Everyone in the world knows the name of Hiroshima city because of the atomic bomb that was dropped on the city in August of 1945. Nowadays the city has recovered from the devastation and is a great, modern city, but there is a number of monuments and museums to make sure nobody forgets what happened on that fateful day.
One of the most iconic monuments is the A-bomb dome, one of the few structures near the centre of the blast to stay mostly standing. The dome on top of the building is now only a shell and much of the building itself was destroyed but what was left was kept as it was as a memorial.
Just next to the dome is the Peace Memorial Park. Throughout the park there are a number of memorial sites. The children’s peace monument has thousand of folded paper cranes made by children from around Japan inspired by the famous story of Sadako Sasaki (佐々木禎子), a young girl who died following the bomb , she had tried to fold a thousand paper cranes to make her wish of being cured come true but died before she could finish.
Another famous monument is the Flame of Peace which will burn until all nuclear weapons are dismantled. It’s best seen by looking through the arch of the memorial cenotaph which frames the flame with the A-bomb dome behind it. The two most touching memorials for me though were the Memorial Hall for the Atomic bomb victims and the Peace Memorial Museum.
In the Memorial Hall you feel almost like you are walking down into a grave as you follow the spiral walkway down inside. At the bottom is a hall where you can see a 360 degree view of the devastation following the bomb above the names of the victims. When I went it was really quiet and pretty sobering to see the numbers of people killed all written out in front of you.
The Peace memorial museum is somewhere everybody should have to walk through at some point in their lives, especially people who are in control of Nuclear bombs nowadays. The first part of the museum was pretty factual explaining the lead up to the dropping of the first bomb but the main part of the museum was much more harrowing. It detailed the aftermath of the blast, how the people and children of Hiroshima suffered and died in the days following. The personal stories of tragedy and loss brought me and most of the other visitors to the museum to tears. It’s not an easy way to spend an afternoon but it’s something that is definitely worth seeing at least once in your life.
Hiroshima, where the peace belongs