In the wake of Enola Gay
25.04.2016 - 27.04.2016 24 °C
We spent the last few days in a little city called Hiroshima. Took the bullet train from Fukokua to Hiroshima and to our surprise it only took like 1.5 hrs. The hostel was within walking distance from the JR shinkansen train station which was amazing for us because public transport can become expensive after a while so the 5 min walk to our place was a nice change of pace. When we arrived at the hostel, they greeted us with smiles. We all shared a laugh at our extremely early check in, we underestimated just how fast the bullet train goes!
Had a pretty basic itinerary for Hiroshima but quickly found out this place actually has quite a lot to discover. Top on our list was to visit the A - bomb dome, so we did just that. We boarded a free bus (included in our 7 day JR pass) and went to check out the site.
For those of you who don't know the story of Hiroshima, spoiler alert the city was bombed in world war 2. The americans, along with consult from the commonwealth, dropped the first ever nuclear bomb intending to destroy human life. Hiroshima and Nagasaki still to this day remain the only nuclear strikes ever delivered for war. The bomb named "Little Boy" was detonated on August 6th 1945, approximately 600 feet above the Prefecture Exhibition hall, immediately turning everything to ash within a 2 mile radius. 80,000 died instantly, and over 200,000 total from the blast and fallout. Due to the trajectory of the blast downward, the halls' foundation and dome survived and was later renamed the A- bomb dome. This bomb was actually used to end the war. The Americans were set to invade a heavily fortified area of Japan and were predicting heavy casualties for both sides, approximately 5 million total. After weighing out the options, Truman could not risk deploying the bomb as simply a warning shot because it was not fully developed and could become a dud. This would take away all tactical and psychological advantage, not to mention the bomb costed 2 billion dollars at the time which was very expensive in 1945. The loss of life from Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced the surrender of Japan and ended the war. The A-bomb dome will forever remain standing as a sign of what these weapons are capable of and the capacity of mankind as a whole.
Visiting can only be described as bone chilling. I couldn't help but imagine what happened that terrible day in Hiroshima and felt sadness for the extreme loss of life. However if you ever get a chance to visit Hiroshima, I think you will be suprised at how beautiful it has become over 70 years. You can cruise the semi indoor shopping strip, take a ferry out to the shrine, or go for a bike ride over its many bridges and rivers that flow through it. I had great experiences in Hiroshima and it gave me a greater appreciation for times of peace that we (especially Millenials) sometimes take for granted. Now we are onto the next leg of our journey which takes us way off the beaten path up to the Nagano area to see Takato park and the cherry blossoms.
Rob and Erin *peace