Hiroshima is a city the world knows and dreads its history…the city of war…the city of peace.Before embarking on its soil…there were so many questions running through my mind,specially after yesterday’s trip to Osaka Peace Museum…I dreaded even more what was in store in Hiroshima…but the city took us by absolute surprise.. right from its station,its well planned roads n lanes,its trams…the very calmness in its air…
The day we reached Hiroshima…after checking in..we ambled through its roads..with all admiration and a strange satisfaction to be breathing this city’s air which has literally risen from ashes ! After having lunch at an Asian restaurant,we headed off for Miyajima that day.The next day we started off early for the Peace Memorial Park right across the road from our hotel.As we walked towards..we came across many small memorial monuments…at every few steps…the city spoke to us…
Before the bomb, the area of what is now the Peace Park (spanning across 120,000 sq.m)was the political and commercial heart of the city. For this reason, it was chosen as the pilot’s target. Four years to the day after the bomb was dropped, it was decided that the area would not be redeveloped but instead devoted to peace memorial facilities.The park’s main facility is the Peace Memorial Museum consisting of two buildings.Along with the facts and aftermath of the atomic bombing on Aug 6th,1945, the museum also speaks of many upsetting personal experiences..with exhibits contributed by the bereaved families.On entering the museum..one of the 1st exhibits was this..
There was this model depiction of the deavastation…with a view of the inhabited city before and the ruins after the bomb struck..
The blue domed building in the 1st pic, is the former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall,served as a location to promote Hiroshima’s industries. When the bomb exploded, it was one of the few buildings to remain standing, and remains so today as the A-Bomb Dome, also known as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
The museum houses a model of the A-Dome….amidst the horror stories dating to exact time of doom..
The A-Bomb dropped on Hiroshima was about 3 mts long and weighed about 4 tons.Called ‘Thin Man’ at first, because of its long thin design,when the actual bomb turned out to be shorter,the nickname changed to “Little Boy”..
A floor of the museum highlighted the current development of various countries wrt nuclear weapons urging against it.Then there was a big counter selling many books and postcards which could be postmarked from Hiroshima.We sent 5 such cards back home.And then this is what we saw on way out of the museum…The city now stands for Peace…
Between the Museum and the A-Bomb Dome is the Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims. The Cenotaph is an arched tomb for those who died because of the bomb, either because of the initial blast or exposure to radiation. Below the arch is a stone chest holding a register of these names, of which there are over 220,000.
Some other memorial monuments on our way to the A-Dome adjoining the park..
And then we had the first view of the present remains of the city that stood through the horror…the A-Dome building,now enlisted as an UNESCO World Heritage site..
A closer look..
After this we had our lunch nearby and went to explore the downtown shopping area.From there we went to the Shukkeien Garden,a famous Japanese landscape garden whose name implies “shrunken-scenery garden”, which is also a good description of the garden itself. Valleys, mountains, and forests are represented in miniature in the garden’s landscapes.The entire garden is connected by a path which winds around the pond at the center of the garden and passes through all of Shukkeien’s various miniaturized sceneries. Following the path we enjoyed many beautiful sceneries.
After relaxing for quite some in this beautiful garden,we headed for the station wrapping up our 3 nights 4 day trip to Osaka,Hiroshima and Miyajima which would remain with us as a lifetime experience..