Our first stop was the Temple of Heaven. Like many important cultural sites near Beijing, the Temple was constructed by the Yongle Emperor, the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty, during the 1400s.
I really enjoyed visiting Tiananmen Square. But the whole time I was there, I couldn't stop thinking about the 1989 protests in which the Chinese government ordered the military to crack down on protesters, killing hundreds.
During our trip, several Chinese people expressed anger to me that Japanese textbooks omit reference to the Japanese army killing several hundred thousand Chinese during the World War II's Nanking Massacre. They said it they thought it was important that the Japanese government at least acknowledge what it did to the Chinese.
I kept wondering how can they condemn another government for doing what their own government does on daily basis. Books about the Tiananmen Square Protests are banned in China and the national Internet firewall censors all information about them, as well as other controversial topics such as Tibetan Independence and information about Taiwan. In fact, it looks as though Google will suspend its operations in China due to the government's insistence that it censor its search results. Most of the Chinese people we discussed this issue with didn't seem to care very much.
I won't get into a diatribe about what I think about government censorship and state-controlled media. But I'll always remember standing in Tiananmen Square and thinking about how glad I was that I have the right to read about whatever I want at home.