Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

2 Days in Hiroshima!

 

A terrifying history containing an Atomic Bomb, severe devastation and major after effects surrounds this wonderful place.

Hiroshima Castle

Miyajima Shrine

Deer life on the Island

Itsukushima Island

Ferry to Miyajima Shrine

View from Mt Misen

Things to see and do:

 

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum- where you can see photographs, read personal stories and see melted human skin
  • Atomic Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park- To pay your respects
  • Hiroshima Castle- beautiful building
  • Take a ferry to Miyajima Shrine on Itsukushima Island- A stunning island where you can also hike to see a great view of the surrounding area.

Things to eat and drink:

 

  • Sushi
  • Okonomiyaki
  • Oysters
  • Momiji-Manju (leaf shaped baked dessert)

Atomic Bomb Dome

Statement from Obama on the use of Nuclear weapons

Personal experience:

 

I never truly understood how easy it was to remove yourself emotionally from other people’s suffering. I always found it frustrating when people would comment on how the Middle East crisis didn’t affect them and how they found it difficult to relate to. I thought it ludicrous that they could lack such empathy and compassion.

But after visiting Hiroshima, I started to gain some insight. Japan and Japanese culture is so far removed from the western world; I didn’t even learn about Japanese culture and history at school and only as an adult have I started to enquire about world history. So, when I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum expecting to react in the same way I did at Auschwitz and Birkenau, I was shocked to find that I was only “sad” to see what was on display. I should have been devastated, mortified, outraged even but as I looked at the displays, I found a culture that I didn’t recognise staring back at me. I was angry at myself. Angry that I was seeing suffering, traumatic scenes, skin melting off fellow human beings and my emotional reactions were so mild. I was ashamed. An Atomic Bomb had been dropped on human beings by other human beings and my only reaction was sadness. I pictured children running from their schools, clothes and skin melting as they looked around for familiar faces. I saw hair that had fallen out from a child’s scalp due to radiation in a glass display and my reaction was still sadness.

Is it because I didn’t have Japanese friends growing up? Is it my lack of knowledge of Japanese culture? Or have I started to become desensitised by human suffering? None of the above are acceptable justifications for my reaction.

Nevertheless, Hiroshima taught me an important lesson about human nature and behaviour; it taught me how to be more human. And as I sit and type this at the airport, I realise that every face that I see now is so familiar to me.

 

They are me and I am them.

 

K x

Reflections on Mt Misen captured by Daniel H


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