Today we went to Hiroshima. Kyoto station is gorgeous, everything is clean and elegant. We took the bullet train to Hiroshima. It is a sleek,quiet,beautiful train and is a tribute to Japanese engineering and efficiency.
Hiroshima is a vibrant bustling city. After checking into our motel, we walked to Memorial Park and the Peace Museum. The first thing you see is the skeleton of the one building that remained after the bombing. It was left standing surrounded by rubble-a reminder of the day.
We went on toward the Peace Museum past a memorial garden
The mall was full of school children waiting to go into the museum
Walking through the museum was a moving experience. You enter through a corridor lined with rubble and on the left is a life-size diorama depicting burned victims trying to leave the scene of the blast. On the right is a 3D map showing the site of the blast. Videos of actual footage play overhead showing the plane being loaded, the actual blast, and the aftermath.
As you move along, there are glass cases with clothing from blast victims along with their stories. Who they were. Where they were when the blast happened and how they died.
Another room is devoted to describing the bomb and its effects. Another room describes the effects of radiation on the body and the environment. Another case shows items recovered from the wreckage.
The walls are lined with pictures of burn victims and a ruined city
Despite all the people going through, the museum is quiet as people pass through absorbing all the details.
As you leave the main hall, there are benches and video displays with interviews from survivors playing describing the blast and the aftermath. You continue on and you find hope as you read about the museums purpose.
As we leave the museum, many of our crew are emotional including our leader who came to Japan as an exchange student. She was invited by a Japanese man who went through the museum and vowed to devote himself to promoting world peace. His family hosted her to teach and learn about our two cultures. For her it started a lifelong connection with Japan and its people. On the way out, we stop at a statue dedicated to all those lost that day and pay our respects
We walk down to the river and I look around with new eyes at the beautiful, vibrant city that stands there today. It was rebuilt from the ashes and is a testament to human resiliency. I only hope that we will never see that kind of devastation again.