Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum overlooks the Memorial Cenotaph in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It is the the primary museum related to the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. The museum was established in 1955 and was last remodeled in 1991.
The museum has a simple and clear message about nuclear weapons and doesn't bother to sugarcoat reality. It explains fully why Hiroshima City always demands an end to nuclear weapons on the anniversary of the bombing and after each nuclear test. Sensationalizing the truth is probably this museum's only sin as it hammers home its anti-nuclear weapons message relentlessly.
The museum entrance is on the first floor of the east wing. The western wing of the building is a conference center.
The museum starts with a linear series of articles that give an overview of the development of Hiroshima City before the war, detail wartime life and discuss the reasons for America's actions and the actual bombing itself. In fact, the museum itself is entirely linear in presentation.
Next, there are displays detailing the overall damage to the city and its impressively quick recovery. Efforts to help the wounded are also documented. The basic science of nuclear weapons, the history of their testing and the current global nuclear weapon are shown in the last room before the gift shop.
The last section, after you cross over raised walkway, tells the stories of those who perished instantly, those who succumbed to related illness and those who still are tormented.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is not a mausoleum of knowledge and artifacts. It continues to evolve as the era of nuclear armed nations progresses. For each nuclear weapons test, a new diplomatic protest is sent by the mayor of Hiroshima and added to the museum.
The graphic images and displays in the last portion may make some visitors uncomfortable. Parents or others minding younger children may wish to exit before reaching it. The gift shop is located before it for this reason.
Audio guides are available for 300 yen in over 15 different languages. All displays are well written in Japanese and English. A free theater that shows documentary films is located in the east wing as well.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is located at the south-end of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Group discounts are available. Student groups of more than 20 and their accompanying teachers are free. It is possible to receive free entry with fewer students if the group is from a small school.
From Hiroshima Station, the most convenient way to reach Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is by street car. Get on a street car bound for Miyajima(#2) or Eba(#6). The stop for the park, Genbaku Dome-Mae, will be announced in English. It is a flat fare of 160 yen to ride the street car within the city.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a 5 minute walk from the Hiroshima Bus Terminal in Sogo. Simply enter Shareo, the underground shopping mall, to cross the street and follow the signs.
Posted: April 5, 2011 Updated: February 21, 2015