was Himeji where we visited Himeji Koko-en. We had gotten there early and no one had gone in yet. This only heightened the experience because the feeling of emptiness was only that much more amplified. Walking through the gardens with rain and overcast gave me a sense of relief. The roar of the waters from the waterfalls enveloped you.

Our trip was filled with many memorable moments of joy, but our trip to Hiroshima was anything but joyful. The atrocities of the acts committed in WWII were on display to show you what humans are capable of. Despite the tragedy of the site, there was still hope, with reflection, one realizes that it's about the sanctity of life rather than the loss of it. In the center, the peace flame keeps burning since its inception and will keep burning until there are no more nuclear arms in the world, giving the world a goal to strive for.

The next day, we took a trip to Naoshima "Art Island". At this point, there was a little hiccup, where half of our group got on the first ferry and got to explore the island for an hour and the second group got left behind and had to wait. I was one of the ones left behind. This was not all a loss because the experience that we had at the Chichu Art Museum is still one of the highlights of the trip. Unfortunately, we couldn't take any pictures while inside, walking through the halls and looking at the art installations by James Turrel felt like we were walking into another world. This museum is one I will be revisiting when I make my way back.

Food Report

My food report during this week included my first soft-serve ice cream at Hiroshima. This was surprising because there were soft-serve stations throughout our visit. I also had a soft serve at Mcdonald's. Another thing I tried was Yoshinoya, this was my favorite meal in Japan as I went three times, having fried chicken with tartar sauce. My trip back will definitely include this.

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