Our last day in Japan (but, due to my rearranging things a bit, not my last
blog post), took us to Hiroshima, where the tourism, not surprisingly, centred around the city being the first one in history to get nuked.
This building was not the only one to (mostly) survive the atomic bomb, but, as the few
others got demolished, this one emerged as the emblem of the bombing:
Paper cranes on a memorial:
This mound contains, under the grass, the ashes of all the victims of the atomic bomb:
I have no idea what these are, or what for:
In Japan's imperialist period in the first half of the twentieth century, Korea got conquered by
Japan. This monument is a memorial to the Korean victims of the atomic bomb:
There were lots of parties of schoolchildren, being taught about the dark side of their nation's
The museum to the atomic bombing was also full of school parties; slightly surprising, as many of
the accounts and photographs there, of children crawling home, flesh burned to charcoal, to die in
their parents' arms, would be enough to give any child readers nightmares. (They're harrowing enough for adult readers/viewers.)
Here's a ceremony taking place at the children's peace monument:
The cenotaph, with the atomic dome visible in the background:
There are a number of trees around Hiroshima, obviously not directly at the epicentre of the bomb
blast, which survived being nuked, and are labelled as such. Here's a holly tree nuclear bomb survivor:
After we'd had our fill of the horrors of nuclear warfare, we went to have a look at Hiroshima
castle. The castle was completely destroyed by the bombing, but has been reconstructed since.
Here's the castle wall and moat:
And here's the castle keep (with the rabbits carefully positioned to figleaf the unsightly
scaffolding on the front of it at the time.
I'd like to finish this post with the fantastic mural along a particular wall in Hiroshima, but we
were nervous about getting to the airport on time, and didn't take the time to visit it, even
though it was just a few minutes off our path. I went and had a look at it on Google Maps
afterwards, intending to assemble a photograph of it from multiple screenshots, but it turns out
it's way too long to do that, so instead here's a pointer to it on Google Maps
you to have a look at yourselves.
Japan blog posts