Lost in thoughts: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

“Hiro- hiroshima? Hiroshima?” we frantically gestured and asked the driver before he closed the tram door. He nodded, and we hopped on.  We were unsure where to get off because the tram wasn’t Deaf-friendly. Instead of installing electronic information device system to let the passengers know what’s the next stop, they used speakers. How are we supposed to hear and understand that? Since it was really packed inside the  tram, we assumed that they would go to Hiroshima peace park as well where the Peace Memorial Museum is located. Thankfully, we followed the crowd and arrived the Peace Park. We walked outside around for about an hour and then headed to the Peace Memorial Museum.

While you are in Hiroshima, you should definitely take the opportunity to see the Peace Memorial museum. It costs only 50yen (approximately .43 cents USD). When you see the building of the museum, it may seems small but don’t be fool by that! It has so many things to see inside the museum. It may takes about 2 hours to look at everything. If you are a slower and focused reader like me, it will certainly takes about two hours. Time will fly by fast before you realize it. Before going in, Lilo and I were a little anxious because we are both pretty emphatic people.

Hiroshima Sculptures

In the opposite side of the museum, you’ll see different sculptures inside. They are amazing pieces of art in honor of the victims of Hiroshima. In these sculptures, you’ll see the stories behind it:

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 Inside the museum

I did took a lot of photos of different exhibits in the museum, but I don’t want to spoil all of that for you. You’ll have to see it for yourself when you visit! Therefore, I will show you few photos of my personal favorites:

the watch.

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If you look closely at the watch, you’ll see how the time was marked at about 8:15. The story behind this watch was that the moment when the bomb dropped, this watch stopped at that time. It occurred at 8:15 in the morning.

the wooden sandal.

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The story behind of this wooden sandal, it stated, “Miyoko (then 13) was a first-year student at First Municipal Girls High School. She was exposed to the bomb at her building demolition work site. Her body was never found, but her mother found this wooden sandal two months later. She  recognized it by the straps that she had made herself using material from her kimono. The print of Miyoko’s left foot remains on the sandal.”

Sadako Sasaki

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The story of Sadako Sasaki, “…Ten years later, she suddenly contracted leukemia and was hospitalized in February the following year. She folded paper cranes continuously hoping they would help her recover, but after an eight month battle with disease, she succumbed. Sadako’s death triggered a movement to build a monument to all the children perished due to the A-bomb…”

The imprinted kimono pattern 

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I don’t know how to explain it, but I find this photo simply agonizing but beautifully taken. In the caption below the photo, it said “The heat rays burned the dark sections of her kimono pattern right into the skin.”

After you finish the museum, you may be lost in thoughts. You may have read about Hiroshima bombing in your history classes, but it hits you more when you really face it, right here in Hiroshima. That’s when you wonder more about it, was this decision of dropping the bomb was the right choice? or was it really the only choice?  It makes you ponder more about this historical event than it would in classes. It gives a powerful message yet it drains your emotions. After Lilo and I left the Peace Memorial museum, that lingering feelings couldn’t shake off for another couple of minutes. Despite how emotional-draining it may be, you should visit this beautiful museum!

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

hours: 8:30am – 6:00pm (depending on the month)

cost: 50yen (~$.42cents)

Direction:

From Hiroshima train station, take tram line 2 or 6 to Genbaku-Domu mae. The transportation may cost about 160yen (~$1.34) each.

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