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Published: September 28th 2013
Monday-Day Ten Nagasaki- Kyushu Island
We docked in this beautiful harbour side city and disembarked with the mission to find "The Peace Park" & Atomic Bomb museum and anything else connected with the nuclear bomb which destroyed Nagasaki at 11-02am 9 August 1945.
We have docked right in the city and there were ample stalls set up with maps and information and willing English speakers. We purchased an all day tram ticket for ¥500 each and with some very clear instructions we set off.
Within a 5 minute walk of the terminal you catch No5 tram at stop no 48 Oura Kaigan Dori, get off 2 stops later at No 31 Tsuki- Machi, cross the road and get on No1 tram to stop no 19 Matsuyama-Machi ( plenty of English signs and maps). Follow the very clear signs.
The Peace Park is expansive and full of symbolism about the devastation that occurred.
The Fountain of Peace, a water feature constantly bubbling, is a permanent reminder “that thousands of people suffered terrible burns and died begging for water".
From this is an avenue that takes you to the massive statue of
a man which was unveiled in 1955. Highly symbolic with the right hand pointing skywards to warn of nuclear bombs, the left hand stretching out horizontally to show peace,the closed eyes showing prayer, the right leg folded in a meditative pose and the left leg poised ready to assist humanity.
Around the outside of this avenue various countries have donated statues, the one from New Zealand which was a peace cloak, stood out amongst the other stone and concrete monuments. It was metal and reminded me of a Maori cloak made from bird feathers.
The Bell of Nagasaki made to commemorate the 33rd anniversary held a wonderful surprise. A older man was there with buckets of water, fresh flowers and a dipper, and invited us by gesture to water the flowers. I admired the sketch and the description of a survivor's story and the man pointed to himself, the picture and the story and to himself again. He was a survivor; he luckily stood behind a concrete pillar on that fateful day. Martin felt really honoured to stand beside him and get his photo taken; he also gave me his business card and told us a
huge story in Japanese.
From there we walked to The Atomic Bomb museum and spent a few hours there.
Like Buchenwald Museum in Germany this museum has been beautifully designed to take you slowly into what and how it happened, showing pictures, videos, and real artifacts.
In the middle of the museum the atmosphere was somber, hushed, and dark; and slowly you walked back into the light with stories of hope and survival.
You walk under the roadway from the museum and this takes you to the Hypocentre Park. As the names suggests this is the actual spot for the epicenter of the blast which killed or injured half of the 300,000 population of Nagasaki. This second bomb was dropped 3 days after Hiroshima and was actually destined for Kohune. As Kohune was covered in cloud, they turned to Nagasaki and just managed to find a gap in the clouds to drop this fateful bomb, the last one ever used in war.
We took the tram car back into town and to a shopping mall. Huge undercover area where we found free wifi, and a great upstairs restaurant with a 4 course
meal and coffee for ¥980 each, delicious.
From total devastation to what we saw today was amazing; trees, flowers, buildings, roads, all neat and tidy as a pin.
Nagasaki farwelled us with a school symphonic band and we are now traveling into the Korean Strait and to Busan South Korea for tomorrow's shore day.
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