Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome
At 8:15 on the morning of August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb in human history was dropped on Hiroshima. The Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Products Exhibition Hall was almost directly below the hypocenter of the bomb, but somehow the framework of the building survived the explosion. The people who were inside the building at the time of the explosion unfortunately didn’t survive. The framework of the building still stands there today and now serves as a reminder of what happened. It is now usually referred to as the Atomic Bomb Dome, and it became a World Heritage Site in 1996. By preserving this history, it is hoped that visitors get an understanding of what suffering was caused by the war and the great value of peace.
There is also a personal story attached to the Atomic Bomb Dome, that of Hiroko Kajiyama. She was just a baby when the bomb dropped and she was exposed to radiation. Because of this, she developed leukemia and died aged 16. Her story appeared in the newspaper and has since been associated with the unspeakable suffering that was caused by this bomb and the Dome. It was her diary that has launched the Dome preservation movement, as it included the phrase “I think only that ravaged Industrial Promotion Hall (A-bomb Dome) will be there to tell the world how fearsome atomic bombs are”.
Nowadays, the Dome can be seen from the outside of the fences around it, and you can still tell that the inner structures are well maintained. In the last conservation effort in 2003, only a small amount of steel and resin was used to preserve the dome’s current condition. The nearby Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a place of prayer for all the victims, as well as for world peace and the banning of all nuclear weapons.
The Atomic Bomb Dome is one of the symbols of the city of Hiroshima and a highly recommended place to visit during the trip to Japan, due to its historical and spiritual importance.