Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park – A Walk to Remember

Peace Memorial Park was built and dedicated not only to the victims of the nuclear bomb, not only to remember that Hiroshima was the first city to suffer the nuclear attack but to continue advocating the world peace.

Atomic Bomb Dome is part of Peace Memorial Park but I separated the rest of the Memorial Park as I wanted to emphasize the dome itself. From Atomic Bomb Dome, our walks continued within Peace Memorial Park. Before reaching the center of Peace Memorial Park, we found a tower called Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students and their we learned that more than 6000 students died at the day of the bombing. When I read that, it was a heart breaking information that I learned during our walking tour.

Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students (Cenotaph for Mobilized Students)

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At the center where the Cenotaph for Mobilized Students stands

We crossed Motoyasu-bashi Bridge and there we found tourist center which they also called as ‘Rest House’. We rested a bit inside the ‘Rest House’ and I bought post cards as my souvenirs.

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Motoyasu-gawa River joining Honkawa River as Ota River and Aioi-bashi Bridge

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Motoyasu-bashi Bridge North View

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Motoyasu-gawa River South View near from A-Dome

 

Motoyasu-bashi Bridge South View

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Motoyasu-bashi Bridge Road

We moved on and continued to explore the park. Next thing we saw were Flame of Peace, Memorial Cenotaph and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

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Flame of Peace, Memorial Cenotaph and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Flame of Peace

Like Rekaido Hall (Eterna Fire Hall) in Mount Misen in Miyajima Island, which I discovered that the fire never burned out, this Flame of Peace is the same, which first lit up last August 1st, 1964. It’s been light-up until our time. There’s a quote saying “Let’s keep burning the fire until nuclear weapon is eliminated from the entire earth” (source: visithiroshima.net) which really signifies that it represents the fight for peace.

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Memorial Cenotaph

The Cenotaph was built in memories and honor of remains are in another location. The shape symbolizes the thoughts of sheltering the souls that died in the atomic bomb or to protect them from raining. For many things what it means, the Cenotaph symbolizes of people whom died in human hands that we hope not to happen again. There’s a message engrave in the stone in the middle telling us “”Rest in Peace, for the error shall not be repeated” (source: visithiroshima.net).

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

The building said to house a lot of archives and memories that showcase all about the even happened that day. We were not able to visit the building, just saw it from the outside as we have very limited time to spend in the city.

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Children’s Peace Monument

There was one little girl named Sadako Sasaki who was died after the atomic bomb, when the nuclear attack happened in the city, she was just a 2 years old baby and she died at 12 years old. The child reminded us the terror effect of the nuclear bomb. Because of her story, the statue built in her memories and other children who suffered the same fate with her.

Peace Bell

The bell was built with the aim of true peace in Earth without nuclear weapons. The sound of this bell aims to be heard in every corner of the world and to reach every heart of human being. It was also noted that it’s sound was selected as one of “Japan’s best 100 sounds”.

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Statue of a Prayer for Peace

This statue built in hopes of making the victims of nuclear attack lives forever and for hoping for lasting peace in human race.

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While I am writing this post, I cannot deny the sadness that I felt, there were times that I was pondering and thinking, why there such events happened in our beautiful work such like this. I knew that this kind of human tragedy is not alone because there were tons of records in history listed all unimaginable things did by human to human,but people itself does not lose hope for peace.

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A Bomb Dome – Symbol of ‘Peace City’ – Hiroshima City

Hiroshima City was the place where first atomic bomb was dropped during World War II. Based on history, the building was blown-up as well because its location is not far from hypo-center (where the bomb was dropped and exploded up in the air). The building was formerly used as Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall and now representing people’s prayers for a lasting peace (reference information – visithiroshima.net)

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Atomic Bomb Dome

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Atomic Bomb Dome and Motoyasu-gawa River

There were two loops available for Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus or “Hiroshima meipuru~pu” where the bus terminal can be found near Hiroshima Station at Shinkansen Entrance. First loop is Orange where it is called as “via Peace Memorial Park and Art Gallery” and the second loop is Green and it is called as Peace Memorial Park and Okonimi-mura”. We started our adventure in the city and we took the Orange loop.  We got off A-Bomb Dome bus stop. From the bus stop, it’s just few walks away. When we saw the building, we saw a lot of tourist a like and they surrounded the building. Because of too many tourist, we took our time with the dome as we wanted a bit of exclusivity of the building, we waited until most of them were gone.

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Atomic Bomb Dome (Part 1)

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Atomic Bomb Dome (Part 2)

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Atomic Bomb Dome (Part 2)

Atomic Bomb Dome and Motoyasu-gawa River

While looking at the building, I can’t stop thinking at that time when the atomic bomb had been dropped in the city and how cruel it can be specially for the innocent people whom died in vain during that time. I knew it is somewhat a sensitive topic to discuss because people divided on its belief whether what happened was wrong or right, there are lots of topics that will arise of righteousness of the decision made to do it. When the Second World War broke last 1939, it was not only one country suffered, there were lots and my home country was not alone to suffer. It was a hurtful thing to think about and even to remember but there was a human hope that this kind of history will not repeat again. As I watching the building in different angles, whenever I look at it, I hope that human will always remember that living in peace are more important than other things. I will not condemn anyone but I hope that we learned our lessons on the history and make our world more livable. I admired Japanese because the world thought that this area of Hiroshima will be gone and will not be livable but after 70 years that had been passed the city and its outskirt proven that a city can be a reborn again and that what’s the impression that left in my memory after visiting the said city.

 

Hiroshima – A Reborn City and A ‘Peace City’

I can say that people who got a chance to study world history definitely knows the place named Hiroshima. Every time I encountered the name, two things that comes into my mind: first was World War II and second was the atomic bomb that dropped in the city. The world was rocked when US and its allied forces decided to drop the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki when Japan ignores the calls of Allied forces to surrender. As the Second World War reaches its final stages, the atomic bomb triggered the end of Japan emperialism.

I knew that the there’s always debate about the atomic bomb whether at that time it was right or not. While visiting Hiroshima, I read some historical archives that Japanese regrets what’s happened in Hiroshima but they also accepted or acknowledged that their government was also responsible for what had been happened because they recognized the impact that the decisions they made at that time. This is one of the character that I admired in Japan. I remembered that integrity is a key character that Japanese really cares for. That is why when they knew they made mistakes, they took responsibility by taking their lives just to preserve their honor and integrity (Harakiri).

When we got a chance to visit Hiroshima, I was curious what the city looks like after seven decades that had been passed after the atomic bomb was dropped in the city and its surrounding areas.

We spent an overnight in our hotel in Hiroshima downtown. In the morning we prepared early and we packed our stuff back again to our luggages and left it in the hotel and we picked it up again before took train to Kyoto.

Because we have few hours left in the city before our train schedule to Kyoto in the afternoon. We grabbed our chance to see a bit of Hiroshima. From morning until early afternoon, a city famous of its historical structures and ruins left by World War II and destructive atomic bomb that still standing as of today and to continue exploring the downtown by combining the city bus tour and walking tour.

From the hotel, we went to Hiroshima Station where the bus tour – Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus (Hiroshima Meipuru~pu) in the city starts. There are two routes available to tour around the downtown of Hiroshima. The first route is Orange Route – Peace Memorial Park and Art Gallery and the second route is Green Route – Peace Memorial Park and Okonomi-mura. We got a chance to take both routes but we haven’t completed the overall route because of limited time we had. When we got the Japan Rail Pass, the Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus is included, that was why when we were in Hiroshima, we used the pass to get the bus tour.

The following places we had a chance to see in the city were:

1. A-Bomb Dome

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2. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

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3. Hiroshima Castle

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