The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (Hiroshima Heiwa Kinen Kōen) is located in the center of Hiroshima city. It s built as a reminder of Hiroshima as the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack, and to the memories of the bomb’s victims.
The park was planned and designed by the Japanese Architect Kenzō Tange at Tange Lab. He is also involved in projects, such as the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Ise Shrine, and the Town Hall in Kurashiki.
I could spend all day here just in the park, it’s very peaceful and the beautiful. The park has many greenery, and monuments, such as the Peace Memorial Museum, A-Bomb Dome, Children’s Peace Monument, Cenotaph, and many other monuments. It is an open park and free, however you need to pay admission fee to enter the museum.
The A-Bomb Dome was previously the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. It is the building closest to the hypocenter of the nuclear bomb that remained at least partially standing. It is a reminded of the casualties of the nuclear bomb.
Children’s Peace Monument
This is the Children’s Peace Monument to commemorate Sadako Sasaki and the thousands of child victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. She was a young girl who died of leukemia from radiation of the atomic bomb. She had a vision to create one thousand origami cranes before her death, which is believed to granted one wish. Sadako’s wish was to have a world without nuclear weapons. People now come here to honour the victims by donating paper cranes and ring the bronze crane bell, which is under the monument structure.
I felt really sad thinking of the victims. Sadako Sasaki was about 2 years old when the bomb hit, just as young as Lil Berry. I wish that we could keep the world to be a peaceful place.
The Rest House was another atomic bombed building in the park. It was previously built as the Taishoya Kimono Shop in March 1929. In event of the bomb, the roof was crushed, the interior destroyed, and everything burned except in the basement.
Currently, the building is used as tourist information office and a souvenir shop (1st floor), offices (2nd & 3rd floor), and the basement is preserved nearly as it was at the time of the bombing. We were quite in a rush, we did not get to explore the building. The have so many vending machines, you won’t have to worry about your drinking supply.
Peace Memorial Museum
Next time, I would like to visit the museum. Based on reviews from blogs, the museum is very interesting and meaningful. It has exhibits and information covering the buildup to war, the role of Hiroshima in the war up to the bombing, and extensive information on the bombing and its effects, along with substantial memorabilia and pictures from the bombing.
The Peace Memorial Museum is currently undergoing renovations, during which only one of the museum’s two buildings will be open to visitors and the number of exhibits will be reduced. The renovations are scheduled to be completed by July 2018.
Opening hours: 8:30 to 18:00
(until 19:00 in August, until 17:00 from December to February);
Admission fee: 200 yen
Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound
The Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound is also very interesting, it is a large, grass-covered knoll that contains the cremated ashes of 70,000 unidentified victims of the bomb. Can you imagine, that amount of people unidentified, it feels very ironic.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony
There is an annual ceremony for “A-bomb Day” which is held on 6 August. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony to console the victims of the atomic bombs and to pray for the realization of lasting world peace.
The ceremony is held in the morning from 8:00, in front of the Memorial Cenotaph with many citizens including the families of the deceased. During the ceremony, a one-minute silence to honor the victims is observed at 8:15, the time of the atomic bomb’s explosion.
In the evening of the same day, Lantern Ceremony is held to send off the spirits of the victims on lanterns with peace messages floating on the waters of the Motoyasu River.
Baby-friendly level: High
Lil Berry loves this park! The park is an easy path for strollers, it’s okay to bring a stroller if you plan spending the day in Hiroshima. I didn’t bring a stroller, because we went to Miyajiya Island before going here.
Visit Miyajima Island as well, it is possible to explore Hiroshima and Miyajima Island in the same day, if you are up for some fast pace travelling.
It would be nice to spend a full day and explore the entire park and Hiroshima city. This was our first time, to we chose to rush and cover both Hiroshima and Miyajima in one day.
Don’t forget to try some Hiroshima style okonomiyaki!
- Obsucura Coffee Roasters! Just about 700 meters from the park, there is this nice coffee shop that we were planning to visit.
- Peace Memorial Museum, please!
Photos by CameradPhoto