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Published: August 6th 2015
A-Bomb Memorial Day
Floating lanterns with the A-Bomb Dome in the background. Poignant.
After Fukuoka, I took the 5h bus eastwards towards Hiroshima, and I hadn't planned it at all, but after I arrived I found out I was in town just in time for the A-bomb memorial week, and it would turn out to be a particularly poignant and memorable visit to the city.
The city of Hiroshima will perhaps always been remembered for that one tragic morning at 8.15 a.m. on August 6th 1945, when the world saw for the very first time the horrendous power of the atomic bomb. In one fell swoop, virtually the entire city within a few kilometres of the hypocentre of the explosion was destroyed, and tens of thousands of people killed instantly, or in the immediate aftermath. And that excludes the many thousands more who would succumb to their gruesome injuries in the following weeks and months. As for the survivors, they would continue to suffer from radiation poisoning for years, as well as discrimination by others. As debatable and controversial the use of the bomb remains to this day in the context of its role in ending World War II, one thing most must surely agree with is that it was not humanity's finest
Certainly the most recognisable sight in Miyajima, and possibly in all of Japan. Built hundreds of years ago and still standing.
moment, and the destructive power of nuclear weapons should hopefully never have to be used again in future.
Seventy years later, the city has completely rebuilt itself, and now stands proudly in the ranks alongside Japan's other major cities. Walking along Hiroshima's peaceful parks in the evenings, it's almost impossible to imagine the hell it endured seventy years ago, if not for the few remnant structures that building that somehow withstood the blast, and continue to serve as reminders of that fateful morning. The memorial week's programme of activities concluded on the evening of August 6th, when hundreds of coloured lanterns bearing messages of peace were floated along the Ota River in remembrance of the victims, and which concluded also one of the most poignant visits to any place that I've made on my travels thus far...
Stayed at Cube Hiroshima.
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