Lisa and Jason's Japanese Adventure

Day 2, Part 1:
Hiroshima's Peace Park and A-Bomb Memorial
(Click on thumbnails for gi-normous pictures.)
Got up around 5:30AM and caught the early train to Hiroshima. We took the Shinkansen (bullet train), which travels on smooth-welded rails at over 150 mph.

Shinkansen trains parked at the station. Ours looked like the one at the rear.

We may or may not have gone past Mt. Fuji. (Hey, it was 5 in the morning. Give us a break.)

Train Station poster for Hiroshima's Baseball Team, the Hiroshima Carp.
The city of Hiroshima was the target of America's first atomic bomb attack in 1945. The A-Bomb Dome is one of the few buildings in Hiroshima that "survived" the blast.

The A-Bomb Dome.
It is located at the "hypocenter," the spot directly beneath the point of the bomb's air burst. Most of the city's buildings were made of wood and paper and immediately burned. This brick building is preserved as a reminder of the terrible reality of atomic weapons.

The Dome is a stark survivor of the A-Bomb blast.

Most of the building was destroyed, but the signature dome remained.

It is now surrounded by a beautiful city park.

Our group spent a lot of time there before going to the museum.

A metal girder twisted by the force and heat of the blast.

The dome is surrounded by flowers and bushes.

Several monuments surround the site.

People laid out paper cranes and other memorials at this rock.

At the time, it was said that nothing would grow in Hiroshima for 75 years. That turned out to be false.

Hiroshima is not the bombed out wasteland some might think it would be.

Though most of the city was destroyed, they started rebuilding immediately

Now it is a thriving city, with a healthy downtown and its own baseball team.

Across the bridge was the rest of the park and museum.

There were many monuments and works of art here.

Most prominant of all was the eternal flame, reflecting pool, and the museum.

A Police Officer straightens up some bouquets.

The arch frames the flame and the dome across the river.

Lots of people come here, including survivors of the attack.
The Children's Memorial is a pillar with a statue of a young girl on it. She is holding a framework representation of an origami paper crane. This comes from the story of a girl who survived the blast, but years later fell ill from complications of the radiation. She believed that if she folded one thousand paper cranes, she would be granted her wish to get better. She folded every day, eventually folding many more than a thousand, but in the end her sickness took her. The Children's Memorial pays tribute to her and all children who were hurt or killed by the blast.

Children from all over Japan come to visit this memorial every year. Many leave long chains of folded paper cranes.

The cranes are stored at the monument. You can see the two booths on the right are completely full, with the third just beginning. (This Photo was taken by Lisa.)

The cranes are all different colors and made of all different materials.

Thousands of cranes accumulate over the course of the year.

Here some children play in a fountain near the Children's Memorial.

Very tiny paper cranes, the size of a fingernail. These are located inside the museum.
Inside the museum were several exhibits about the bombing of Hiroshima, and the use of Atomic bombs in general. The exhibits were not anti-American as some might think; they are simply anti-Atomic Bomb.

A Model of Hiroshima before the blast...

...And after.
Many objects that were damaged or melted in the heat of the A-Bomb blast are preserved here. It's hard to imagine the kind of heat it took to melt some of these objects; It's hard to imagine a human being surviving that kind of force.

A ceramic bottle melted by the heat.

A glass bottle deformed by the heat.

Another glass bottle shriveled in upon itself.

This was found under the body of a young boy; His lunch tin full of rice.

A burned tricycle.

The initial temperature of the blast burned out the black lettering of this sign. Only the white paper remains.

This shriveled glass bottle was available for people to touch. It felt bumpy, sort of like asphalt.

A stack of salt shakers fused together by the heat.

A collection of melted glasses.

The burned inner workings of a clock.

More deformed glass bottles. (Notice the stack of fused coins in the bottom left corner.)