From Hiroshima Peace Park, to a whole section of street dedicated to the past, Hiroshima features an array of peace related sights. These five attractions are here as a memory and reminder of a better world, one without the use of atomic bombs. Regardless of their harrowing nature, these sights can still be enjoyed and form an important part of Japanese history, and how the country has moved forward from the events of 1945:
Peace Boulevard began as a buffer zone with the buildings from World War II being demolished. It is a wide street which extends 4km from Hijiyama Park in the east to the plaza in front of Nishi-Hiroshima Station in the west. The street within the precious green belt acts as a 100m-wide urban east-west axis which has earned enough high praise to earn a place as one of the Top 100 Streets in Japan. Many kinds of events have been held on the street including ekiden races and the victory parade for the professional baseball team, Hiroshima Carp. Furthermore, it has become a well-known symbol for the city.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Along with the Atomic Bomb Dome, this is a place for learning about the atomic bombing. Starting merely four years after the atomic bombing, materials related to the damage and suffering caused by the atomic bomb had been exhibited since 1949. Then in 1955, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was opened. This museum conveys the conditions at the time of the bombing by a wide range of display including explanations of the structure and destructive power of the atomic bomb, explanations of radioactivity, heat rays, the blast, and damages caused by fire, as well as an exhibition of the belongings of the victims.
- Guidebook from Planetyze about Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
- Tours of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Atomic Bomb Dome
The building was designed by a Czech architect Jan Letzel and was opened as a hall for displaying products of Hiroshima Prefecture. It was a modern, three-story brick building with a European architectural design and a characteristic dome. Together with its reflection in the river, this elegant building was considered one of Hiroshima’s scenic spots. However, more than 90% of Hiroshima City’s buildings were blown out or burnt down by the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. Located only a short distance away from the hypocenter, the building was exposed and damaged entirely by fire but miraculously, it was able to retain most of its structure.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is on the opposite side of the Atomic Bomb Dome across a river. Praying for eternal world peace, this park was established near the hypocenter of the atomic bomb explosion. A large number of monuments to the atomic bomb victims and peace monuments are set up in the vast grounds of the park. The monument at the center of the park dedicated to the atomic bomb victims is shaped in a form of a house to protect the souls of the victims from rain and wind. When looked at from the front, you can see the Atomic Bomb Dome in the distance just under the “roof” of this house-shaped monument. The engraving on the stone plate inside this monument reads “Please rest in peace; for we shall never repeat the error.”
- Guidebook from Planetyze about Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
- Tours of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
Run by the national government, this memorial hall was built to commemorate the atomic bomb victims; it is located within the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park which was opened in 2002. There is no entrance fee. The display includes the belongings of the victims and videos showing the conditions at the time of the war and the damages caused by the bombing. Also, visitors can view data and images of their interest by using the museum’s computers to search memoirs of victims, videos of testimonies by victims, pictures of Hiroshima before and after the dropping of the bomb, and videos of Hiroshima immediately after the bombing.