Attraction 1-2 Nakajimacho Naka Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 730-0811 Japan Published on: 27-02-2016
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Why Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is special ?
It’s strange that of the two most famous war-related museums in Japan, the one in Hiroshima, within sight of the untouched-since-1945 “Atomic Bomb Dome” that provides a stark reminder of the city’s destruction, is the more palatable. The other is the Yūshūkan, attached to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, controversial because it puts the onus on the war on every party except Japan and neglects to mention the military’s atrocities in China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. The Yūshūkan is well worth visiting in spite of its sins of omission, because it houses one of the only Zero fighter planes on public display. But the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is a must-visit despite its distance from Tokyo. Its displays are up-front about Japan’s share of responsibility for the war and about the factors that made Hiroshima a target (it was for decades home to a major army base), while condemning with visual horrors the disproportionate, indiscriminate atomic destruction of the city. The museum offers a walk through of Hiroshima’s history with a tight focus on the moments and days after 8:16 AM on August 6, 1945. The walls of the ground floor are paneled with copies of every letter that each Hiroshima mayor has sent to every world leader whose country has tested a nuclear weapon. Most of the recent ones are addressed to President Barack Obama; although the U.S. has not tested a nuclear weapon in the old-fashioned way since 1992, it carries out “subcritical” tests to this day. Another wall display shows the number of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors who are still living, and where in the world they are. At the time of my last visit to the museum in December 2013 there were still survivors in every prefecture of Japan, but within a few decades they will be gone and this museum will be even more crucial in preserving their memory.
What to explore at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum?
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum has continuously appealed for the elimination of nuclear armaments and the realization of permanent world peace. It is divided into east building and main building. At the east building, the history of Hiroshima (Hiroshima-no-ayumi) dealing with the A-bomb exposure period is presented through picture panels, films, and figures concerning factors related to the historical background at the time. In the main building, the museum shows the devastation caused by the atomic bomb in detail. Peace Memorial Park, in which this museum is located, is known as a famous cherry blossom viewing site.
How to get to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum?
Approx. 25 min. from Hiroshima IC of Sanyo Expressway
[By public transportation]
1 Approx.15 min. by tram bound for Eba and Miyajimaguchi from JR Hiroshima Station South and get off at "Genbaku Domu-mae"tram stop
2 Approx.20 min. by tram bound for Yoshijima from JR Hiroshima Station South and get off at "Heiwa-kinen-koen"tram stop
- The horrors of war, lesson to be learnt
- An essential place to visit
- A museum seeking peace
- Great joy to experience Peace Island
- Nice museum with important facts
1-2 Nakajimacho Naka Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 730-0811 Japan
Tips for you
One cannot help but feel at awe and very humbled by a visit to the museum. The museum portrays the tragedy that struck Hiroshima, and manages to do so very respectfully. Nobody is blaming anyone, but rather tell the story of Hiroshima. The exhibits are mostly good, with English explanations. There is a minimal number of gruesome photos, but given their context, I assume it'd be acceptable by most. The museum is very crowded most of the time, so allow 90-120 minutes to fully explore its two sections. Ticket price is a symbolic 50 cents.
- a place to go and see the destruction Atom Bombs made to this city and you will be also amazed how these people have overcome the hard times and how developed they are!!