A British Girl in…Hiroshima

As I mentioned previously, the JR Rail Pass is a great way to really see Japan and when I realised I was only around 90 minutes away from Hiroshima it seemed crazy not to visit. Hiroshima, of course gained notoriety on April 6th 1945 when Allied Forces, keen to hasten the end of the War in the Pacific dropped an Atomic Bomb on the City in a hope to cow the Japanese into submission. Almost 70% of the City was destroyed and 80,000 people died directly as a result of the bombs impact with tens of thousands more dying in the following years as a result of injuries and radiation. In 1949, Hiroshima was named as a “City of Peace” and in 1950 the Peace Park was opened with the Genbaku (Atomic Dome) as its centre piece, joined later by the Peace Memorial Museum which opened in 1955. The Atomic Dome is just a short tram ride away from the main railway station in Hiroshima and was the only building left standing near the epicentre of the bomb. The park itself is a very calm place, with the mangled iron and stone remains of the Dome surrounded by numerous trees and statues, many of which are also memorials (there is a giant tortoise memorial to the many Koreans who died during the bombing) as well as the cenotaph and eternal light, a torch that will remain constantly burning until nuclear weapons are eradicated. The Hall of Remembrance inside the Peace Museum has an interior wall with a panorama of the City on it comprised of 140,000 tiles (the number of people estimated to have died by the end of 1945) It is there to “inspire thoughts of the victims, prayers for peaceful repose of their souls and contemplation of Peace” Hiroshima remains an important City to visit, perhaps now more than ever and whilst it is certainly not a “fun” day trip from Osaka, it is one I recommend people to take, Lest we forget.
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Paper Cranes
Paper Cranes
Children's Memorial
Children’s Memorial

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The Peace Bell
The Peace Bell
The mound is made from ashes of the dead
The mound is made from ashes of the dead
Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial

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