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2009
09.20

hiroshima peace memorial

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unfortunately, hiroshima became a historically significant place in human history because the first atomic bomb to be used as a weapon was dropped in this location.  at 8:15am on august 6, 1945 the “little boy” bomb exploded 600 meters (1,968 feet) above ground just a short distance from the later named atomic bomb dome (genbaku domu 原爆ドーム), seen above.

taken from the other side of the river, within the peace memorial park (heiwa koen 平和公園).

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to reach hiroshima you can travel by bus from osaka, or by shinkansen (bullet train) from multiple cities.  alternatively, you can fly into the local airport.  the most common approach to the park is from the north by way of the local trains.  however, i recommend that you approach from the south first.  i believe the park was designed in such a way as to introduce you its different aspects and museum before you see the a-bomb dome itself.

if you approach from the south, you will first come across this water fountain and the museum, which is the building you see pictured here.

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i strongly recommend that you walk through the museum, taking your time to read the information, view the photos on display and the various items that were collected from the area.

though a few aspects of the museum might make you feel sad, please do not skip or go into the museum with preconceived notions.  first and foremost, the museum is informative and objective.  it spells out how war is a terrible act my man kind.

as you walk north from the museum, you will come up to the memorial cenotaph.

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it holds the names of all the people that died on that day, and symbolically represents a shelter for all the souls of the victims.  through the archway you can see the a-bomb dome and the peace flame.  the peace flame will continue to burn until there are no more nuclear weapons on earth.

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to the right of the memorial cenotaph is the hiroshima national peace memorial hall for the atomic bomb victims, located underground.  the most impressive aspect about this museum is the 360 degree view of what hiroshima looked like after the explosion.  the view is made up of 140,000 tiles, each representing a victim that died from the bomb or its aftereffects by the end of that same year.

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there are several sites at the park, including the korean a-bomb memorial to commemorate the tens of thousands of koreans that died on that day as well.  they, along with thousands of chinese, were used as slave labor to help japan’s military needs.

there is also a children’s peace monument in memory of the thousands of children that died from the bombing.  the statue specifically represents a young girl named sadako sasaki.  she was suffering from radiation sickness and later died from it, as many other japanese.  she believed that if she folded 1,000 oragami cranes then she would be healed.  in japanese culture, folding paper cranes is believed to make your wishes come true.  sadly, she died at 10 years of age from leukemia before reaching her goal.  her classmates folded the remaining cranes.  paper cranes are sent from around the world by school children in hope of peace and displayed at this site.

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  1. […] UNESCO world heritage site is a short train ride away from hiroshima. so if you are visiting the atomic dome and peace park, take the time to visit this beautiful location. make sure to ride the cable car to the top of the […]