If you think about everything you’ve ever heard or read about Japan, Hiroshima and Nagasaki will definitely make it to your list of things recollected. These cities became historical symbols, depicting the extent of damage that war is capable of. As history school books are written objectively, I was curious to see the story from a Japanese perspective.
Hiroshima is around 2.5 hours from Kyoto / Osaka and a day trip (early morning – late evening) should suffice to go around the main location. Again, there is a lot of walking to do here, like most other places in Japan.
- We started off with the Hiroshima Castle – a beautiful re-constructed building that houses several royal artifacts. The castle has been converted into a museum on the inside. All artifacts come with a description plaque and are very well maintained. You can have your picture taken in Japanese ethnic wear here.
- Next stop was the ‘Hiroshima Peace Memorial’ – This is essentially the ground 0 of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It is not the exact geographical location of the epicenter, but the landmark that was closest to the epicenter and that survived through the trauma. The building stands half crumbling, reinforced by several structural enhancements through the decades, stark contrast to the modern and newly built city around it.
- Last stop was the ‘Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park’ and the ‘Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum’ – I’m just going to say it; the Museum is not for the faint heart. The details, the description, the images and objects are very hard to un-see. I would still recommend visiting it. There are English audio guides that can be rented and were very useful. A walk in the park, right outside, is a beautiful relief after the heavy and emotionally draining museum experience.