32. Yonago to Hiroshima - 3 July 2004

  Landing at Hiroshima (RJOA)
  Approaching Hiroshimanishi
  Landing at Hiroshimanishi (RJBH)

Later in the day I did some experiments in the Chicago area to find the right manifold pressure and RPM settings to get my airspeed down reliably. That was helpful, though I'm still having trouble on base (and therefore final), coming in too low.

Flight to Hiroshima airport (RJOA) was short and uneventful, though again it was necessary to be careful about the descent, because there are hills. Hiroshima airport turns out to be on a small hill itself, 1,000 ft above sea level.

Also isolated: this surprised me, since I have been to Hiroshima and it is a large and busy city (pop. 1 million). I still remember walking in a shopping mall and marveling that fifty years earlier my country had bombed this city to the ground. Except for the monuments and the one building shell, one would never have known -- unless one noticed that there is nothing old in Hiroshima. All of the construction is post-war -- but this is typical of many Japanese cities.

So, then, where was it? I looked at the map again: where there ought to have been large yellow areas marking the boundaries of the city, there were only green and brown for hills and valleys. To the west, though, there was a larger airport and a very large city on the bay. This was the Hiroshima that I had been to before, and its airport is known as Hiroshimanishi (RJBH).

"Nishi" is "west,"so Hiroshimanishi is just "west Hiroshima." Duh! I got back in my plane, flew for 25 nm, and found myself descending into a very large city indeed, spread out around the bay on hills almost like San Francisco.