We spent two days amongst the areas that were ravaged by the Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima, centered around the Atomic Bomb Dome. We learned about the past and present of nuclear weapons and Japan’s view of world history and World War II as the people there experienced it in real time. As we’ve come to learn through life experience, studying and traveling, that the Official Stories of history don’t always explain both sides.
This city offered a compelling narrative that impacted our entire family in immeasurable ways. Nothing can compare to seeing the devastation up close and personal. The city and the people of Hiroshima don’t shy away from the reality of what happened. It is in your face. But on the flip side, the remnants are also full of grace. This is a city that has risen from the ashes, in the most literal sense, to offer love and peace to the world. They didn’t retaliate in kind, even after decades of consequences followed the detonation, they forged a path to honor the sacrifice and ensure it never happens again.
► Ranking: #cleandiaper
Atomic Bomb Dome
1-10 Otemachi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 730-0051, Japan
Open park with no operating hours, or admission fee
This is the last remaining vestige of the destruction that occurred on August 6 in 1945. Due to it’s proximity to the blast it absorbed most of the explosion and what remains is the surviving shell. Everything else in the city was leveled. This building was left in its current state after the blast as a symbol of peace, and marks the land as a peace memorial. Naturally, due to the destruction the Atomic Bomb Dome is in a constant state of disrepair, and repairs are a constant necessity. But not in the way you might think. Repairs must be done to the exact specifications according to the destruction from 1945, as the purpose of keeping the building here is crucial to understanding the history of this place.
It is a beautiful and compelling site. There is new life here. The gardens surrounding the Atomic Bomb Dome are lush and green and full of blooming flowers. There is a flowing river, walking trails, and it is just outside the bustling busy epicenter of the city.
While walking the grounds next to the river we came across a man feeding birds a seed mixture. They were drawn to him as if he were an old friend. He invited our children to come assist him in feeding the birds and it was a touching and special moment that transcended age and nationality. At this site it’s impossible to forget what country you come from, but we seemed to be the only ones who were concerned about it.
► For Kids: This is a heavy place, but it’s also a place of hope. There is much to learn here about the past, present and future. For mature children it will be a place of honor. This is a must stop for any world school curriculum.
Further down on the Peace Park Memorial grounds you’ll find the flame of peace, cenotaph, children’s monument and peace bell which are all a part of the Peace Park Memorial. There is also a Peace Memorial Museum and a National Peace Memorial Hall. Each structure has a special meaning for the survivors here.
► Nap-Time Version: The Atomic Bomb Dome is the last remaining vestige of the destruction from the nuclear blast at the end of World War II. Historically accurate and a compelling part of world history.
For more of our adventures in Japan check out our Diapers On A Plane Vlog and full list of sites and attractions.