One thing that I really wanted to do on my recent trip to Japan was visit Hiroshima. I didn’t get a chance to go when I was in Japan in 2005 so it was one of the first places I put on my itinerary when planning this trip. I know that to some people, visiting Hiroshima is a tourist cliche like visiting the pyramids in Egypt, but to other people, including me, it has a deeper meaning.
Obviously, the three main places to visit while in Hiroshima are the Peace Memorial Park, the Peace Memorial Museum, and the A-bomb Dome (Genbaku Dome). On other pages on this site I’ve added pictures and details of the Peace Memorial Museum and the A-bomb Dome. However, this post is dedicated to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
On this page are photos that I took in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Some of the photos speak for themselves but where I think an explanation is necessary, or where I have a particular comment to make, I’ve included one.
At the entrance to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is the Fountain of Prayer. Behind that you can see the buildings of the Peace Memorial Museum.
The Fountain of Prayer, the Peace Memorial Museum, the Peace Memorial Monument, the Flame of Peace, and the A-bomb Dome all line up in a straight line. This photo was taken from the centre window of the Peace Memorial Museum
The view through the arch of the Peace Memorial Monument, looking past the Flame of Peace at the A-bomb Dome.
The Flame of Peace in the centre of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with the A-bomb Dome in the background.
Looking back from the Flame of Peace towards the Peace Memorial Monument, the Peace Memorial Museum, and the Fountain of Prayer.
Through the heat haze from the Flame of Peace, through the arch of the Peace Memorial Monument and under the Peace Memorial Museum, you can just make out the Fountain of Prayer.
This is a monument to all the Korean nationals who were killed or injured by the Hiroshima atomic bomb on 6th August 1945. It wasn’t just Japanese who were killed by the bomb. It’s believed that around 30000 of the 70000 to 80000 people who died immediately in the blast were Korean nationals, while another 20000 were exposed but survived immediate death.
This is the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound that apparently holds the ashes of 70000 unidentified victims of the bomb. As of 20th June 2009, 820 of those victims have been identified but no living relatives have ever been found to return their remains to.
The Hiroshima Bell of Peace with the A-bomb Dome in the background.
I graciously accepted the invitation to ring the Bell of Peace and send my own message out to the World.
In the photo above, the junction that you can see is the centre of Aioi Bridge (The “T-shaped Bridge”), which stands at the Northern end of the Peace Memorial Park. This was the point that was selected as the target for the Enola Gay on the morning of 6th August 1945. It’s not the original bridge though, as the photo below explains.
My visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was certainly a poignant one. I’d already spent a few hours exploring the exhibits and stories in the Peace Memorial Museum so I had a lot to think about as I wandered the park. By that time, the sun had gone and it was pouring with rain but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Blue skies and sunshine might have been a bit too cheerful considering the subject matter. However, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park isn’t all about the terrible event that happened there. It’s also a place of hope, happiness, kindness, friendship, and, of course, peace!