Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park – The Past And Present
After Japan attacked the United States of America in December 1941, World War II was fought for nearly four years. For the many of the people in Hiroshima, an atomic bomb attack ended the war unexpectedly. To commemorate the death of the civilian and military victims who were killed in the attack in 1945, the government built the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which today stands as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan.
This park is spread over a wide area and includes a museum dedicated to the story of Hiroshima. If you are in Japan, or planning a trip to this unique country, visit the park to experience the past and present unfolding before your eyes.
A Journey to the Past
Hiroshima is the first city in history that experienced an atomic attack, and after the death of more than 200,000 people Japan surrendered, ending World War II. On August 6, 1945, when the bomb was dropped an entire district of the city vanished instantly, and thousands of students and volunteer army members who were there were killed instantly. The bomb was dropped in the Nakajima district and the effects spread throughout Hiroshima. On August 6, 1949, it was officially planned that the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park would be built in the area to pay tribute to those who died.
What it is Now
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is built in one of the busiest downtown locations. The park includes museums, monuments and lecture halls which attract millions of tourists every year. This park has two main buildings: a museum which is dedicated to the people and deals with the history of Hiroshima, and the A-Bomb Dome. This park was built to encourage all countries in the world to bring about world peace.
Every year on August 6, a ceremony is held at the park when speeches are given, and a moment of silence is observed at 8:15 am (the exact time the bomb was detonated), to pay a tribute to the people who died during that catastrophic event.
Monuments and Museums
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a major tourist attraction in Japan, and is spread over 120,000 square meters. It includes A-Bomb Dome, Children’s Peace Monument and a Rest House. The museums include Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall and International Conference Center Hiroshima.
- The Atomic Bomb Dome is the only building that survived the 1945 attack and is still partially standing. This building is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- Children’s Peace Monument is a statue dedicated to the children who died in the atomic attack. This statue was built in remembrance of a young girl who made 1,000 paper cranes, as the only hope that she might be cured from her injuries. Every year, thousands of Japanese children gather and fold paper cranes and send them to Hiroshima. This is the one story that touches the heart of every tourist.
- Rest House
was another building that was shattered into pieces during the bombing. The building was used as a fuel distribution station and when the bomb exploded, it destroyed the entire building except the basement, where a 47-year-old man survived and he lived until the age of 80.
- Memorial Cenotaph is the monument which holds the names of all those who died in 1945. This monument holds an inscription “Rest in Peace, for the error shall not be repeated.” The arc-shaped monument, represents all those people who died during the attack, their soul shall rest in peace.
How to Get There
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park can be reached from Hiroshima Station by tram line 2 or 6 to Genbaku Domu-mae. The ride will take about 15 minutes and should cost about 150 Yen.
Where to Stay
Accommodations in Japan are readily available in all price ranges. Hotel Granvia Hiroshima located next to JR Hiroshima Station, and Kurayado Iroha Hotel is also conveniently located. If you are looking for a luxurious accommodation, Hotel Parkside Hiroshima – Peace Memorial Park will make your stay memorable.
- This is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- A beautiful place especially during spring.