Hiroshima - March 2014

10 days in Japan will give you a lot of material for a photography blog. From the cutting edge of technology to ruins dating back a thousand years, Japan's culture is as diverse as it is breathtaking.

We stayed in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka. It was Hiroshima i knew the least about. Hiroshima, (like Nagasaki) is synonymous with the last chaotic days of WW2, but I'd always thought that was the end - Hiroshima was gone.  I didn't realise it was a functioning thriving city.

 View from the Sheraton Hiroshima

View from the Sheraton Hiroshima

The Atomic Dome is the starkest reminder of August 6th, 1945. The Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall was completed in 1915, and was the only building left standing following the detonoation of Little Boy. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. 

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Sasaki Sakado died aged 12 in 1955 from leukemia. She was two years old and 1 mile from Ground Zero when Little Boy exploded. Following a Japanese legend, Sakado dertmerined to fold 1000 paper cranes, in the belief she would then be granted a wish - to live. Her memorail, the Children's Peace Monument was unveiled in 1958.  Surrounding the statue are cabinets filled with chains upon chains of tiny origami cranes.

The museum was established 11 years after attack. and whilst one could never call it  a fun afternoon, it is both incredibly sad and inspirational.

You probably already know this, but Japan gets cold. Very cold. I was under the (mostly incorrect) assumption we would be greeted with Sakura Fever, but instead the biting cold was a stark departure from tropical Manila. However, there were moments when the sun shone, and one realises how beautiful the Peace Park really is.

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 The Cenotaph, home to the eternal flame. The arch is intended to serve as a shelter to the 70,000 souls lost to the atomic bomb.

The Cenotaph, home to the eternal flame. The arch is intended to serve as a shelter to the 70,000 souls lost to the atomic bomb.