Hiroshima Travel Blog› entry 4 of 7 › view all entries
The ferries to and from Miyajima dock at Miyajimaguchi, which is about 30 minutes from the center of town by street car. The Peace Memorial stop is easily spotted as it is close to the A-Bomb Dome, and if I'm not mistaken, announced in English in the car as well. The Memorial Park grounds are extensive and peppered with various monuments, cenotaphs, reflecting pools, and tokens of hope for peace from around the world all forming a concourse to the museum at the other end. The museum might be my number one must-see for Japan-- important, gut-wrenching knowledge for people of any age and nationality. While it does have a surprisingly positive focus, the physical evidence of mass destruction and death is omnipresent.
A year later I'm still disturbed by this new knowledge. Beyond the immediate guilt felt at being part of a culture that took the plunge (and even worse, tested the water again a week later even though we knew what would happen), the lasting effect of the peace memorial is that it turns your thinking to personal views and history as well as current events. I have grown very uncomfortable with the fact that my grandfather was in China and Japan in World War II, and while I've never been supportive of my country's military ambitions I'm more confused than ever at what they think they are accomplishing. Perhaps if everyone were to experience this museum we'd have a better world.