Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park Featured Photo - Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City

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Hiroshima, the Japanese city forever linked with history.  As the site of the first use of a nuclear weapon on a city, it’s impossible not to think of World War II when hearing the word Hiroshima.  The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and afterwards the city and the world was never the same.  First time visitors to Hiroshima wonder what they will find upon arriving in the city.  Hiroshima has rebuilt itself from the ashes of destruction into a beautiful and modern city, one whose mission now is to spread the message of peace to the world.

Welcome to Hiroshima

The easiest way for visitors to reach Hiroshima is by train.  From Kyoto, visitors can arrive in Hiroshima in just under three hours.  Once you arrive at Hiroshima Station exit via the South Gate and head to the city’s main form of public transportation, the streetcar (Hiroshima Electric Railway).  These trams ride through the city on railway tracks.  The streetcar’s run on nine, color coded, routes that cut through the entire city and will have you at your destination in no time.

Hiroshima’s streetcars are fast, efficient, and easy to use.  Passengers need not buy tickets before boarding the streetcar.  Board the streetcar through the door marked “entrance”.  Smaller streetcars have entrance doors at the back of the tram.  Longer streetcar’s entrances will be in the middle of the tram.  When you arrive at your stop, disembark via the exit doors near either the driver or the conductor.  Before exiting deposit the flat rate for inner city travel, 160 yen, in the provided coin slot.  Those without exact fare will receive their change from the coin slot machine.

If you plan on using the streetcars multiple times in one day, consider buying a day pass.  Day passes are available to buy before entering the streetcar or on board from the conductor.  A day pass for adult riders is 600 yen and 300 yen for children.  For those that need unlimited rides in the city and ferry access to nearby Miyajima, a one day streetcar and ferry pass is available.  This pass costs 840 yen for adults and 420 yen for children.

Signpost with the inscription "May Peace Prevail on Earth" - Hiroshima, Japan

Signpost with the inscription “May Peace Prevail on Earth”

Peace Memorial Park

On August 6, 1945 at 8:15am the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima.  With the city reduced to ruins, the significant impact of what happened that day permeates the city.  Yet from the destruction a beautiful remembrance to the victims and a beacon of peace has arisen.  The Peace Memorial Park ensures visitors never forget that infamous day and gives hope that the event that transpired never happens again.  As you approach the Peace Memorial Park, you should see a sign post that reads “May Peace Prevail on Earth”.  Repeat this phrase in your mind as you walk through the various memorials built to remember what occurred there.

Those visitors that wish to learn the history of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima will want to visit the Peace Memorial Museum.  After the Museum head to one of the main memorials, the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims.  This stone chamber, in the middle of the Park, has a list of the victims who died by the atomic bomb.  From the Cenotaph, you can see, and walk to, the Peace Flame.  The Flame will continue to burn until no more nuclear weapons exist on Earth.

Children's Peace Monument - Hiroshima, Japan

Children’s Peace Monument

Children’s Peace Monument and Other Memorials

The Children’s Peace Monument is a memorial for the children who died because of the atomic bomb.  A girl by the name of Sadako Sasaki inspired others to create the Children’s Peace Monument.  In 1955, Sadako was twelve years old and diagnosed with leukemia.  The disease resulted from her exposure to the radioactive aftereffects of the atomic bomb when she was two years old.  Sadako believed if she folded a thousand cranes she could defeat the leukemia.  Sadako could not beat the sickness, she died the same year as her diagnosis.  Classmates of Sadako’s petitioned to have the memorial built and ever since people from around the world have continued Sadako’s tradition of making paper cranes.  Glass boxes surround a statue of Sadako and contain every paper crane ever made in remembrance of Sadako and the children who died because of the atomic bomb.

Other notable memorials include the Korean Victim Monument, A-bombed Gravestone, Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound, the Bell of Peace, and the Peace Clock Tower.  The Peace Clock Tower chimes quarter past eight every morning, the same time as when the blast occurred on August 6, 1945.  Across the river, the A-Bomb Dome is the only remaining building from before the atomic bomb dropped.  Prior to the bombing the building was the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall.  Now, all that remains of the building are structural beams and blown out walls.  Flood lights used at night illuminate the remains of the building.  Near A-Bomb Dome is the Aioi Bridge. Aioi Bridge was the target of the bombing because of its distinctive “T” shape.

Modern Day Hiroshima

The memorials draw visitors to Hiroshima to remember and to pledge to bring peace to the entire world.  Around the Peace Memorial Park is a metropolitan city.  Rebuilt after the war, Hiroshima has modern buildings around the Park.  Here you will find the residents of Hiroshima living out their daily routines.  Among the buildings you’ll find shopping arcades and restaurants serving traditional Japanese dishes, such as okonomiyaki and ramen, made with a Hiroshima twist.

Modern day Hiroshima - Hiroshima, Japan

Modern day Hiroshima

Besides buildings, shopping arcades, and restaurants what you will find are the country’s friendliest people.  Hiroshima locals are quick to smile and offer help to visitors from every corner of the world.  The heart wrenches thinking of the utter destruction that befell this city, and yet it warms the heart to know beauty has come from such destruction.  The beauty of the Peace Memorial Park and the inner beauty of the Hiroshima people gives us hope that one day peace will prevail over the entire globe.

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Hiroshima Memorials

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Hiroshima Station: 34.396228, 132.475438
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: 34.391521, 132.453064
Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims: 34.392976, 132.452573
Peace Flame: 34.393445, 132.452776
Children\'s Peace Monument: 34.394103, 132.452976
Korean Victim Monument: 34.394208, 132.451847
A-bombed Gravestone: 34.394208, 132.451847
Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound: 34.394650, 132.452025
Bell of Peace: 34.394865, 132.452397
A-Bomb Dome: 34.395464, 132.453471
Peace Clock Tower: 34.395415, 132.452370
Aioi Bridge: 34.396198, 132.453403
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Hiroshima Station
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
広島駅, Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
広島平和記念資料館 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum), Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
原爆死没者慰霊碑 (Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims), Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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Peace Flame
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
広島平和記念公園 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park), Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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Children's Peace Monument
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
原爆の子の像, Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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Korean Victim Monument
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
韓国人原爆犠牲者慰霊碑, Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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A-bombed Gravestone
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
韓国人原爆犠牲者慰霊碑, Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
原爆供養塔 (Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound), Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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Bell of Peace
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
平和の鐘, Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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A-Bomb Dome
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
原爆ドーム, Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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Peace Clock Tower
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
平和の時計塔, Hiroshima-shi, Japan
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Aioi Bridge
Hiroshima: Memorials and a Modern City
Hiroshima Tokushimaken, Japan

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