Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial (atomic bomb) museum

February 2015

During any trip to Japan, a visit to Hiroshima should not be missed. The Peace Memorial Museum, built very close to the place where the atomic bomb has exploded, houses lot of items, each one with a documented own story, showing the damages produced by the atomic bomb explosion. Hiroshima has also other attractions making the city even more interesting, and has a beautiful modern downtown.

Shinkansen train Bullet train
How to get to Hiroshima? Hiroshima is served by several direct flights from Tokyo lasting about 90 minutes, but the best way to get to Hiroshima is probably by Shinkansen train, since the city is located along the main railway axis between Tokyo, Nagoya , Kyoto, Osaka, Kokura and Hakata, served by high speed trains. The Shinkansen is also called bullet train, as it travels up to 300 kilometers per hour, but with the particularity to stop even in the smaller cities (thus providing service to everyone, and not only to who is so lucky to live in main cities). The ticket price of the bullet train is comparable to that of similar trains in Europe, but with the particularity to be much more flexible (no worries if you miss a train) even paying base fare.


Hiroshima tram Moving around in Hiroshima
How to get to the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima? The Peace Museum in Hiroshima (atomic bomb museum) is easily accessible from the train station by historic tram (line 2 and line 6 - information updated to 2015), which takes about 15 minutes. Visitors must get off at Genbaku-Domu Mae stop (Atomic Bomb Dome), from where the Peace Park is within a very short walk distance.


Peace Memorial Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Near the entrance of Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, only 150 meters from the hypocenter of the explosion of the atomic bomb, visitors will find the Peace Memorial monument. This monument is just the remains of a palace built in 1915 and designed to house exhibitions and other important events for the city of Hiroshima. Heavily damaged (indeed almost entirely demolished) by the nuclear explosion, the remains of the building were preserved and incorporated in 1996 in the World Heritage sites by UNESCO. In 2015 the building was under restoration.


Hiroshima Peace Park Peace Park
Hiroshima Peace Park is located a few hundred meters from the hypocenter of the explosion of the atomic bomb: in 1945 the place was one of the most important and populated district of the Hiroshima, but now all the area is an immense open-air museum.


Memorial of the victims of atomic bomb in Hiroshima
The Hiroshima Peace Park houses a memorial that includes exhibits, photos and stories of the atomic bomb victims.


Atomic bomb explosion hypocenter in Hiroshima
Inside the Peace Park, there is the museum that collects artifacts, photos and stories related to the explosion of the atomic bomb. In this photo, the representation of the hypocenter over the city of Hiroshima.


Hiroshima Peace Museum Damages of atomic explosion on human body
In Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum there are some mannequins that show what happens to the clothes and skin after a nuclear explosion, due to the heat and the wind that follows. Artifacts and historical documents speak about skin shreds dangling from bodies of the victims closest to the hypocenter.


Peace museum Bricks melted by atomic bomb explosion
The atomic bomb memorial in Hiroshima collects a large number of exhibits showing the damage caused by the explosion of the atomic bomb. In these photos, the remains of a wall, showing bricks partially melted by the immense heat generated.


Damages from atomic bomb in Hiroshima
Photos of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. A robust metal door deformed by the shock wave, with the surface partially melted due to the heat.


Atomic bomb damages by distance
At Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, there are many documents that explain in detail what happened on the morning of August 6, 1945. In this graph, the damage caused by the explosion of the atomic bomb, according to the distance from the hypocenter.


Watch stopped when atomic bomb exploded Clothes damaged by atomic blast
The victim who wore this watch, was to 1640 meters from the hypocenter and suffered serious burns that led him to death 16 days later. His clock has stopped at 08:15, the time of the explosion of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. The atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima at a time when many students were outside and very close to the hypocenter, to get to school. The clothes were reduced to shreds by the heat combined with the strong wind generated by the blast.
Atomic bomb museum Hiroshima atomic bomb museum
A radio that was destroyed by the force of the explosion of the atomic bomb, which was located on the second floor of a house at 2100 meters from the hypocenter. This metal box was containing a student's lunch at the time of the blast, and it was 600 meters from the hypocenter: the heat has burned all the food contained inside, and the container has partially melted. It was found by the boy's mother, close to his body, three days after the explosion.
Atomic bomb museum in Hiroshima Damages after atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima
The nearly four-year-old boy who was playing with this tricycle, was located at 1500 meters from the hypocenter when the atomic bomb on Hiroshima has exploded. He died the same night due to the burns and many parts of his tricycle have merged together because of the heat generated by the blast. Photo showing the damages produced by atomic blast in Japan. The lens of a pair of glasses melted by the heat generated from the explosion of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.
Damages to skin by atomic explosion
Photo of nail and burned skin of a student who was 600 meters from the hypocenter, when the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima. The heat and the wind were so intense, to melt and tear the skin, until it was dangling from the body. With the help of his friend, the student was able to return to what was left of the house, but died the following day for the burns. As we know, the atomic bomb of Hiroshima has not only caused death and devastation as a result of direct damage at the time of the explosion, but the radiation that were generated have caused countless victims, malformations and serious problems until recently. Long after the explosion, while a mother was combing her daughter, all the hairs have remained in her hand.
Photos of the tile roof of a house, cooked and partially melted from the surface, by the explosion of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. A more detailed analysis of the tile, shows the surface partially melted by the immense heat that was generated by the blast.
This glass fragment was surgically removed from a patient who was inside his house, a kilometer from the hypocenter. The explosion caused the shattering of the windows, with splinters that were splashed out like bullets. The fragment was discovered and removed only twenty years after the explosion of the atomic bomb. This photo shows instead a shard of glass stuck in the wall of a building, 2200 meters away from the hypocenter of the explosion.
Iron melt after atomic bomb explosion Glass melt after atomic bomb explosion
The damage to the surface of a metal beam that was found a few hundred meters from the hypocenter. Photo showing a case of glass cans that was stored in an ink factory at 1800 meters from the point of explosion of the bomb on Hiroshima. The heat that was generated has melted all the cans into a single piece.
Atomic bomb museum in Japan
In the museum of Hiroshima atomic bomb, there are numerous exhibits, all with detailed explanations about their history and their discovery. In this photo, a bar of soap melted by the heat.
What happened when atomic bomb has exploded
Photo of a cluster of sewing needles, fused together by the heat generated from the atomic bomb explosion over Hiroshima. Photo of melted glass bottles found not far from the hypocenter of the atomic explosion.
In this photo we observe instead an agglomeration of wall tiles, fused together in a single piece. A stack of plates of glass, melted and deformed by the heat.


There are many unique exhibits that can be seen at the Atomic Bomb Museum in Hiroshima. In these photos, from left to right, the head of a sandstone Buddha statue partially burned and melted. In the middle photo, black letters were burned as they have attracted more light (and therefore more heat) at the time of the explosion. Finally, in the photo on the right, a pair of trousers of a young student who, at the time of the explosion of the atomic bomb, was located less than a kilometer from the hypocenter.


Hiroshima Atomic Bomb
When the atomic bomb has exploded on Hiroshima, a person was sitting on the front steps of a bank, waiting for opening time. The body of the person worked as a shield for the strong rays of light and heat, which have partially cooked and melted only the bricks directly exposed. Thus, the "shadow" of the person, presumably died instantly, has remained impressed forever on the steps and on the wall.


Skin burns after atomic blast
In the museum of atomic bomb in Hiroshima, there is also an extensive collection of vintage photos that show the damage suffered by people. In the left image, a man almost completely burned, although he was at nine kilometers from the hypocenter. On the right photo, a man exposed to radiation a kilometer from the hypocenter, who died after strange subcutaneous hemorrhages have appeared three weeks after the explosion.


Photos of the spinal cord showing acute leukemia, which came 14 years after exposure to radiation produced by the explosion of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. At the time of the explosion the person was only 9 years old and died within only two months from the first symptoms of leukemia, when she was 23.


Nail malformed due to radiations Malformed nails
The radiations produced by the explosion of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, caused many problems with keratin and therefore with the growth of the nails. On the left picture, a malformed fingernail. On the right photo, malformed nails removed surgically.


Little Boy
Photo of Little Boy. In the Peace Memorial museum of Hiroshima, there is also a full-scale replica of the bomb that exploded on August 6, 1945, named "Little Boy", only three meters long and weighing four tons.


Hiroshima downtown What to see in Hiroshima? The city of Hiroshima is not only interesting for the Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum, but the downtown shows a modern architecture that is home to large shopping centers.


Hiroshima castle
A place that should not be missed during a trip to Hiroshima, is Hiroshima Castle, about twenty minute walk from the Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum. The Hiroshima Castle dates back to the sixteenth century and was originally built as a feudal residence, but was completely destroyed by the explosion of the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945. However, for the high historical and cultural value, the castle of Hiroshima was rebuilt in the late '50s, as a replica of the original.


Inside Hiroshima castle there is a vast museum dedicated to the history of the country, but unfortunately (at it happens in most closed spaces in Japan) it's not allowed to take photographs. On the other hand, from the top of Hiroshima Castle, there is a beautiful panoramic view of the city.


More photos of Hiroshima Castle, with a special interior in Japanese style and observation towers placed along the outside fence.


Tree survived to atomic bomb explosion Tree survived in Hiroshima
This tree in the courtyard of the Hiroshima Castle, just 770 meters from the point of explosion of the atomic bomb, has miraculously survived and is still alive.


The tour in Hiroshima ends by going towards the railway station, walking among modern skyscrapers.


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