Translated by Lester Somera
Hiroshima - Visiting The Peace Memorial Park And A-Bomb Dome
Written by Mayu
Interested in visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome and other facilities at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park? Here's what the park has to offer, and how to get there.
What is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park?
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a public park in the Naka ward of Hiroshima City, Hiroshima, was built near the blast epicenter of the bomb which America dropped on the city on August 6th, 1945. The grounds are home to three facilities: the Atomic Bomb Dome, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which features exhibits about the atomic bomb being dropped, and the National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, which honors those who died.
In addition to these facilities, the park contains the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims to grieve for the lost, as well as the Children’s Peace Monument, which was built to mourn the children who died, including Sadako Sasaki, who died from radiation exposure-induced leukemia. The park also has Phoenix trees, which survived radiation exposure without wilting and continue to thrive to this day.
Every August 6th, the Cenotaph is where a Peace Memorial Ceremony is held to comfort the souls of the atomic bomb victims.
We’ve put together a guide to getting around the Peace Memorial Park, and what you can see there.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Atomic Bomb Dome
The Atomic Bomb Dome was originally used as a government office. During the Second World War, it was called the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. Built by the Czech Architect Jan Letzel in a neo-baroque design style, it opened in 1915. At the time, three-floor Western-style buildings were unusual, to the extent that the Industrial Promotion Hall became one of the most famous spots in Hiroshima.
However, the beautiful building was utterly destroyed by the atomic blast, leaving behind only the central dome, the surrounding framework and the outer wall. Most of the surrounding buildings were flattened by the shockwave, and it is said that only the Atomic Bomb Dome survived because the blast happened directly above it. It was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum consists of the main building and an east building. The main building exhibits, which feature displays such as bricks melted by hot wind and tattered clothing, convey the horror of the atomic bomb. In the east building, you can see a CG recreation of Hiroshima’s postwar reconstruction, as well as other displays using the latest technology.
** The main building is currently being renovated and is expected to reopen in July 2018.
National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
A facility built to honor those who died in the blast, the hall contains exhibits such as journals from victims chronicling their experiences.