City of Peace
Hiroshima Travel Blog› entry 39 of 41 › view all entries
October 3rd, 2008 – by: semiperipatetic
At the centre of the city lies Aioi bridge, which due to its distinctive T-shape served as the bomb's target. The area around the hypocentre is now known as the Peace Memorial Park, a triangular green area that hosts the Peace Memorial Museum and numerous cenotaphs. A the top of the park is the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall building, now known as the A-Bomb Done, one of the few buildings that was not flattened by the explosion and the only Hiroshima structure left to remind us of the horrific consequences of nuclear war. Right in the middle of the park stands the Peace Flame, which will keep burning until the day that the last nuclear weapon is destroyed.
Walking away from the park, it is difficult to forget about the people who perished, those close to them and those who experienced that day and survived; the tragedy of nuclear war and all the people involved in making the decision to wipe a city off the earth's face. In a matter of seconds after the explosion, over 70,000 people had died. By the end of the year this number had reached 140,000. Some estimates that include the people that developed leukemia and other types of cancer in the years that followed bring the total number of deaths to 200,000. The temperature at the centre of the bomb reached 1 million degrees Celcius. Surface temperatures were around 3,000 degrees. Everything within a radius of 3 kms was flattened and burnt.
There is something truly remarkable about the aftermath and the years that followed the end of the Second World War.
Later that day I am looking for the Post Office and an elderly man points me towards the right direction. He says his home is the same way so we walk together. Curious about whether he was alive 'that' day, I enquire his age. He was born in 1944. He was less than 1 year old when the bomb was dropped.
In the following days I visit the Hiroshima castle and the Prefectural Art Museum which has some beutiful displays of modern sculpture - alas, no photos allowed! And of course sampled the traditional dish of Hiroshima, okonomiyaki!
Tomorrow I head to the beautiful island of Miyajima
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