Walking around Atomic Bomb Dome

Walking around Atomic Bomb Dome

A Thought Provoking Walk Around the Area

Lest We Forget. Visiting buildings that survived the bomb and retracing the events of that fateful day

The tragic and instantly recognizable sight of the Atomic Bomb Dome, with its exposed steel dome and crumbling
walls. On 6th August 1945, the heart of the city became a burning wasteland and thousands lost their lives with
the detonation of the atomic bomb, a mere 160 meters from this dome. In the midst of this disaster, I heard there
were a number of buildings like the dome that survived the blast. I decided to walk around and see them with my
own eyes.

  • The Atomic Bomb Dome illustrating the precious nature of peace

  • The 'Rest House' also being used as a
    tourist centre

  • The basement of the Rest House kept as it was after the bombing

  • The Shima Hospital at the hypocenter

The first place I visited was the 'Rest House' that is located 170 meters away from the hypocenter. Currently a tourist information centre and a rest area, at the time of the bombing it was a shop selling a kimono shopfabrics.. After the bomb exploded, the whole of the building apart from the basement was completely burnt out. It's possible to visit the basement that has been preserved since the war, just register at reception first. I decided to go down and look at the basement. The walls were black, the crumbling pillars of bricks and the very real scars of the bomb were still there to see.
A few minutes walk brought me to the Shima Hospital located at ground zero. Although the supposed target of the bomb was the Aioi Bridge, the bomb actually strayed 300 meters and detonated at a height of 600 meters directly above this hospital. The ground temperature around this area was between 3,000℃ and 4,000℃..

  • Messages to missing loved ones written on the
    walls at the Fukuromachi Elementary School
    Peace Museum

  • Climbing the stairs from the basement
    where some survived the bomb

  • Documents from the time of the bomb displayed
    in the hallway

Next I visited the Fukuromachi Elementary School Peace Museum. Here, parts of the school building have been preserved, along with basement rooms and classrooms where large numbers of survivors wrote messages for missing loved ones. On the wall, layers of desperate messages show concern for the safety of family members, as well as conveying the tense atmosphere immediately after the bombing. I felt a slight sense of hope after hearing three children happened to be in the basement at the time of the bomb and survived the blast.

  • The former Hiroshima branch of the Bank of Japan standing in the middle of a burnt out wasteland

  • In front of the former Hiroshima branch of the Bank of Japan

  • The atomic bomb display on the second floor of the former Hiroshima branch of the Bank of Japan

  • Ringing the bell at the Children's Peace Monument, while praying for world peace

  • Praying in front of the Memorial Cenotaph for victims of the bomb

If you want to further deepen your understanding of the atomic bombing and of peace, I recommend spending a lot of time going around the Peace Museum, the Cenotaph and the Children's Peace Monument. These can all be found inside the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
After visiting the buildings affected by the bomb, to see the vibrant city that is present-day Hiroshima surrounded by lush vegetation and clean rivers, I felt the importance of not repeating the mistakes of the past. The value of peace will stay with me forever.


Photo Courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture
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