Oh, the Places You'll Go: Hiroshima

Hiroshima was one of my favourite places in Japan. I'm a sucker for stories, and sometimes my sense of empathy is so strong I can become sick with my compassion for others. (I'm also really humble, it would appear.) The history and stories buried underneath the pavement blew me away and will stay with me long after my plane landed back in Australia. 

My sister and I stayed right on the river, a few blocks down from the A-bomb Dome. Our first night in Hiroshima, we headed down to the Dome to see it at night. The atmosphere was beyond incredible. I couldn't imagine that just over 70 years ago, the city underneath my feet had been reduced to rubble and flames. There was almost nothing left, and yet here I was, arm-in-arm with my sister, strolling along the streets as cyclists whizzed past. 

A few weeks ago, I posted about what makes a place sacred. The A-bomb Dome is, without a doubt in my mind, a sacred place. The history and atmosphere was so heavy that it felt like a blanket wrapped around my shoulders. A bomb had exploded here in 1946 and killed between 90,000 and 150,000 civilians, teachers, school children, mothers, fathers. I stayed and sat in the story, and if the dead could speak I believe they would say that if we want to avoid history repeating itself then we must learn to accept each other and to turn to peaceful ways of dealing with our conflicts. 

Next was the children's memorial. Sadako Sasaki was two years old when the bomb was dropped, and when she was twelve she was diagnosed with leukaemia. She folded 1,000 paper cranes to be granted a wish, as per Japanese legend, but died about six months after being admitted to the hospital. The memorial was surrounded by glass cases full of paper cranes sent from around the world in a gesture of peace. It was beautiful. 

Finally, we visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. I had to speed through some parts, like the videos of victim testimonies, before I started crying in public. 

I pray everyone gets to visit Hiroshima. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Let us realise the arc of the moral universe is longbut it bends toward justice.” I hope it also bends towards peace. 


  1. Whoa. This must've been quite a strange experience. So sad that people often die unnecessarily...


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