Peace Park and Memorial Museum, Hiroshima
A hypocenter is defined as the point directly below the center of the explosion of an atomic bomb, but it is also used to refer to the point in the earth where an earthquake occurs. In Hiroshima, the hypocenter of the atomic bombing of 6 August 1945 is marked by a small plaque 580 feet below the point of the airborne explosion. The plaque stands near a Daily Yamazaki convenience store at a Y intersection just across the Motoyasu Bridge from the Peace Memorial Park.
The Ota River stretches 103 kilometers from the mountains above Hiroshima, under the Aioi Bridge, to the west of the Peace Memorial Park, before emptying into the Seto Inland Sea. The Aioi Bridge was the aiming point for the atomic bombing of August 1945, and the river was witness to vast devastation of the city.
The Ota River, or Ota-gawa, starts at Mt. Kanmuri, one of the tallest peaks in the Chugoku Mountains. The Ota has been the main source of Hiroshima city water since 1898.
The original Motoyasu Bridge was one of the first bridges in Hiroshima, constructed over 400 years ago at the time of the founding of Hiroshima Castle. The bridge that was was constructed in 1926 was damaged in the atomic bombing in 1945, but remained in use until replaced in 1992. It is said that the atomic blast caused the railings to fall to opposite sides of the bridge, making it clear to scientists that the explosion took place in a straight line from the center of the bridge.
Today's bridge was built to closely resemble the one that survived the bombing.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum opened in 1955 with a focus on documenting the aftermath of the bombing and its effects on the city and the people. The most popular tourist destination in Hiroshima, the museum draws over one million visitors a year. The museum's east wing explains the city before and after the bombing, but generally avoids the damage caused by the bombing. The west wing focuses almost exclusively on the destruction of the city and the suffering of the people.
Famous visitors to the museum include Pope John Paul II, American President Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa, former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Czech Republic Václav Havel, Cuban President Fidel Castro, and even revolutionary Che Guevara's daughter.
The Peace Clock Tower was constructed at the northern end of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in 1967. The 20 meter tower is constructed of three main iron posts, with a 60-degree twist in the middle, and topped by a three-sided clock. The clock's bell rings daily at 8:15 am, at precise time when the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima on 6 August 1945.
The Aioi Bride is a T-shaped bridge in central Hiroshima that was the aiming point for the atomic bomb that exploded over the city on August 6th, 1945. The bridge was built in 1932, and the southern extension was built just two years later. Though the bridge was seriously damaged and the north railing knocked into the water, it was used for another 35 years until replaced in 1983. Some of the remaining pieces of the bridge remain at the site of the new bridge, and pieces of the deformed girders are in the nearby Peace Museum.
The flame of peace was designed by a Tokyo University professor named Tange Kenzo, and it has burned since it was established in 1964. The pedestal is designed to represent two hands pressed together at the wrists with the palms pointing skyward. It is said the flame will be extinguished when all nuclear weapons are eliminated from the earth.
The Memorial Cenotaph is a monument the shape of a Conestoga Wagon canopy that stands in the middle of the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park. Through the monument, which houses the names of those killed in the atomic bomb explosion, visitors can see the Flame of Peace in line with the A-Bomb Dome. Built in 1952, it was one of the first monuments constructed in the peace park. The epitaph on the tomb has a Japanese inscription that implores the dead to rest in peace and promises that the error of war will not be repeated.
The Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound was built in 1955 on the site of a temple that stood prior to the explosion of an atomic bomb. Here, in the years after the war, survivors places the cremated ashes of the known deceased in white urns. The names of the ashes of the known have been claimed over the years by family members and move to graveyards. The ashes of 70,000 or so unknown deceased were placed in large pine boxes that will sit in the the mound, with the 824 urns of the known dead who have no surviving family members, in perpetuity.
The mound was designed to resemble an imperial tomb from the Momoyama Period (1583-1600). The low mound is 16 meters wide and 3.5 meters high.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, located in the center of Hiroshima, is dedicated to those who died in the first atomic bombing of a city in war. The large open space was once the busiest area of Hiroshima, but is now acres of open green space, monuments, and museums.
The major monuments in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park include the A-Bomb Dome, the Children's Peace Monument, the Rest House (where a man survived the blast just 100 meters from the hypocenter), the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Memorial Cenotaph and Peace Flame, the the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound, and countless smaller monuments.
The Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall was designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel and completed in 1915. The steel-framed brick and stone building was three stories high, except for the central atrium which reached five stories and was capped by a dome. The facility was used to display collections of local products as a way to promote local industry, and it contained a number of offices on the ground floor. By 1944, the building's main use transitioned to offices for public agencies and local trade unions.
The atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima on August 6th 1945 detonated just 160 meters southeast of the exhibition hall. Despite the blast that killed everyone inside the building, the central parts of the structure remained standing after the bombing and the end of the war. After the bombing, the remains of the building were left intact and donated to Hiroshima City in 1953. In 1966, the city decided to preserve the A-Bomb Dome, and donations came from around the world. The A-Bomb Dome was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
We visited the A-Bomb Dome several times during our visit to Hiroshima, at sunset, at night, and in the late morning. The skeletal structure strewn with rubble demonstrates the devastation caused by the bomb, but the feral cats living in the building, and the plants coming up through the debris demonstrate how life perseveres.
Just a "Little boy"
I am sure You will be surprised just like I was when I saw the size of the replica of the atomic bomb that was thrown on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. "Little Boy" was the codename that was used by the army and it was just 3 meters long and 71cm in diameter, it had a total weight of 4400kg and the weight of the filling was 64kg. Little Boy was the 1st atomic bomb that was used in a war, and the detonation was based on Uranium. The 2nd atomic bomb - the one for Nagasaki - was much stronger and was named "Fat Man": it was slightly longer with 3,3 meters but had a diameter of 1,5 meters, so it looked in fact a lot fatter.
spooky places in the Peace Memorial Museum
There will be some really spooky places in the Peace Memorial Museum, where you will walk through replicas of the ruined town, that were built in a perfect way in the museum. Some of these place look like there is fire burning as well and you see puppets, trying to escape the fires.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
This is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, where you will learn about the bombing of Hiroshima, some backgrounds and explanations and lots of photos, remains and small-scale models of this catastrophy that changed the world forever , BUT did unfortunalety not make mankind a lot wiser and I am afraid it is just a matter of time untill something like this will happen again, when stupid weapons get into the hands of stupid people.
Genbaku Domu: the Atomic Bomb Dome
I only saw the replika of this building in the museum, but you will also be able to see the real building as well in the park, where it was built some years before the atomic bomb exploded in Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945 at 08:15am.
This building was used as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, a place for exhibitions and the bomb did explode right above the building but in some distance above the ground, killing a total of 80.000 people and destroying most of the houses around the citycentre.
The explosion and the extremely high temperatures were able to destroy and melt away big parts of the building, including the concrete of the cuppola, but obviously the iron construction of the cuppola was able to withstand these extreme temperatures.