2013 Japanese Spring – Day 8 : Hiroshima (Peace Park)

After lunch, we made our way to Peace Park.

Hiroshima is the famous city where the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped.  If you have a chance to visit Hiroshima, a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Peace Memorial Museum is a must.  The purpose of the Peace Memorial Park is to memorialize the victims and advocate world peace.

From Hiroshima Station, we took tram #2 to Genbaku Domu-mae station.  The tram ride cost ¥150 per person.

The first sight that greeted us was the Atomic Bomb Dome.  The A-Bomb Dome is the ruins of the former Industrial Promotion Hall.  This building is the closest to the hypocenter of the nuclear bomb.  This building is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It’s a well laid out park and there are English explanations for the significant monuments.  Amongst the monuments we visited were Children’s Peace Monument, Peace Flame, The Cenotaph, Fountain of Prayer, Peace Cairn and the Peace Bell.

Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound which contains the ashes of tens of thousands of victims.

Paper cranes folded by children placed at the Children’s Peace Monument. This monument is dedicated to the memory of the children who died as a result of the bombing.

The Peace Flame which has burned continuously since it was lit in 1964, and will remain lit until all nuclear bombs on the planet are destroyed and the planet is free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Memorial Cenotaph which holds the names of all of the people killed by the bomb.  Every year on 6 August, a memorial ceremony is held in front of the cenotaph.

The Memorial Museum entrance fee is only ¥50 per person.  Definitely a must as some of the exhibits are a powerful reminder of the atrocities of war.

The main building of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

The city before the bomb

After the bomb

The bomb “Little Boy” which did the huge damage.

This watch stopped at 8.15 am, the time when the bomb was dropped.

This lump used to be a roof tile.

These are not plastic bottles. They are glass bottles deformed by the tremendous heat from the bomb!

This exhibit moved me to tears.  The tricycle and metal helmet are donated by Nobuo Tetsutani.  Below is the story behind the exhibit :

Shinichi Tetsutani (then 3 years and 11 months) loved to ride this tricycle. That morning, he was riding in front of his house when, in a sudden flash, he and his tricycle were badly burned. He died that night. His father felt he was too young to be buried in a lonely grave away from home, and thinking he could still play with the tricycle, he buried Shinichi with the tricycle in the backyard.

In the summer of 1985, forty years later, his father dug up Shinichi’s remains and transferred them to the family grave.

This tricycle and helmet, after sleeping for 40 years in the backyard with Shinichi, were donated to the Peace Memorial Museum.

These paper cranes were folded by Sadako Sasaki.  She was only 2 when the bomb was dropped and she developed leukemia due to being exposed to the bomb.  She wanted to fold 1,000 origami cranes in the hope that she will be granted a wish by gods and all she wanted was to be alive.

It was a very emotional visit for me at the museum.  Saw a few other visitors leaving the museum with red eyes too!!

View of the A-Bomb Dome and Cenotaph from the museum

As it started to drizzle by the time we finished at the museum, we took the tram to Hondori shopping street.  We shopped and had dinner there before calling it a day.

A mascot handing out leaflet outside one of the shops

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