Hiroshima, as many of you know, is the first city to be targeted by a nuclear weapon. On August 6th, 1945, near the end of World War 2, the USAAF dropped a nuclear bomb called "little boy" on Hiroshima. The bomb killed over 80,000 people in the blast and firestorm alone, with many more perishing over time. The history is very rich in Hiroshima, and while the city has completely rebuilt, there are still remnants of the bombing.
As a CIEE sponsored activity, all of the students met at Sophia University, before riding the Shinkansen (bullet train) for Hiroshima. It was actually my first time riding the Shinkansen, so I was pretty excited. The interior is similar to that of an airplane, but you have a lot more leg room, and are able to recline pretty far back.
After about 4 hours, we arrived in Hiroshima, and made our way to the hotel. After checking in, most of the students went to sleep, but me and a few others went out and checked out a few places.
The following morning, after breakfast, all of the CIEE students listened to a presentation about the creation of the bomb, which was really quite fascinating. I left with an entirely new perspective on the bombing than I had before. After the presentation, we went to Peace Memorial Park, which was the main purpose of our trip.
I started by walking through the museum. Many remnants of the blast were on display, like singed clothing, hair, and personal belongings. I have shared some of the pictures through dropbox, via the link below, but know that you may find them a bit upsetting.
The park is a really beautiful place, there is a feeling to it that I can't quite describe. There are many things to see on the grounds, like the A-Bomb Dome, one of the only remaining structures from the bombing, and the Children's peace monument. I have attached all of the pictures I took in the park.
To finish off the day, we listened to a legitimate survivor of the atomic bomb. It was really something. I just sat there, and listened, and wondered how something as terrible as this actually happened. You can't fathom just how awful the bombing was until you hear from an actual survivor telling you the things she experienced, and the horrid sights she witnessed.
Visiting Hiroshima was a one of a kind experience. I really enjoyed it, even if I found it emotionally heavy. I encourage any and all visiting Japan, to spend a day there and walk through Peace Memorial Park. I also thank CIEE for this opportunity, I won't forget it.
Now that I am all settled in, I can go back to regular posting. Next post will be all about Miyajima. Miyajima is an absolutely gorgeous place, so you don't want to miss it!