There are no more traces of the war and the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. Except for the A-Bomb Dome which is preserved and sturdily standing by the river. People are moving on but they don’t forget that saddest day of their lives and they don’t forget to honor the 140,000 victims of the nuclear bombing at the nehest of the Americans.
is not anymore the city that we learned from history books. It’s not anymore a picture of devastation but a place of modern civilization.
Within the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, peace and silence is undeniably felt by every local and tourist alike. There’s this kind of sad feeling (and perhaps guilt, if you’re American) when strolling around the park. Even the trees seem sad and the empty benches feel what solitude and loneliness like.
Hiroshima has stood up from the ruins and has moved since that catastrophic morning on August 6, 1945. Hiroshima has moved on. Hiroshima has a new face. The streets are lined up with modern architecture, neon lights, modern facilities, transport, etc…
Today, Hiroshima calls itself as the City of Peace.
Perhaps, the most visited tourist attraction in the city is the Peace Memorial Park. This was once a peaceful neigborhood before the nuclear bombing. Few steps from most houses was the epicenter where the bomb landed. And on that very day, the course of world history has changed.
At Peace Memorial Park in Horoshima, you’ll find the following landmarks you shouldn’t ever miss.
A-BOMB DOME AT PEACE MEMORIAL PARK
You can’t miss this destroyed building by the river. It’s the one with the dome. You can’t miss it. If you are walking from the main street, this is the first remnant of the war you can see.
Most tours start here and most educational excursions (which are many everyday) start here. This is the living symbol of the bombing that stood still years after that doomful morning happened.
CHILDREN’S PEACE MONUMENT AT PEACE MEMORIAL PARK
I love the story behind this monument. It’s sad but lessons can be learned. It’s about a 10-year old leukemia victim, Sadako Sasako. She decided to fold a thousand paper cranes hoping for her recovery. There’s an ancient Japanese myth that by doing so, all your wishes will come true.
However, Sadako died before she could even finish them. She only folded 644 paper cranes. Her classmates finished the rest and put them in her coffin. Literally, her wish didn’t come true but figuratively, her wish came true. She lives for a long time in the memory of the people.
Today, thousands of paper cranes (with wishes written on them) are sent to this monument.
FLAMES OF PEACE AT PEACE MEMORIAL PARK
The Flames of Peace will only be extinguished until the last nuclear weapon on earth has been destroyed. North Korea and Iran, I’m talking to you!
I have my fingers crossed when this day happens.
THE HALL OF REMEMBRANCE at PEACE MEMORIAL PARK
Here, you’ll see photos of the A-bomb victims. You will read their stories and feel the pain of their sufferings and the anxiety and grief of the families who lost their loved ones.
You can hear their voices as you read their cry for help. This hall is so quite that you can really feel the presence of mourning. Nobody dared to make noise. Even the school children behaved so well. They just went around, read every word and looked at the photos of the victims with interest.
THE PEACE MEMORIAL MUSEUM
The real clothes that are still tainted with blood, are so surreal and at times, you just close your eyes to ignore the objects. Adults and kids alike feel the pain of losing inside the the peace Memorial Museum.
You can’t unsee the things you’ve seen here. You will carry it with you forever. And this experience might be one of the saddest part of your travels.