Our last day trip was to the city of Hiroshima. Hiroshima was the city I was most looking forward to since I have a deep interest in social studies and history, especially that of World War II. The five-hour train ride surprisingly didn’t feel as long as it actually was. Although, we definitely felt the constraints of time since we were only able to spend about five or six hours in the city.
Right out of the train station, we caught a cab to the north side of Peace Park. With the Hiroshima Carp baseball game on the radio with the every-so-often cheer from our cab driver reacting to the game, it was already evident that Hiroshima truly was a city that rallied around baseball and each other.
The highlight of Hiroshima was the A-Bomb Dome, an untouched dome just a short walk from a three directional bridge, which was the hypocenter of “Little Boy”, the atomic bomb dropped on the city over seventy years ago. On the other side of the river, surrounding the dome lies Peace Park.
At the memorial, I couldn’t help but notice an odd feeling of guilt. Perhaps it wasn’t guilt, but it was something along those lines. Being an American that had nothing to do with the bombing that occurred well before my lifetime (and my parents’ as well), I still carried a guilt-like and dejected aura walking around the dome.
On the far side of the dome, I came across a group of Japanese people chatting and sitting in lawn chairs with books spread out at their feet. Books and binders that told the story of the day the atomic bomb was dropped on their city.
One woman who was sitting in the lawn chairs took some time to share her personal story about her grandparents who were in the city that day. It was a sobering tale, one that truly pulls at your heart in hopes that such tragedies need not happen again.
After spending a bit of time at the memorial, we decided to randomly wander about the streets, stores, and markets for the remainder of time we had left.