Hiroshima Peace Park / A-Bomb Dome

Hiroshima Peace Park, Hiroshima, Japan

An utterly depressing (but worthwhile) excursion.

The idea.

It was on the list of things to see in Hiroshima, so we figured “sure, why not?”

We never really thought about the implications of what the site really meant.

The reality.

There are very few things we’ve done that have ever left us feeling so empty and disgusted inside as visiting the A-Bomb dome and the Peace Park.

(While we were there we were approached by quite a few Jehovah’s Witnesses. They’d start up with the same routine each time; asking questions about where we were from, what we thought of Japan, that sort of thing. It felt perverse to admit we were Americans, so I think we passed ourselves off as Canadians to anybody who asked. Ultimately we wisened up to the fact that the only strangers who bothered talking to us were members of some sort of cult or another. I don’t know why South Korea and Japan are such a breeding ground for Western cults.)

I think we signed our names to some sort of nuclear non-proliferation petition being done by one of the local high schools. What good it will do, I don’t know, but after seeing how much carnage just one bomb did, and then considering we dropped two of them, I’ll never understand why nuclear weapons haven’t been categorized alongside mustard gas and biological warfare. War is abhorrent enough as-is.

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There was a survivor of the bomb in attendance; we got the impression he’s there pretty regularly, but unfortunately he only spoke Japanese. He was probably just a child when the bomb was dropped and grew up amidst the radiation.

As the old man talked about his experiences in surviving the bomb and living in its wake, it was disappointing to see other tourists milling about, taking selfies and carrying on like they were at the beach.

One thing that definitely brightened the mood was a mother walking her toddler around the park. The toddler was wearing squeaky shoes that squeaked with every step. It gave us a much-needed laugh.

The aftermath.

After walking around the grounds for a few hours we were too depressed to visit the actual museum. We went back to eat at a restaurant literally called “Beer,” at which we freely indulged in its namesake to try to forget the somberness of the day. They had great pizza. I made a new friend on the way out.

Johnny

Pro-family and anti-drug, when he's not too busy living with four beautiful ladies, he likes long walks on the beach and poking dead things with sticks.

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