Saturday, 11th November 2017 (Part 1)
It wasn't planned, but the day we spent in Hiroshima was also Armistice Day back in the UK. Hiroshima is different, it is a memorial to all of those who died in a single indiscriminate attack, and a symbol of the desire for peace.
A-Bomb Dome Memorial
This building was located almost immediately underneath the atomic blast, and while the surrounding area was flattened the steel dome and thick walls survived although heavily damaged.
This memorial was built to remember all the children who have lost their lives due to the bomb. It was inspired by a young girl, Sadako Sasaki, who was two years old when the bomb hit and ten years old when she passed away from Leukemia. During her long illness she folded paper cranes which have become the symbol of peace. People from all over the world send paper cranes to the monument.
There were a lot of groups of school children and we were interviewed by several of the older ones for an assignment, wanting to know how foreigners felt when they came to see the memorial.
There were also several anti war and denuclearisation campaigners and a survivor who was not yet born when his mother was exposed to the blast.
Visiting the museum was very emotional, the panorama showed a 360 degree view of the destruction. A Japanese lady stopped us and offered us more information and talked about what we were seeing. She explained she was one of a group of volunteers who strive to teach people about Hiroshima so it is never forgotten.
After visiting the museums and having damp cheeks we caught a boat to the island of Miyajima.
I wish we could have longer than a single day in Hiroshima Prefecture so we could visit other areas of the city, but the plan is to be in Osaka tomorrow.