Wednesday, November 12, 2008


On 10/7/08 it was off to Hiroshima.

My bullet train to Hiroshima

Faster bullet train, not included on my JR Pass.

In Hiroshima you can get around easily with their Street Cars

Of course I am going there to see where the first atomic bomb was dropped. I slept that night in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese style room. You sleep on the floor, it is covered by a bambo mat. My hotel wasn't a true ryokan, but rather a hotel that was converted into a ryokan style. The bad thing is of course it's not 100% authentic, the good thing is it's really only that walls that weren't authentic so I can't hear my neighbors snore and they can't hear me snore.
My ryokan, I really liked sleeping like this.

Tourist Map of the Hiroshima Area

Welcome to Peace Park

I'll start first with the Monument to Korean Bomb Victims because it's often overlooked. During World War 2 forced labors from Korea, then a colony of Japan, were working in Hiroshima. They were innocent victims of the bomb and no memorial was held for them. This monument was erected in hopes that those that perished will now be able to be at peace since no ceremonies were offered at the time.

korean memorial

Moving on to the main parts of the memorial...

This is the Memorial Cenotaph, designed to be like ancient Japanese burial mounds. Underneath the arch is a stone coffin holding all the names of japanese bomb victims and victims of the bomb's aftermath.
Memorial Cenotaph

Memorial with Flame of Peace in the back.

The Flame of Peace, this flame is from the actual fire of the bomb. It has been kept burning since August 6, 1945 and will continue to burn until the last nuclear weapon has been dismantled.

Flame of Peace

This twisted building is the A-bomb dome, built in 1914. It has been kept in the state it was left in from the bombing as a reminder of what happened.

Just north of the monument is a statue of a little girl, Sasaki Sadako who became ill with leukaemia in 1955. At the age of 12 she believed that if she was able to fold 1000 cranes she would be cured. She did not make it. Moved her classmates continued folding cranes for her and went on to build this monument to the children that were victims of the bomb or the aftermath of it's radiation.

Cranes made by children and donated to the site

Memorial Mound

Bell tower which some children are ringing for fun

I'm usually not the biggest fan of museums, but the Hiroshima Peace Museum is really worth going to. It contains the history of events that lead up to the bombing, pictures of the bombing and it's aftermath, drawings by victims, accounts of the event by victims, and models of the event itself. It's really extremely powerful.
Hiroshima Peace Museum

Watch from the time of the bomb.... the hands are stuck at 8:15

Picture of Hiroshima After the Bomb
Picture of the A-Dome after the bombing

Drawings by the survivors of the A-Bomb... the girl on the left is digging up the remains of her father..... how horrible.
Click to enlarge the picture to read the text about the girl digging up her father's remains.

Plates from the blast

View from the museum
More drawing from the survivors..... this time about black rain.

"Hell on Earth" -- a picture taken of survivors shortly after the bomb.

recreation of the bombings
recreation of the bombings

Tricycle from the bomb... an awful story. This tricycle belonged to a three year old boy who died from the blast. Their parents thought he would be lonely in a grave so they buried him close to their house along with his tricycle. Years later they dug up the tricycle and donated it to the museum.
A shadown of a person imprinted on the concrete.
Deformed glass

Also made a quick stop by Hiroshima Castle before they closed that day.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Omg, I cried my eyes out reading that story about the woman/girl digging up her father's remains.

Also, we had to read a book in 4th or 5th grade called "Sadako & the 1000 Paper Cranes." I remember that I figured it would be a normal, happy ending, and was devastated when it ended with her death. It's kind of crazy to learn that it was a true story that we read back then. I'm sure our teacher told us that it was a true story, but I don't remember.