Today was a rather somber day of touring Hiroshima. I took a taxi over to the Peace Memorial Park which was built overlooking the last standing building from before the dropping of the atomic bomb. I went in the museum first. I spent quite a bit of time in there and there’s not really much I want to say about it here. It had two sections, the strategic planning by the US and Britain and then after effects. It’s horrific to read about the specific planning that went into choosing Hiroshima and Nagasaki as targets, and then to see what the bomb did to the city and most importantly to its people. It took quite a toll on me. I would suggest that anyone who is ever in Hiroshima go tour the museum. The US is still the largest offenders in the possession of nuclear arms, even though we significantly reduced our arsenal through a treaty last year. If you are really interested, last year a one million signature petition was presented to the UN from cities all over the world. The petition is still ongoing and you can read about it here.
Outside the museum, I walked to the memorial for the victims of the bombing. The memorial is comprised of a long pool with a small monument at one end, with a flame in the middle which was lit from the eternal flame from Miyajima which I mentioned in my last post.
Finally, I walked to the end of the strip to see the A-bomb dome. Once Hiroshima started to rebuild, there was a large cry for the dome to be destroyed as it invoked some rather unpleasant memories. However, as the few other surviving buildings were destroyed for more modern buildings, the public decided to preserve the structure to and build the peace memorial in its current location. Soon after that, there were restorative efforts to make the dome look exactly like it did right after the dropping of the bomb and make sure it will always look like that. The Dome and the Peace Memorial have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites.
From there I walked back to my hotel. With the typhoon gone, it was nice to see the sun again since it’s been a good week of storms. I retrieved my luggage and went over to the train station to go to Beppu. During the ride, I crossed from Honshu to Kyushu, the western most main island of Japan. Tomorrow I tour Beppu which is famous for its hot springs and natural sand baths, and then I move on to Nagasaki. Be sure to keep reading!