Hiroshima Travel Blog› entry 19 of 33 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.