Monday, March 10, 2008

Hirshima-short visit: (From Personal Diary)

Early morning about 6:53 AM on March 6th, we (me and my friends) took the Sinkansen train (bullet train) bound for Hiroshima. At about 8:33 AM, we reached Hiroshima JR station, then we went Hiroshima University by local train up to Saijo Station and took a bus for Saijo to Hiroshima Unviersity. After visiting few hours in Hiroshima University, we returned back to Hiroshima Station and took a Hiroshima bus bound for Yoshijima, got off at "Heiwa Kinen Koen" and walked 1 minute to reach Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and visited some more places.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Before bombing

After bombing
At the south end of the Peace Memorial Park is the Peace Memorial Museum. It was opened in the Peace Memorial Park in 1955, in accordance with the federal Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law. The East building has exhibits on Hiroshima before and after the bombing, as well as a history of the development of the atomic bomb. The west building shows what occurred at 8:15 of August 6, 1945, and the horrors following the event, using graphic displays and artifacts donated by the victims. There are articles of burnt and tattered clothing, lunch boxes, a tricycle, and even human hair that had fallen out due to radiation sickness. Large items such as iron girders and bridge columns that had been deformed by the blast are nothing compared to the recorded testaments and drawings made by survivors of the horrid event. The exhibit ends with the messages of peace presented by visitors from all over the world, including those from the Dalai Lama and the late Pope John Paul II. Videos are presented in Japanese and English, and recorded audio guides in English are available for rent at the front desk.

Peace Memorial Park
The area around the hypocenter of the atomic bomb explosion, roughly in the center of the city, has been set aside as a memorial park. It is a delta between two rivers, and at the time of the bombing, it was home to about 6,500 people, but on that day, there were also thousands of volunteer soldiers and students in the area building a fire lane. The park contains many, many monuments to the victims of that day, as well as the Hiroshima National Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, Peace Memorial Museum and the International Conference Center. The famous A-Bomb Dome is at the north end of the park.

Atomic Bomb(Genbaku) Dome This haunting symbol of the devastation of nuclear war was originally the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall. The atomic bomb, which was actually meant to fall on nearby Aioi Bridge, detonated right above the Hall, so that miraculously some of the walls were left standing while everything inside, and any wooden structures within a one-kilometer radius were instantly reduced to ashes. In 1966, Hiroshima City decided to preserve the Dome indefinitely as a grim reminder to the world, and with help from governments and organizations in Japan and overseas, reinforced and preserved the building as it was. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Children's Peace Monument

It is a Japanese tradition to fold one thousand paper cranes when someone is ill or stricken by tragedy. This monument was built when twelve-year-old Sadako Sasaki died of leukemia ten years after the atomic bombing, by her classmates and by children from 3,100 schools across Japan and nine foreign countries. The bronze statue is of a girl holding up a paper crane, and at the foot of the pedestal is a stone with the inscription "This is our cry. This is our prayer. For building peace in this world." To this day, visitors leave thousands of folded paper cranes at this and other monuments in the park.

Hiroshima Castle

About 15minutes walked from atomic bomb dome, we reached this castle. This beautiful castle is also known as "Rijo," or "Carp Castle," because it was near the district of Koi, a homonym for carp. It was originally built in 1591 by the lord Terumoto Mori, one of Hideyoshi Toyotomi's top five generals. It was one of the few castles that lasted into the twentieth century, and was declared a National Treasure in 1931--but unfortunately, it was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945. The current tower is a reconstruction done in 1958, and now houses a museum. The first two floors show the history of the Castle and its town, the third floor displays battle armor and weapons, and the fourth floor has special exhibits on Hiroshima's history or culture. The second enceinte or wall, and a few structures associated with it, were reconstructed in 1994.

After visiting these places, we could reach hotel at 6PM then on next day we returned back to Kyoto……………with memorial glimpses of Hiroshima!!...............................

1 comment:

  1. Hi badri jee, great posting!! enjoy......