|1 hours 30 mins|
|08:30 AM - 06:00 PM|
Temple & Monument
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is special ?
Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park (平和記念公園, Heiwa Kinen Kōen) is one of the most prominent features of the city. Even visitors not looking for it will likely stumble upon the large park of over 120,000 square meters. Its trees, lawns, and walking paths are in stark contrast to the surrounding downtown area.
Before the bomb, the area of what is now the Peace Park was the political and commercial heart of the city. For this reason, it was chosen as the pilot's target. Four years to the day after the bomb was dropped, it was decided that the area would not be redeveloped but instead devoted to peace memorial facilities.
What to explore at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park?
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum overlooks the Memorial Cenotaph, and is dedicated to educating visitors about the atomic bomb. A visit here is a sobering experience of the destruction of the atomic bomb. The lower floor of the museum displays the history of the city of Hiroshima and the living conditions during the war years leading up to the devastation. The upper floor contains rooms with items salvaged from the aftermath of the destruction.
The Memorial Cenotaph
The Memorial Cenotaph located near the center of the park is an arched tomb for the victims of the bomb. A stone chest below the arch holds a register that contains all the known names of those who lost their lives as a result of the bombing. It is designed in a traditional Shinto style, to provide protection to the souls of the victims. The cenotaph carries the epitaph, “Let all souls here rest in Peace, for we shall not repeat the evil.” A memorial ceremony is held here every year on the anniversary of the event on August 6th.The Memorial Cenotaph frames the Atomic Bomb Dome across the river. You can look through the arch of the cenotaph to see the Flame of Peace and the Atomic Bomb Dome.
The Flame of Peace
The Flame of Peace is shaped symbolising two hands held palm upwards. It is designed to reflect the victims who were unable to satisfy their thirst for water. It was built to express the desire for the abolition of all nuclear weapons and has been alight since August the 1st 1964. It will be extinguished once all of the nuclear weapons on earth have been destroyed.
The Children’s Peace Monument
The Children’s Peace Monument was built in memory of all the children who died as a result of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The monument features Sadako Sasaki holding a golden crane above her head. Who was Sadako Sasaki? She was a young girl who developed leukaemia from exposure to radiation from the atomic bomb at the age of 11 in 1955. She famously attempted to fold 1000 origami paper cranes in order for her wish to become healthy again. In Japan, the crane is a symbol of longevity and happiness, and it is said that the gods will grant a wish to anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes. Sadly, she died having completed her 644th crane, but her classmates folded the rest with which she was buried. The monument was built with donations from school children touched by her story.
This story inspired the whole nation and even today you can see millions of origami paper cranes folded by students from Japan and from all around the world. They are displayed near the Children’s Peace Monument as shown in the picture below and are strung onto lines of a thousand.
Atomic Bomb Dome (Genbaku Domu)
The Atomic Bomb Dome or Genbaku Domu in Japanese is a symbol and reminder of the devastation of the atomic bomb upon Hiroshima. The bomb is believed to have exploded almost directly above the building, and it is one of the very few left standing near the epicentre of the blast. It is located just across the river from the Peace Memorial Park. The building was originally built in 1915 by a Czech architect and served as the Industrial Promotion Hall. The building has been preserved as a memorial and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
How to get to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park?
All of the sights around the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park can be visited by foot.
You can catch a tram from Hiroshima Station at the terminal in front of the station’s south exit. Take tram number 2 or 6 to the Ganbaku Domu mae stop. It takes about 15 minutes and costs 150 yen.
- The Most Emotional Place in the World
- Nice stroll on the way to the museum
- A place all true humans need to go
- Fascinating Piece of history
- Peaceful setting in contrast to history
Japan 〒730-0811 広島県広島市 中区中島町１
Tips for you
Visit the memorial hall for atomic bomb victims. It's not as big/popular as the main atomic bomb memorial but it has such a simple and beautiful design/exhibit concept. Truly beautiful!
The 5-star rating is not because it is "as good as it gets", but rather because everyone should come here at least once to see for themselves what really occurred 70 years ago and what transpired thereafter. I wanted to bring my daughter here so that she can learn our history. We have been to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, so this was a good opportunity for her to see the other side. We started out with the Peace Memorial Museum, which admission was only 50y for adults, 30y for high school students, and free for kids. Only the Main Building was open when we went (the East Building was closed for renovation and due to open spring 2016, then the Main Building will close until spring 2018). The museum was a total eye-opener. I of course heard a lot of about the bombing, but to see and learn about the details in person got me teary-eyed. I was actually a little worried that it might be too heavy for my 12yo, but she was fine. I even saw kids younger than her in the museum, too (but I probably wouldn't take my younger one here until she is about the same age as her sister so that she can have a better understanding as well). After the museum, we walked around the beautiful park. It's pretty big (over 120,000 square meters), and included monuments such as the Memorial Cenotaph, Peace Flame, Children's Peace Monument, Peace Bells, as well as the most well-known symbol here, the A-Bomb Dome (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and currently under construction).
The Peace Memorial park is simply a MUST visit while in Hiroshima. I'd recommend strolling through the park only after visiting the museum, as the park tends to make the somber feelings go away. Yes, it's a memorial park for a horrible tragedy, but it somehow - almost magically - manages to celebrate LIFE.