No trip to Hiroshima is complete without witnessing the horror of a nuclear blast.
We got off the streetcar at Genbaku Dome-mae station. The walk to the A-Bomb Dome was very brief.
Situated next to a river, the A-Bomb Dome is the skeletal husk of a building that used to serve as an industrial exhibition hall. It is the only structure at the center of the blast that remained standing.
We sat by the river and enjoyed the peace once the Brazilians moved on.
Right behind the dome stands the Children’s Peace Monument. The monument takes on the shape of “Little Boy,” the affectionate name for the 1-ton superweapon dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 that claimed 140,000 lives. Atop it stands a statue of Sadako Sasaki.
There is a long-standing Japanese tradition which posits that anybody who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted one wish. Sadako survived the blast and subsequently attempted to fold the requisite 1000 cranes to be able to wish for world peace. She must not have been successful, as she died from leukemia related to radiation exposure around the time she is said to have neared completion. Wars are still waged in the meantime.
To this day, thousands of cranes continue to be left at the monument to commemorate Sadako’s attempt to usher in an era of world peace.