"I will try to bring you through the experience as we experienced it. I will add captions to the photo's where necessary, but sometimes the photo's themselves explain better than I could ever hope to. So let's begin, let me take you back!!
It's the beginning of May and next week is a week-long holiday in Japan called "Golden Week". Most of Japan gets a full week off of work and school. A group of us decided to go to Hiroshima, why not? We would travel by a night bus because it was cheap and covered both transportation and accommodation costs. We were going to go to the city where an atomic bomb was dropped by the U.S in an attempt to immediately end the war. We were... "we"--> "We" are a group a friends, six. We are an interesting bunch in the sense that all hold unique citizenships: Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Azerbaijanian, Canadian, and American. We got some funny looks during the trip haha!
We were going to go to Hiroshima and... and do what? See all the skeleton-like buildings left behind by the war, surely there must be a lot right? Well actually, there aren't many buildings like that in Hiroshima. The reason is unfortunate, the city was literally levelled. The buildings that survived the blast were quickly torn down to aid the rebuilding process after the war. But there remains one specific building called the A-Dome. This building was preserved in the state it was left in after the blast. We would go to see this building. There also was a museum nearby we heard/read, so we would see that too. Sparing the details that was the extent of our general knowledge. Let's gooooo"
"...wait where is Hiroshima?"
|Hiroshima! Quiz: Where's Kyoto? Osaka? Tokyo?|
"We found a place to eat and set out for a castle we saw in the distance!
It was Hiroshima Castle."
|Hiroshima Castle, surround by a moat, cool|
Our picture was taken at the *top* of this map around the "54"
|Model of Hiroshima Castle and area. Castle is in top left of inner land area|
*Rebuilt* Fortress right beside the Hiroshima Castle
|One of them archery "holes" they would have shot at the enemy through|
|Looking out the opposite side, Hiroshima Castle in the back|
We decided not to go inside ($$), looked better on the outside anyways haha. We set out for the A-Bomb Dome
" A couple of us don't know the kanji and so we cannot read the signs sometimes. So this sign looks to me as it does to you. It's fun to create stories about what the sign MIGHT mean haha. (we know what it means now though)"
|there's the dome, in the distance|
"The feeling while walking around the A-Bomb Dome is hard to explain. A terribly tragic event occurred at this location. We were at the place that our history books and countless television documentaries told us about. The seriousness of the event was felt while walking around. I've included pictures of some of the plaques you can find there."
|the plaque behind us is below|
|it was absolutely surreal|
|In the aftermath of the blast many died of dehydration. This monument is here for that reason, to remember those who survived the atomic blast only to die by dehydration. Water here is for those people.|
|The A-Bomb Dome after the blast. We stand here 67years later.|
|After the blast, people whose clothes were on fired ran to the river; but unfortunately, they collapsed there unable to find the strength to get out of the water. "Unpleasant" to know, but it's the truth.|
Peace Memorial Park
|Children's Peace Monument (description below)|
|*please click to open a larger view*^^|
|There's a bell inside to ring after you've paid your respects.|
|Paper Cranes sent from around the world. For the reason listed beside..|
The Thousand Origami Cranes was popularized through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who was two years old when she was exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. Sasaki soon developed leukemia and, at age 12, inspired by the Senbazuru legend (promising the chance to become well after making 1000 cranes), began making origami cranes with the goal of making one thousand. In a popular version of the story as told in the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, she folded only 644 before her death; in her honor, her friends completed the rest and buried them all with her. In an alternate version of the story, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museumstates that she did in fact complete the 1,000 cranes, but continued past that when her wish did not come true" (from wikipedia)
|This tree was alive back during the Atomic Bomb's blast, it's still here fighting. People were not the only ones affected by the bomb.|
|The flame here is set to burn until all the atomic bombs on earth have been destroyed..|
next to the park is the museum, we spent a good amount of time there~
Peace Memorial Museum
Unfortunately there are not tons of pictures from the museum. This is both due to the revere of the atmosphere, many people, and general discouragement of flash photography inside the museum. The museum has a few sections. First is a section describing the facts surrounding the bombing of Hiroshima: political occurrences around the world, strategic importance of Hiroshima in a militaristic, political, and economic sense, technology advancements in development of the A-bomb etc. Second was a display regarding nuclear energy around the world. Nuclear energy in the form of warfare was explicitly displayed. It gave timeline's of various countries' nuclear technology advancements. Third was a display conveying the horrid state of life immediately after the blast. This section described the short to long term effects of radiation poisoning on humans.
|..if you bend your head.... this is the museums set-up.|
|Recreation of the A-Bomb Dome displayed inside the museum.|
No explanatory pictures for this section, sorry! We forgot to take them. At this point we had been reading every single plaque and were overloaded with facts and realities to want to read a whole other section regarding nuclear warfare. This section had displays of nuclear blasts and warheads giving dates of nuclear experimentations sorted by country.
The above photo is quite the fascinating bit of information. There was an almost instantaneous fireball that occurred immediately after the bombs detonation. This fireball is shown in the above display as the red sphere. The above diagram is shown to scale. This means that the exact location of the bombs' detonation is the center of the red sphere. Below is another display where you can see the A-Bomb Dome.
|Click to see larger picture|
Recreating the feeling of the city after the blast as we walked through
remains from the city of Hiroshima after the blast. The intense heat's melting effects can be seen on the distorted household goods. Iron, cups, bows, china, pottery, and other indistinguishable goods can be seen here.
After coming through the the third section of the museum, you became greatly aware of the human cost associated with a nuclear explosion over a city. A constant reminder given from section two is that today's nuclear warfare is hundreds of times more powerful than the A-Bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. After the third section was a long, window-filled corridor containing benches where you could see people sitting, coming to grips with the reality of the human cost of a nuclear explosion - our group included. At this point it was understandably easy to tear-up after realizing the life of those involved with the aftermath of the explosion. All implications ripped aside, a terrible catastrophe occurred that day in August 1945.
Completely Different Post: Some Kyoto Architecture