Hiroshima, Honshu, Japan

Monday 3rd June 2024
We spent the morning taking it easy, getting moving slowly. We are showing the signs of holiday fatigue. When we finally got going it was to a day of sadness and witnessing the tragedy of war.

Our first stop was at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. This was very well displayed with everything written in English for us, it was a lot of reading and so thought provoking and mentally disturbing. The tragedy that unfolded on 6th August 1945 at 8.15am was unimaginable. The accounts of that time and the ensuing years depicted in the images, drawings and written word was incredible. We spent 3 hours walking through the museum reading about the history of the first atomic bomb blast. We saw remains of tattered clothes, pictures of burned people, others with the effects of black rain and radiation as they died. It was incredibly sad and difficult to understand how they would have endured such suffering. Others survived the trauma of the bombing only to die 5, 10, 20 years later of cancers, leukaemia and many suffered psychologically.

After we visited the Museum, we then walked through the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, saw many memorial statues, the Atomic Bomb Dome and the actual spot where 600m above the bomb exploded. It was a very moving day and one that will remain in our minds any time war and nuclear weapons are discussed.

We then went for a walk to the Hiroshima Castle, another magnificent Castle but unfortunately we were too exhausted to explore it. We just had a quick walk around the grounds, took a photo of its entrance and headed back to the hotel.

We decided to try for an early dinner of Okonomiyake again tonight, the restaurant we were hoping to eat at last night and tonight appears to not be open again. So after choosing another one, we headed there and made another mistake. We ended up at Miyamae Izakaya Restaurant, which unbeknown to us was a bar style restaurant. We thought we were at the Okonomiyake restaurant but it turns out that it was a like a tapas style restaurant. Once we ordered and received our meals, we realised that we would need to order more. We enjoyed a variety of foods, some not so much but at least we tried some traditional food in a restaurant with only Japanese patrons tonight, instead of the tourist restaurant of last night.

After dinner we went for a walk through the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park under lights. Another long and tiring day, we walked about 15km around the city today. Only a couple more to go before we head home. I am not sure what is in store for tomorrow but only time will tell.

“Communicating the reality of the atomic bombing to people with the aim of abolishing nuclear weapons and achieving lasting world peace. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was opened in 1955 with the aim of communicating the reality of the damage caused by the atomic bomb to people all over the world and contributing to the abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of permanent world peace, which is the heart of Hiroshima. At 8:15 am on August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was the first in the world to be damaged by an atomic bomb. Most of the town was destroyed and many people lost their lives. Even those who barely survived suffered great physical and psychological damage, and many A-bomb survivors are still suffering. The Peace Memorial Museum collects and displays photographs and materials showing the remains of the A-bomb survivors and the devastation of the A-bomb, as well as the history of Hiroshima before and after the A-bomb and the situation during the nuclear age. In addition to holding lectures on A-bomb experience by A-bomb survivors, we also lend out materials for peace learning.”

“A tranquil spot to contemplate the preciousness of all life. Extending southwards from the Atomic Bomb Dome and located mostly on a narrow stretch of land between two rivers, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is like a green island in the middle of the city. A serene space covering over 120,000 square meters, it serves to memorialize the great many lives lost in the world’s first nuclear attack, while making use of nature to reaffirm the preciousness of all life.
Prior to the 1945 bombing, this district was the administrative and commercial heart of Hiroshima. In 1949, the recovering city decided the area should become a place of remembrance and contemplation, rather than simply being rebuilt.”