Hiroshima

広島



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Hiroshima lies at the western end of the Kansei region of Japan, on the south coast of Honshu. It is a pleasant regional city, well connected by bullet train, and near to the famous "Floating Torii" of Miyajima, one of the designated three most scenic areas of Japan. It goes without saying that the city also has the dubious distinction of being the first to have come under nuclear attack.

We stopped off in Hiroshima for a night during our rail-pass week tour of Japan. It was noticeably warmer than Tokyo, and we spent the afternoon wandering the city and looking at the war memorabillia. We stayed in K's House hostel on tatami matting, and the following day went over to Miyajima to see the floating torii.


Hiroshima memorial arch

The concrete Memorial Cenotaph in the Peace Memorial Park, through which you can see the A-bomb dome, the enduring symbol of the nuclear strike.



The A-bomb dome itself was almost directly under the blast, and was one of few buildings in the city at the time which were made of something more substantial than wood. It was a civic centre and industrial exhibition hall, and stands today as a memorial to the lives lost in 1945.

A-bomb dome


Monument to the children

Monument to the A-bomb children in the peace memorial park.



The Peace Flame burns symbolically in the park. There are still arguments as to whether it was necessary to use nuclear force to end the war with Japan.

Burning flame


Memorial fountain

Fountain by the Peace Memorial Museum. The museum itself was very interesting and gives a strong impression of the events of that day, and the horror people experienced. Exhibits include glass bottles fused together, and clocks stopped at the time of the blast.



Underneath the fountain is the Hall of Remembrance which cycles through the faces and details of the known victims. In addition to the 80,000 people who died on 6th August 1945, many others succumbed to side effects and radiation sickness in the years that followed.

Victims' faces


Hiroshima street car

Hiroshima still has a network of trams plying the city streets. They were very cheap and useful for getting around, even though the city centre wasn't that big. We're just lazy.



A little out of town is Miyajima, site of the famous Floating Torii, one of the best known images of Japan. It is of course driven into the sea bed, and when the tide goes out it's possible to spodge out through the mud to it. Fortunately for us we'd timed it well and this watery scene was laid before us.

Floating torii


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Copyright © Ross Wattie 2010