We started off the third day of our trip to Japan very early so we would arrive in time for some sightseeing. We caught a 6:30 AM train to Hiroshima (from Tokyo) and were out exploring the city by around 12:30.
Most of our time was spent at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park which is made up of a museum and lots of monuments dedicated to the various groups of victims. We also spent a good amount of time walking around and exploring the main shopping area- Hondori Street.
Here are some of the things we did:
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
- Checked out the memorials around Peace Park
- Spent time viewing the A-Bomb Dome
- People watching, stores and lunch on Hondori Street
|Tricylcle and helmet at museum|
Our first stop of the day was the Peace Memorial Museum where we got to learn about what happened to Hiroshima and it’s people after being bombed. The museum has two goals- show the devastation done by the bomb and a call for the end to nuclear weapons throughout the world. There are lots of interesting displays and artifacts spread out around the museum. I found the scale models of the city before and after the bombing to be really interesting. The models really put the damage in perspective showing how the city was pretty much leveled. There were also some watches which stopped working at 8:15, the time of the bombing. Some of the artifacts were pretty gruesome showing human remains like skin, hair and fingernails along with stories about why they are on display. There were also lots of photos and stories about what happened to many individuals.
|One of the memorials in the park|
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park grounds were really nice to wander around. There are lots of memorials to see spread out around the park. One of the most interesting was the Children’s Peace Monument which has thousands of paper origami cranes strung together in garlands which were sent from all over the world. The main and most prominent monument, the Memorial Cenotaph was also very interesting. The memorial is shaped almost like a horse shoe. You can see the Peace Flame & A-Bomb Dome when looking through it. The park was definitely a nice place to spend some time exploring.
|A-Bomb Dome (Genbaku Dome)|
I found the A-Bomb Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage Site to be the most interesting site we saw during our visit to Hiroshima. It was “the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945”. I found the story behind the building to be really amazing. After much debate, the city decided to preserve it in it’s ruined condition. The only work done has been to “ensure the continuing stability of the ruins”. The dome really stands out and can be seen from far across the park. We got to view the A-Bomb Dome from every side, up close and from across the water. The building was really a site to see.
After our visit to the Peace Park we lightened things up with a visit to Hondori Street, the main shopping and entertainment street in HIroshima. The street is lined with lots of restaurants and shops selling a wide variety of items. There were also some video arcades which seemed to draw in big crowds.The street was busy and noisy adding to the fun. We stopped for lunch but didn’t buy anything else. Most of all we enjoyed seeing how locals spent their day.
Keep checking back for details about the rest of our trip.