Hiroshima

Hiroshima Travel Blog

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Atom Bomb Dome, Hiroshima

Next onto Hiroshima and to one of the most interesting visits of my trip. The history is certainly tragic. August 6th, 1945, 8:15 a.m. the first Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. 140,000 killed, 350,000 vicitims. Today there are 125,000 surviving Hibakusha (explosion-affected people) in Japan. The devastation is very well recorded in a very good museum at the Peace Memorial Park. The park includes the cenotaph that contains the names of all the known victims of the bomb. The flame burning beneath the cenotaph is symbolic and will be extinguished when the last nuclear weapon on earth has been destroyed.

Two things I thought were really remarkable.
Firstly, the city is completely rebuilt, is active and vibrant and in some ways its hard to imagine what actually occurred there.

Cenotaph, symbolic flame and Atom Bomb Dome all line up


Secondly after visiting the museum you get a much better understanding of the aftermath of the bomb. The exhibits picked up from various parts of the city are frightening. Silhouettes of people appear on sections of walls where they blocked the flash of blinding light from the bomb. The person was vaporized in the explosion and their shadow forever imprinted on the wall. Multiple wrist watches are stopped at 8:15. Roof tiles show "bubbles" where they essentially "boiledâ" in the intense heat. The model showing the devastation zone meant all the more when earlier in the day, I had travelled 15 mins by train, across that same zone to get to the museum. A radius of >2.5Km from the epicenter was devastated in the blast. However, we look at these exhibits / pictures with the benefit of knowing what happened.
The people at the time had no idea what exactly was after happening. Many survivors described the burns that victims endured, the desperate cries of people for water when essentially their lungs and internals had been incinerated by the intense heat from the bomb. Within days, people were back in the city, laying train tracks, trying to rebuild, without any awareness of the presence of radiation etc. Certainly a sobering visit, but encouraging to see a vibrant, lively city operating again.

From Hiroshima, I did a day trip to Miyajima (the correct name is Itsuku-shima). The famous floating Torri (Shinto shrine gate) is one of Japan's best know views. It certainly is worth a visit.

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Atom Bomb Dome, Hiroshima
Atom Bomb Dome, Hiroshima
Cenotaph, symbolic flame and Atom …
Cenotaph, symbolic flame and Atom…
Model of Before and........
Model of Before and........
After
After
Epicentre of Bomb and size of fire…
Epicentre of Bomb and size of fir…
The impact of the heat can be seen…
The impact of the heat can be see…
View from the museum showing the C…
View from the museum showing the …
Childrens Memorial
Childrens Memorial
Out on MAC bar, Hiroshima
Out on MAC bar, Hiroshima
Shinto Shrine Gate
Shinto Shrine Gate
Itsukushima-jinja
Itsukushima-jinja
View from top of Misen Peak on Miy…
View from top of Misen Peak on Mi…
Hiroshima
photo by: mmeymey