(The following post is from 2010. I imported my blog posts from my month long trip to Japan for posterity and to remember fondly!)
Sorry it’s been a while since I last updated. I used the JR pass to go afield and didn’t have room to carry my laptop and fit enough clothes to last.
Hiroshima Photo Set ** Enter Hiroshima photo swipe album here **
On my trip to Hiroshima. I took the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka. Then from there, changed to another platform to go the rest of the way to Hiroshima. The whole trip on the bullet trains was about 5 hours.
At Hiroshima, I stayed at a Youth Hostel. It was really cheap! about 45 dollars for two nights. Since it was early in the season, there were not many people there and I got a room to myself. The rooms consisted of a bunkbed and dresser for holding your luggage. Generally meant for 2 people per room. There was a public bath area for showering, a kitchen, and a dining area for hanging out.
The first night I got there I decided to take the bus and just go somewhere and get a feel of the area. Afterwards I headed back to the hostel and went to bed.
The Peace Park is dedicated to preserving the memory and serving as a memorial for all the people killed in the atomic bombing.
There, I was approached by a group of Japanese High School students who asked me about what how America viewed the bombing. I told them that I felt that more people would have died had we not used the bomb and ended the war then. Japan would have kept fighting till the end. They asked how America felt about nuclear warfare and I explained about deterrence. If someone bombs us, we bomb them back. If I can’t have my way, neither can you. It’s kind of ridiculous, but now that this type of warfare exists, either you have it or you don’t, and another country that does can hold it over your head.
At the park, there is a museum with all sorts of information on the bombing and its effects. This was the most interesting museum I went to on this trip, although morbid. Most of the people killed in the bombing were Chinese and Koreans forced into labor by Japan because Japan lacked resources. I learned about all sorts of propaganda used and acts established to limit peoples expression of thought. The Japanese forced everyone to turn in their metal to be used for making weapons, people were evicted from their homes in order to demolish houses for fire blockades etc.
The scientists who helped create the bomb wrote a letter talking about their views that Japan should be warned before its use. They wanted to have a demonstration on an uninhabited area. Although there is a possibility Japan would have seen this and surrendered, I don’t think they would accept the terms they did once the bombs were used on inhabited cities. Japan really wanted to keep its imperial system, basically a dictatorship. We see how horrible the conditions are in North Korea, that might have been Japan today as well.
But anyways, yeah it’s controversial stuff. It’s a shame so many people died because their government wasn’t ready to surrender.
This is the A-bomb dome. A building preserved since the bombing to look exactly as it had back in 1945.
This is Hiroshima Castle, destroyed in the bombing and later rebuilt. Today it serves as a museum. I got in there kind of late and it closed like 30 minutes after I paid to get in. WHAT WHERE IS THE OPEN HOURS SIGN. Oh well, I saw what I wanted to see.