Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (広島平和記念公園 ), located in downtown Hiroshima, is the site of where the first atomic bomb was dropped at 8:15 am on August 6, 1945. The park is dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb. The park promotes peace while reiterating the horrors of nuclear war.
Within this spacious park visitors will find many structures reflecting peace. On Peace Boulevard, behind the fountain is the Peace Memorial Museum. Here visitors can witness and learn about Hiroshima’s history and struggle after the attack.
Visitors will see an arched structure, the Memorial Cenotaph, located in the middle of the park. The names of all of the victims of the bomb are written here with the inscription “Let all the souls here rest in peace for we shall not repeat the evil." The structure was constructed on August 6, 1952, with the arch shape reflecting the souls of the victims.
The Peace Flame behind the Cenotaph has been continuously lit since 1964. With a prayer of internal peace, the flame will remain lit until all nuclear weapons have been destroyed and the world is free from the threat of a nuclear war.
Hiroshima Memorial, or commonly known as the Atomic Bomb Dome, lies at the end of park, near the streetcar street (Aioi Street). Known as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall at the time, this is the only remaining building near the bomb’s epicenter. Though there was some controversy whether the building should be torn down or preserved, it was decided the Atomic Bomb Dome is an important part of local as well as world history. Though the Dome has been reconstructed a few times, the original architecture was always been preserved in remembrance of the victims.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is the site of the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony held on August 6. There are peace exhibits throughout the park as well as narratives from the survivors of the atomic bomb, storytelling activities for children. Near the Peace Memorial Museum, visitors can find information about experiences translated in English.
On that day, i the evening, paper lanterns illuminated by candles are floated down the river next to the park. For a nominal fee, visitors can create their own paper lantern, with their own message of peace, to be floated down the river. Once the lantern is created, the volunteers will assemble the lantern and assist visitors in floating the lantern. Please be aware, as many people wish to participate in this tradition, there is usually a long line to float the lantern. Whether involved in the creation or not, all visitors to the park can view the paper lanterns floating down the river, the candlelight illuminating the black water.
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1-2 Nakajimacho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Hiroshimaa 730-0811Japan