At 8:15 am on August 6, 1945, during World War II, the first atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima. The bomb targeted the city of Hiroshima and destroyed most houses and buildings completely. The Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall was at the 160 meters from the hypocenter of the atomic bombing and miraculously its dome and the outer walls survived. It changed its name to “Atomic Bomb Dome” and is preserved till today. It is also registered on the World Heritage List in 1996 as a facility to convey the misery of the war to new generations. It has been preserved to remind us not to repeat the war.
Dome and the Outer Walls
The outer wall has collapsed here and there and only the framework is left for the dome at the top of the building. It was originally built as a modern building designed by the Czech architect. Today, it has no trace of its former glory left. It only presents the grave threat of the atomic bomb.
Atomic Bomb Dome Back in the Day: The Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall
The building was originally designed by a Czech architect in 1915. Its name was changed from the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition to the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. It used to have events like art exhibitions and served as the cultural center of Hiroshima where many people got together.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is located alongside the Motoyasu River where the Atomic Bomb Dome stands. In the park, there are facilities such as Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Peace Bells, Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims. This park was built in 1954 to inform the newer generations of the hardships faced by Hiroshima and pray for peace.
Toro Nagashi Ceremony on 6th August
There is an annual ceremony to pray for peace in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on 6th August. People pray for peace and set toro (paper lanterns) adrift in the river flowing in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome. The colorful paper lanterns reflect their color in the water and gently flow down the river. They are lit with the fire from the atomic bomb which has been kept still today.