The 4 days we spent in Hiroshima were wonderful, it’s a beautiful place and I felt the need to write about it sooner than my weekly posts because of how it made us feel.
Coming to Hiroshima we knew it would be a hard hitting place to visit because of its history and we were prepared for that. We try and visit as many historical places as we can when we travel especially the hard hitting ones because we both feel that it is important to do so.
To learn, to mourn and to pay respects to all those involved.
So when we headed to Hiroshima, although we had no doubt it would be beautiful and wonderful, we had prepared ourselves for the sadness we would feel.
We had expected it to have the same eerie atmosphere about it that Dachau had and that same horrible feeling in the pit of our stomach we had whilst visiting Dachau Concentration Camp.
However, it had the total opposite effect. To our surprise when we arrived here, the feeling you get here is, actually… uplifting.
Now, this is not at all saying it isn’t sad. It is, it is incredibly sad. There are memorials and monuments everywhere documenting exactly what happened and it so tough to read them.
But the general atmosphere of the place and how everything is displayed and remembered is 100% in support of peace and you feel it everywhere you go.
It’s colourful and beautiful and you really can feel what a peaceful place it is. It’s calming and quiet and it’s commitment to a peaceful world is evident everywhere.
First we visited the School Peace Museum. This was a museum inside the school that was almost obliterated by the atomic bomb. Except for a few rooms, they rebuilt it and now it serves as the peace museum as well as still being a school.
It was terribly difficult reading about what happened to all the poor children back then, whilst through the window you had all the children today out on the playground laughing and shouting.
It was haunting.
In the museum they had photographs of writings that had been written on the wall all those years ago, families trying to find one another. Truly heartbreaking.
This was the most difficult place we visited there and yet throughout the museum they had many symbols of peace and colourful origami cranes all over. That message of peace still shining through.
We walked around the Peace Park. It is beautiful and so green. There are amazing trees planted all over, gifts from all different countries as it was said It would take 75 years for trees to grow there again but that was not the case and now it’s beautifully decorated with greenery all over.
Whilst we walked through the park many school children came up to us. They came with little clipboards and wanted us to fill out some questions for them. They go out into public places and approach people to learn English and we love speaking to them all the time. So polite and cute and in their little yellow hats!
They had a questionnaire for us with with 3 questions:
1. What do you think of Hiroshima?
2. What does peace mean to you?
3. How would you create world peace?
Just the questions had me tear up. I think it’s such a wonderful idea having these little ones learning about ideas for world peace!
Mel had an idea when we were in Dachau that all world leaders should have to meet there once a year and also in Hiroshima to discuss world policies. Take them back to the places it all went so horribly wrong in the past, he got to use his idea as an answer to one of the questions.
Little children spreading the message of peace. How lovely and for every questionnaire we filled out they gave us a little origami crane 💚
That is Hiroshima all over. Peace is it’s priority and they are really actively working towards achieving it.
We signed a petition to abolish nuclear weapons when we passed the ‘A Bomb Dome’ one of the only structures that wasn’t completely destroyed and still stands in its shattered form.
Here we talked with a lady who’s mother had actually been pregnant with her at the time the bomb had gone off and she survived! So it was all very close to her heart. She described to us the horrendous effects the bomb had and it was terrible to hear about but the lady herself was lovely and again a very active peace advocate.
The place makes you feel very hopeful where I thought it would make us feel very angry and grim but grim is the furthest word you could use to describe Hiroshima. Wonderful, peaceful, beautiful and hopeful are much better adjectives.
After spending the day visiting all the monuments and memorials, we passed the A bomb dome again on our way home in the night time, to find it lit up with candles and 3 people there with instruments, singing with their banner ‘Preyers for peace’.
Tearing up again we stood and watched them and it was beautiful and peaceful just like everything else in Hiroshima 💚
Let’s lead by their example and be proactive in changing our futures and join them in their quest for peace and love worldwide