Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

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1-2 Nakajimama-cho, Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Reviews

mosted mosted
37 reviews
Great Museum Jul 31, 2013
This museum should be visited be everyone travelling in Japan. It has a special atmosphere, which is kinda sad and depressing on one hand but very very interesting on the other.

You will learn a lot about the history of Hiroshima, read about tragic fates of individuals, the invention of the atomic bomb and most important about the destructive power of nuclear weapons and why the world needs to get rid of them.

The admission is at about 50Yen, which is so cheap that you can actually say its free. Compared to so many boring and expensive art-museums in the world this is something special. Its a must-see, dont miss it!

Notice: Very explicit photography!
Peace Museum
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Toonsarah Toonsarah
527 reviews
A moving museum Oct 10, 2013
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was established on the tenth anniversary of the atomic bomb, in August 1955. It is dedicated to documenting the events surrounding the bombing and its effects, and to the promotion of world peace and an end to all nuclear weapons. It is the focus for the many visiting groups of school children and as such is always crowded (over a million people a year visit it), but I was glad we didn’t let the crowds put us off. You really shouldn’t come to Hiroshima and not see the powerful and moving exhibits it holds.

You enter through the newer East Wing and paid the very reasonable entrance fee of 50¥ for adults – kept deliberately affordable to that no one is excluded from visiting. This two storey building focuses on the history of the period before and after the dropping of the bomb. Models show the city before and immediately after the bombing, as do numerous old photos. One section I found especially interesting was the one devoted to the background to the decision to drop the bomb, including some fascinating documents detailing the process that went into choosing which city it would be dropped on. These accounts reveal the almost random manner in which Hiroshima met its fate. Firstly, the Allies could have chosen to use the atom bomb against Germany, as they had developed the technology in time. But they rejected the idea, believing that should things go wrong and it not detonate, the Germans had sufficiently advanced skills to quickly learn from the bomb and develop their own to be turned against the Allies. So Japan it was.

Secondly, they could have opted not to use it at all. Several leading scientists of the day argued unsuccessfully that merely having (and demonstrating that they had) the capacity to build and use atomic weapons would be enough to ensure US post-war supremacy, and that indeed using the bomb would restrict that supremacy as it would speed up its acquisition by other powers. But they were not listened to.

Thirdly, there was an initial long-list of 17 Japanese cities, and then a short-list of four, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki (where the second bomb was dropped) were just two on this list. The criteria for the list included factors such as not having any prisoner of war facilities (the Allies didn’t want to bomb their own people), plus of course being of some strategic importance (a significant number of troops were stationed in Hiroshima and its port was one of the most important in the country). Also, to some extent the dropping of the bomb was an experiment by the Allies; they didn’t know exactly what impact it would have. So to ensure that the effects could be accurately observed, potential target cities had to have an urban area at least three miles in diameter (about 4.8 kilometres). Interestingly, at one point Kyoto was apparently considered as a possible target, but the wife of a senior US general reminded him of the wonderful honeymoon they had spent there and pleaded that its temples should be spared, so they were.

Finally, they had a shortlist of four: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, and Nagasaki. But in the end it all came down to weather. On the morning of 6th August 1945 the skies were clear over Hiroshima, so Hiroshima it was. The Peace Memorial Museum website describes what happened:

‘The bombardier was ordered to conduct a visual bombing, the most reliable method at the time. Before dawn on August 6, weather reconnaissance planes took off for Hiroshima, Kokura, and Nagasaki from Tinian, Mariana Islands. Three B29s took off later: the Enola Gay carrying the atomic bomb, a second bomber carrying scientific observation equipment, and a third with photographic equipment. Receiving the report that the sky over the primary target was clear, the Enola Gay headed straight for Hiroshima. The aiming point was the T-shaped Aioi Bridge in the central part of the city. At 8:15 a.m. on August 6, the atomic bomb was dropped and detonated approximately 600 meters over the Shima Hospital, located about 300 meters southeast of the Aioi Bridge.’

This wing also explores the impact on the fabric of the city, and ends with information about the nuclear age and the city’s efforts for international peace. From here we proceeded to the older West Wing across a raised walkway. I found this is altogether more personal and more harrowing. It concentrates on the damage caused by the bomb, both to the city and to the lives of its inhabitants. It is divided into sections such as Material Witness (clothing, watches, hair, and other personal effects worn by victims of the bomb – the most distressing section); Damage by the Heat Rays (looks at what happened to wood, stone, metal, glass, and flesh in the intense heat); Damage by the Blast (the destruction caused by the after-shocks); and Damage by the Radiation (the health effects suffered by survivors and also the challenges they faced in being accepted in society). Viewing all of this was not a comfortable experience but it brings home the individual impacts caused by the bomb in a way that the big numbers quoted in relation to the various monuments cannot do.

Photography is allowed throughout the museum but I felt uncomfortable taking pictures of the most personal exhibits so took most of my pictures in the more impersonal East Wing.

Entry is a very reasonable 50¥ for adults and 30¥ for school children and seniors. The museum is open year round apart from a couple of days over the New Year; the hours are 8.30-18.00 for most of the year but it closes at 17.00 in the winter (December-February) and stays open until 19.00 in August, and till 20.00 on August 5th and 6th, when the anniversary of the bomb is commemorated.
Children in the museum
Photo showing the devastation
Model of the area of the Peace Mem…
The same area before the bomb
Toonsarah says:
I think we were there about three hours but like you could have spent longer
Posted on: Jan 23, 2018
davejo says:
We spent 2 hours here but could easily have been there for 4 hrs
Posted on: Jan 22, 2018
Airportman Airportm…
230 reviews
One sided view of the dropping of the A-bomb on Hiroshima Jul 22, 2000
Besides a visit to the Peace Park in Hiroshima, I can recommend a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum as well. An entrance ticket costs 50 yen (around 0,50 eurocent or around 0,60 US dollarcent), which is almost for nothing.

Now, do bare in mind that this museum offers what happened during the war and especially what had happened before, during and after the dropping of the A-bomb on the city mostly from one side of the story: the japanese side.

But the images, videos and displays you see gives you an idea how big the force of the impact was when the bomb was detonated approximately 500 meters above the ground. Nearly the entire city was completely destroyed.

I was here in 2000 and in 2007 and both times photography was forbidden. I started in the East Building on the 1st floor, which has 2 models of the city. One before and one after the bomb was detonated.

On the 2nd floor & 3rd floor is a video corner, as well an explanation about the nuclear age. Then I went to west building where there are all kind sof displays of remains after the destruction.
Entrance ticket
Inner pages
Inner pages
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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