Saturday, December 22, 2007

Strolling along Peace Boulevard

Look, they strung Christmas lights all over the A-bomb Dome!

Just kidding.

No, this display is actually a whole different structure that was erected as part of Hiroshima's Christmas lights display downtown along Peace Boulevard.

I'm not sure if it's supposed to actually represent the A-bomb Dome, but it does bare a resemblance... I admit I do find it perhaps a bit tasteless, if that's what it's supposed to be.

At any rate, it's been a real blessing to have such a beautiful display to put us in the Christmas spirit. The lights extend for probably a half-mile down the road, on both sides. It's quite a sight to see! Joe and I have strolled along the walking path twice now to admire the lights and we've been so impressed.

Here's a trippy shot looking up from under the dome. I totally ripped off this angle from Joe.

Unfortunately, most of the pictures I snapped of the lights turned out quite blurry since I don't have a tripod. In some cases, that made for a cool effect that reminds me of how the Christmas tree looks when I'm not wearing my contacts or glasses. With 20/800 eyesight, I would be considered legally blind if my vision wasn't correctible. It's been something of a tradition for me to sit alone and admire the Christmas tree without my glasses every Christmas Eve before I hit the sack. The entire thing just absolutely glows. Looks heavenly, really.

Anyway, to give credit where credit's due, the pictures you see here that are in focus are Joe's. All the blurry stuff is mine. So are the blue tree and the snowman, which actually turned out sorta OK.

The giant blue tree is one of the highlights of the boulevard because of its sheer size. My guess is it is about 50 feet tall.

This particular setup is cool because the blue lights were running to give the effect of a waterfall.

And this sea of blue lights looks like a large pond, with the sidewalk made to look like a bridge crossing the pond in places.

Probably my favorite part of the whole display is this magnificent old tree with gold lights encasing all its branches. How beautiful!

The picture I took of it is interesting if you click on it to see it full size.

We also saw this neat altar along the way. I think it's cute that they dress up the statue in a little red outfit, though I don't think it's a Christmas thing since I've seen this before.

One of the neat things about this display is seeing how the holiday is represented through the filter of another culture. Beyond the standard snowmen, reindeer and choo-choo trains, we saw lights depicting Cinderella, hearts, four-leaf clovers, Puff the Magic Dragon and even a pretty cool-looking phoenix.

Here and there we see small lights displays at homes around the city, but for the most part these lights are the only serious display we've seen. Christmas lights here are expensive — a short strand runs around 40 bucks! So I'm grateful to have such an elaborate display to enjoy downtown. It's a welcome surprise in a place where Christmas is recognized strictly for commercial purposes.

Now that we've enjoyed the lights, it's on to new adventures this Christmas season. This weekend we plan to try our hand at making our own eggnog. Let's hope we don't poison ourselves!

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