Wandering – Photographing Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park

Atomic Bomb Dome

Some places demand silence. The Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC. The endless rows of military graves in Europe. The remnants of the World War I trenches in France. The 9/11 Memorial in New York City. Others I haven’t seen or even heard of, equally important as the ones above to people touched by the events they evoke.

And there’s Hiroshima, synonymous with the unbelievable destruction mankind is capable of. Apart from one’s historical and political notions about the atom bomb that was first used in this city, a visit to Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park and Museum is something you won’t easily forget, even if you don’t take a single picture. Combine it with the excellent novel Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse to get a sense of what the bomb wreaked.

Yet, modern Hiroshima is also very much a city risen from the ashes, a tribute to the resilience of mankind in the face of utter destruction and terror. Around the park you’ll find a bustling city, not much to look at but vibrant and forward-looking.

So, you might find yourself in deep awe looking at the A-Bomb Dome one moment and sipping coffee in a coffeeshop adorned to the hilt with Beatles memorabilia a little later, with Beatles songs playing in an endless loop in the background. Or shopping for unique Japanese goods in one of the many stores along the tram line that took you to the park in the first place.

Still, this is a photography website. As expected, virtually of all Hiroshima was build after the war, is modern and not very appealing to look at. While there are a few other noteworthy places, you’d visit Hiroshima for the park and the museum.

The Place

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