Hiroshima Atomic Bomb dome(原爆ドーム) and Peace Park(平和公園)

From in front of the Hiroshima Station, there are tram services to the popular tourist spots in Hiroshima City. A single tram ride costs ¥180(as of April 2018) except to Miyajimaguchi(¥280). One day tram pass is available at ¥600.

Upon reaching the station, we can find lots of foreign tourists and volunteer guides. You can grab a streetcar map and Hiroshima city map from the station and walk to the tram station situated ahead of the station entrance. Or you can ask those volunteer guides, who will direct you. Most of them could speak English or even other foreign languages. I am not sure if these volunteers are present there on all days. We went there on a Friday and we were able to meet many guides who were waiting at the station to offer a help.

Tram ride along the streets of Hiroshima City

From the Tram Station, board either Tram No.2 or Tram No.6 to get off at the Genbaku Dome Mae(Atomic Bomb Dome) stop which is the tenth stop from the station. This slow tram ride will give you a chance to watch the streets of Hiroshima City. These trams are another unique experience while in Japan. Being street trams, they have many stops and even wait for the traffic signals. So it takes time to travel from one point to another. Unless you have time, patience and wish to enjoy this slow ride, please don’t take a tram esp. for travelling to great distances like Miyajima. It is better to choose some other travel options, like the city bus, train or even a taxi. (First two options are cheaper, and taxi in Japan is not like that.)  The city bus is also available from Hiroshima station to Bomb Dome or Peace park.

Atomic Bomb Dome 

Atomic bomb dome is situated right beside the Genbaku Dome Mae stop. These are ruins of Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall which was ruined during the ever-horrible, world’s first atomic bomb blast of 1945. The dome and the surrounding area is well maintained to convey the message of eternal world peace. It is a must visit place while in Japan. Without any words and beyond the history books, it demonstrates that great manmade disaster. We can see many volunteers around the bomb dome, who supplies historic writings, photo albums and books about WWII, atomic bomb disaster and related things. We saw a man teaching Origami (paper folding) crane, which is considered as the symbol of peace. Lots of visitors were making a try at this.

Infront of the atomic bomb dome with my paper crane

The area around the Atomic bomb dome lies along the banks of Motoyasu River. On the other banks of the river is the vast Peace Park. A bridge named Aioi Bashi connects the Atomic bomb dome area with the Peace Park.  We can see lots of monuments all around the park which are dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb blast. Once busiest commercial towns of Japan destructed into ash by the powerful bomb blast is now a resting place: calm and quiet to sit down or walk along to pay our tributes to the atomic bomb victims and pray for world peace and join hands together to avoid another such blast.

The Peace Bell

There is a Peace bell right opposite to the A-bomb dome on the other side of the river. It can be freely rung by the visitors using a huge wooden rod tied to it. The peace bell has world map encrypted on it. If you visit the place, please ring this bell with the wish for eternal world peace.

The Peace Bell, Hiroshima

Children’s Peace Monument

The end of the park has a Children’s Peace Monument, which is built in memory of Sadako Sasaki, the girl who died of Leukaemia caused by the harmful radiations of the atomic bomb blast. She made 1000 paper cranes with the belief that her desire to live long will come true. In Japan, cranes are believed as the symbol of longevity and fortune. We can see many thousands of colourful paper cranes donated by the visitors kept inside glass walls. Visitors can donate their paper cranes here, and the details can be entered in their database.

We can see colourful paper cranes all around the park. Millions of such cranes are folded and hanged all around the park wishing for peace and world unity.

Crossing a road running in between the park area, we will reach another part of the Peace Park, where also we can find various monuments, The Flame of Peace, the Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims, Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Flame of Peace

The Flame of Peace and the Cenotaph

The Flame of Peace lit on Aug 1st, 1946 continue to burn until every nuclear weapon is demolished in the entire world. The flame lits in between a stand shaped like palms facing the sky. Behind this sacred flame wishing for world peace, we can see the cenotaph for the atomic bomb victims. The cenotaph is officially known as ‘Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace’. A stone at the centre of this structure is inscribed with the names of every atomic bomb victims. As of 2018, there are more than 290,000 names inscribed on it. New names will be added when discovered.

Cenotaph

Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall

The Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall is a building which could be seen right aside from the cenotaph and the flame. We can see a structure in front of the building which shows the exact timing(8:15) of atomic bomb blast occurred in Hiroshima city. This building has a Hall of remembrance which contains 140,000 tiles arranged on its wall depicting the number of people died by the end of 1945.

Photography is prohibited inside the hall, which has an entrance in a spiral shape with a downsloping pathway leading to the hall. Inside the hall, we can see photographs of various parts of the Hiroshima city after the blast. The hypocenter and the neighbourhood areas are also marked accordingly. Memoirs of the atomic bomb survivors, photographs with details of the victims etc. are also displayed there. At the exit part of the building, we can see some diary notes and belongings of some of the victims.

A small film named ‘The Twinkling Stars Know Everything’ was played there(in April 2017) which is a collection of memories by parents of First-year Junior High school students who lost their lives in the blast. This sentimental video is really heart-touching as it is the real story of Hiroshima on that day.

Read about  Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima castle, Shukkei-en Garden and Miyajima.