When we walked along the streets of Hiroshima our attention was drawn to the contrast between the modern, busy city and some old buildings which were left here and there. The aged houses stood still like silent witnesses, the memories of the tragedy that the city faced 75 years ago. It was hard to imagine that once the nuclear bomb was dropped here killing over 100k people instantly scattering down the city to the ground.
After visiting the Peace Memorial Museum and the Fukuromachi Primary School Peace Museum, which both gave us a comprehensive image about the life in Hiroshima before and after the bombing, our minds were jumping into heartbreaking human destinies and to the stories of survivors. In The Peace Memorial park we glanced for a long time at the building that miraculously survived being in the heart of the explosion – The Atomic Bomb Dome. The strong effect of the Dome was laying in its fragility – the round-and-naked ceiling with the remains of the beautiful red tiled walls stood there like it would be facing everyday the last seconds of its own existence. Those monuments, today they are not only reminding of the devastation of war, but the most important, they represent the hope for the world peace.
Although Hiroshima has a tragic history, it also reflects how a city can rise from the ashes like the Phoenix. Despite many people believing nothing could grow there in decades, 170 trees survived and are growing to this day. The charred wasteland turned into a vibrant industrial city with over 2 million inhabitants and densely built estates surrounded by beautiful green parks. We loved our long walks around the lively city and admired the nature and the rivers that are flowing through it. In the evenings we took a rest in a unique retro self-service coin bar that had a vast collection of vintage vending machines and board games. Not many people, good music – a perfect place to drink japanese beer after walking our legs tired!