Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum Guide

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With about 1 million visitors per year, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and its surrounding Peace Memorial Park are Hiroshimas biggest and most popular attractions.

At the Peace Memorial Museum, you will learn about that tragic morning on the 6th of August 1945 when Hiroshima became the world’s first target of an atomic bomb strike. With its potent message of peace, the Peace Museum and Park is a must-visit in Hiroshima.

The museum is surrounded by the Peace Museum Park, a leafy green and lush park crisscrossed by walkways with lots of peace memorials and statues. Hugged between two rivers, the park is a lovely place for a stroll, and some peaceful reflections.

Statue of Prayer for Peace in Hiroshima Peace Park
Statue of Prayer for Peace in Hiroshima Peace Park
The Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Park is a lovely area of downtown Hiroshima

Although Hiroshima has a sad history and you probably only know it because of the atomic bombing, the city has a lot more to offer its visitors.

Read next: What To Do In Hiroshima – A 1-Day Hiroshima Itinerary

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum Guide

Here we give you our Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum And Park travel guide, including a walking route through the Peace Park with all its highlights and must-see attractions.

A Brief History Of The Atomic Bombing Of Hiroshima

The United States dropped two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities Hiroshima on the 6th and Nagasaki on the 9th of August 1945. It is estimated that as many as 226 000 people were killed, most of them civilians.

When World War II in Europe ended as Germany surrendered on the 8th of May 1945, the Allies (European countries, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, China, and the Soviet Union) shifted their focus to the Pacific War. They started planning an invasion of the Japanese mainland to defeat the Empire of Japan.

The Allied’s Manhatten Project produced two atomic bombs: Fat Man (plutonium implosion) and Little Boy (uranium fission).

In the Potsdam Declaration on the 26. of July 1945, the Allies called for the unconditional surrender of Japan. If not, the ultimatum would be prompt and utter destruction. But Japan ignored it.

Shortly after, orders were issued for atomic bombs to be used towards the Japanese cities Hiroshima, Kokura (now Kitakyushu), Niigata, and Nagasaki. These four cities were picked as they had large urban areas with significant military facilities like factories and supply storages.

Initially, Kyoto was also on this target list as a fifth city. But thankfully, it was spared as the Secretary of War for the US government asked that Kyoto be removed from the list due to its historical, religious, and cultural significance. He had been in Kyoto on his honeymoon and admired the city.

On the 6th of August 1945 at 08:15 AM, the US B-29 bomber “Enola Gay” dropped the Little Boy atomic bomb right above downtown Hiroshima. It was the first city in the world to be the target of a  nuclear strike.

The bomb contained about 65 kg/ 141 lb of uranium-235 and exploded at an altitude of 1900 feet (580 m) over the Hiroshima buildings. Due to crosswind, the atomic bomb missed its main target, the Aioi Bridge, and instead detonated right above Shima Surgical Clinic.

HIroshima city got wiped out by the atomic bombing in 1945
The atomic bomb wiped out 69% of Hiroshima city and killed 30% of its inhabitants.

The bomb released energy similar to 16 ± 2 kilotons of TNT. The blast was catastrophic and wiped out about 69% of the city’s buildings and caused fires across an area of 11 km²/ 4,4 square miles. A radius of 1,6 km/ 1 mile from the epicenter of the bomb experienced total destruction. Only the building structure of the Prefectural Industrial Promotional Hall (now Atomic Bomb Dome) remained standing. The fires spread quickly between the timber and paper houses, and everything burned down within a radius of 2 km.

About 30% of Hiroshimas population, 70-80 000 people, were killed immediately from the nuclear blast and the firestorms, and about 70 000 people were badly injured.

The atomic blast hit the hospitals hard, and over 90% of the doctors and 93% of the nurses in Hiroshima were killed or injured, which made helping the injured difficult.

Three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, on the 9th of August 1945 at 11:02 AM, the US B-29 bomber “Bockscar” dropped the Fat Man bomb containing a core of 5 kg/ 11 lb of plutonium over Nagasaki city. This bomb was even more powerful than the one that hit Hiroshima.

On the 15th of August 1945, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender on a national radio broadcast.

Read next: What To Do In Nagasaki – A 2-Day Nagasaki Itinerary.

Peace Attractions In Hiroshima

Hiroshima has several notable peace and atomic bomb memorials, buildings, and monuments.

The most important and famous ones are Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. They are all cluster together in the downtown area of Hiroshima and you can easily walk between them in just a few minutes (see the map below).

The map above: Notable atomic bomb buildings and sights in Hiroshima.

Peace Walking Tour With A Local Guide

To fully learn the story about Hiroshima’s past, present, and future, you should consider joining a guided tour.

On this 4,5-hour Peace walking tour of Hiroshima, you get to learn everything about Hiroshimas history from an English-speaking knowledgeable guide. He will guide you through Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Peace Park, Orizuru Tower’s observation deck, and Atomic Bomb Dome.

All entry tickets, lunch, and tour photos are included in this tour.
Click here for availability and the latest prices

Atomic Bomb Dome

The Atomic Bomb Dome, or A-Bomb Dome, is probably the strongest and most powerful symbol and memorial of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

Atomic Bomb Dome Hiroshima
The Atomic Bomb Dome is a strong symbol in Hiroshima

The building was originally used as the Industrial Promotion Hall to display and sell commercial products, constructed in 1915, designed by the Czech architect Jan Letzel. It was a modern building with an oval-shaped copper dome at its center. This was a grand one-of-a-kind European-style building, with a lovely location right by the river, making it a noticeable and cherished building in Hiroshima.

The atomic bomb exploded almost right above the building, killing everyone inside. But miraculously, the building did not collapse like all other buildings in this area of Hiroshima.

The skeletal ruins of the building have been preserved in the same state as immediately after the bombing. It was kept as a memorial of the casualties, and the dome is the most famous landmark of Hiroshima. It was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1996. The A-Bomb Dome is the symbol for the motto “No More Hiroshimas” and stands for abolishing nuclear weapons and peace around the world.

Hiroshima by night
The Atomic Bomb Dome is lit up after dark

The A-Bomb Dome is even more striking after dark when it is illuminated. It is open 24/7, so you can visit it any time, and it is free (no entrance fee).

Hiroshima Orizuru Tower

Just next to the Atomic Bomb Dome (on the east side), you will find the 50 meters tall Hiroshima Orizuru Tower with a rooftop observation deck. From here, you get a spectacular 360-degree panoramic view of Hiroshima Peace Park and the city. In fact, you can see all the way to Miyajima Island if the weather is clear.

Orizuru means folded paper crane and is a symbol of peace in Japan. The first floor of Orizuru Tower houses a cozy cafe and some souvenir shops.

  • Opening hours Orizuru Tower: 11:00 – 18:00
  • Ticket price Orizuru Tower Observation Deck: 1700 JPY = US$ 16 (adult), discounted tickets for children and teens
  • Orizuru Tower’s Official Webpage

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

  • Estimated visiting time: 2-3 hours

You cannot visit Hiroshima without making a stop at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Japan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is a must-visit

The Peace Museum houses a collection of items gathered from the ruins of Hiroshima city after the bombing.  The exhibitions are personal, confronting, and heartbreaking. It is not a joyful museum, and you will feel upset. But it is a must-see and an important reminder of the terrible effects of nuclear war. Its message is one of hope for a world without nuclear weapons.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
You learn all about the sad history of Hiroshima at the museum

When walking around the museum, you really get a feel for the horror, gruesomeness, pain, and hopelessness the people of Hiroshima must have felt. Here are ragged clothes, hardly recognizable toys, destroyed bicycles, a boy’s melted lunch box, and a watch that stopped at the exact time of the bombing 08:15.

The grim photographs of the destroyed and burned-out city and people walking around are horrific and brought tears to my eyes.

A childs bicycle at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
A bicycle from the atomic bombing

The east building shows the history of Hiroshima before the bombing. Here you can also learn about the development and decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima and the nuclear age, and efforts to have a nuclear-free and peaceful world.

Before you exit the museum, make sure to look at the video guestbook by leaders from around the world who have visited the museum. One of the strongest video messages is the one from the former US president Barack Obama who visited the museum in 2016 as the first sitting US president. He gifted origami cranes, a sign of peace.

The museum has two buildings:

  • Main Building:
    Victims and survivors of the atomic bombing
    Exhibitions: “Devastation on August 6”, “Damage From Radiation,” “Cries Of The Soul,” “To Live”
  • East Building:
    1st Floor – Ticket Counter, Audio Guide Rental, Temporary Exhibition Room, Video Theater, Library, Peace Memorial Hall, Museum Shop, Cafe
    2nd Floor – Permanent Exhibition: “Hiroshima History.”
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
The Peace Museum has two buildings – the main building and the east building

To get the most out of your visit to the museum, I recommend that you rent an Audio Guide, which comes in different languages: Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, Thai, Arabic, Indonesian, and Pilipino.

The museum has a nice little shop where you can buy books and goods. You can read books and magazines about the atomic bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the library.

You may feel a bit tired and emotionally drained after visiting the museum, we sure did, so it might be nice to sit down and have a break at the Aogiri cafe (1st floor, East Building), which serves light meals, lunches, ice cream, and different beverages.

  • Opening Hours Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: 08:30 – 18:00 March – July, until 19:00 in August (until 20:00 on 5. and 6. August), until 18:00 September – November, until 17:00 December – February. The last entry is 30 minutes before closing time.
  • Ticket Price: 200 JPY = US$ 1,9 (adult), 100 JPY = US$ 0,9 (high school students and seniors above 65 years old), free (children)
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum’s Official Webpage

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Located in the center of Hiroshima city is the green and lush Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park that surrounds Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The 120 000 m² park is designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange in memory of the victims of the nuclear attack.

Hiroshima Victims Memorial Cenotaph and Peace Memorial Museum Hiroshima
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park houses the Peace Memorial Museum

The park is a lovely green lung, hugged by rivers on both sides, and feels like a green little island in the middle of the city. The leafy space has a crisscross of walking paths and is dotted with memorial monuments, statues, and peaceful places with benches perfect for reflections. Sit down on one of the benches along the riverside, looking across to the Atomic Bomb Dome, a great place to have a break and take it all in.

The park is visited by over 1 million people each year and is the biggest attraction in Hiroshima, together with the Peace Museum.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is beautiful in autumn.

The park is open 24/7, so you can visit it day or night, and it is free (no entrance fee). See our recommended walking route through the Hiroshima Peace Park below.

DIY Walking Tour Of Hiroshima Peace Park

Peace Monuments, Cenotaph, Pond Of Peace & Flame Of Peace

The map above: DIY Walking Tour of Hiroshima Peace Park with all its attractions and memorials (A-J)

Here is an overview of our DIY walking tour or route of Hiroshima Peace Park with its main attractions:

A. Gates Of Peace
B. Hiroshima Victims Memorial Cenotaph
C. Pond Of Peace
D. Flame Of Peace
E. Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall
F. Rest House
G. Korean Atomic Bomb Victims Cenotaph
H. Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound
I. Bell Of Peace
J. Children’s Peace Monument

It only takes about 15 min (1 km) to walk through Peace Park. But of course, you want to stop at these attractions and memorials, and maybe take a break at one of the benches, so you could easily spend a couple of hours exploring the park.

Enjoy, and have a nice walk in Hiroshima Peace Park! ♥

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The Hiroshima Peace Park is perfect for a stroll

A. Gates Of Peace

The Gates Of Peace cannot be missed when walking along the Peace Boulevard towards the Peace Memorial Museum. It is a huge artwork consisting of ten huge gates made of glass and steel. Each gate is 2,6 meters wide, 1,6 meters long, and 9 meters tall. The ten gates stretch 75 meters east to west in parallel to the Peace Memorial Museum on the north side of Peace Boulevard.

Gates of Peace Hiroshima
The 9 meters tall Gates of Peace stands along Peace Boulevard. Photo by Hiroshima City. 

Walk close to the gates, and you will see that each gate has an inscription. It is actually the word “Peace” written in 49 different languages and 18 alphabets. Maybe you can find the peace-word in your language on one of the gates? In Norwegian, the word “Peace” is “Fred.” The peace-words are especially visible after dark when the words shine with light.

This art memorial idea of ten gates derives from the Italian poet Dante’s nine circles of Hell. Here in Hiroshima, it is nine gates of Hell + one extra for the living hell of Hiroshima being atomic bombed. However, the gates represent the strong wish for world peace and symbolize a bridge between the horrific past and hope for a peaceful future.

Gates of Peace was constructed in 2005 by the French artist Clara Halter and the French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte for the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing. It is a part of an international art project called “Wall For Peace.” The goal of the Wall For Peace Project is to have walls engraved with the word “Peace” in several cities around the world. In 2000 a peace cube was set up in Paris in France, and in 2003 a peace tower was constructed in Saint Petersburg in Russia.

B. Hiroshima Victims Memorial Cenotaph

The cenotaph, located in the middle of the Peace Park, is a concrete monument in a saddle shape. It covers a cenotaph or vault housing the names of all the people in Hiroshima who were killed by the atomic bomb, regardless of nationality. The arch is like a shelter for the dead souls.

Hiroshima Peace Park
Hiroshima Victims Memorial Cenotaph is shaped like a saddle

New names are added every year at the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony with the names of victims who died during the past year. As of now, more than 303 195 names are registered in the cenotaph. There is also a sheet with the text “Many victims with their names unknown.

The Memorial Cenotaph was constructed in 1952 as the first peace memorial monument in the park. It is designed by Professor Kenzo Tange at the University of Tokyo and has the same shape as a traditional ancient Japanese clay house.

Cenotaph pond of peace flame of peace in Hiroshima
You can see the Atomic Bomb Dome through the cenotaph

The cenotaph has a stone plate with the inscription/ epitaph: “安らかに眠って下さい 過ちは 繰返しませぬから.” Translated to English, this means: “Please rest in peace, for [we/they] shall not repeat the error.” The sentence’s subject is omitted and can be either “we” or “they.” This intends to memorialize the atomic bomb victims without politicizing or pointing the finger at anyone or any nation.

Professor in English Literature at Hiroshima University, Tadayoshi Saika, wrote the epitaph. His English variant of the honoring text is:

Let all the souls here rest in peace for we shall not repeat the evil.

Epitaph by Prof. Tadayoshi Saika, Hiroshima University

Where “we” refers to “all humanity,” and “evil” refers to “evil of war.”

There is also a sign in front of the cenotaph with an English explanation:

The inscription on the front panel offers a prayer for the peaceful repose of the victims and a pledge on behalf of all humanity never to repeat the evil of war. It expresses the spirit of Hiroshima — enduring grief, transcending hatred, pursuing harmony and prosperity for all, and yearning for genuine, lasting world peace.

The three peace element in line hiroshima victims memorial cenotaph flame of peace and atomic bomb dome
The cenotaph holds the names of all victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

C. Pond Of Peace

The rectangular pond of peace is located right in the middle of the Peace Park, encircling the Memorial Cenotaph and the Flame of Peace. It creates an illusion like the cenotaph and flame are floating on the calm water.

Pond of Peace in Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park
The Pond of Peace surrounds the Flame of Peace

The pond was constructed in 1957, and its dimension is 17 x 70 meters. A green fence of low bushes surrounds it.

The pond is quite shallow, and the cenotaph and peace flame gives nice reflections in the still water. The pond is thoroughly cleaned every July and December, so the water is clear, and you can easily see the grey granite slabs covering the bottom of the pond.

The still water gives a perfect surrounding to the cenotaph and flame and is a nice and peaceful area of the park.

D. Flame Of Peace

The Peace Flame/ Flame of Peace is unique and a strong symbol of hope for peace and a nuclear-free world.

Flame of Peace Hiroshima Peace Park
The Flame of Peace has been burning since 1964

The flame was lit in 1964 and has been burning ever since. It will remain burning until all the world’s nuclear weapons are destroyed, and mother earth is again free of these disastrous weapons.

Hiroshima Flame of Peace
The Flame of Peace, cenotaph, and Atomic Bomb Dome is lined up in a straight line

The Peace Museum building, cenotaph, Flame of Peace, and Atomic Bomb Dome forms a straight line.

E. Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall

The Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the atomic bomb victims is like a museum, library, and exhibition hall. It opened in 2002, and its message and slogan are “Never Forget.”

The memorial hall’s mission is to teach the world and future generations about nuclear weapons, their devastating effects, and the importance of peace.

Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall
Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall. The water is an offering to those who died craving water.

Visit the Hall of Remembrance, where you get to see Hiroshima from ground zero after the bombing on a 360-degree panoramic photo made of 140 000 tiles. It is a room for reflection where you can sit down and have a peaceful moment. In the center of the circular room, you will see a fountain that displays the time of the bombing, 08:15 am.

Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall
The Hall of Remembrance is a quiet room for reflection with a 360-degree photo of Hiroshima after the bombing.

In the Memorial Hall, you can read and listen to memoirs and testimony videos by survivors of the bombing, as well as photo portraits. There are also special exhibitions held at the hall (check their webpage).

There are often reading sessions in the memorial hall where you can enjoy reading A-bomb memoirs and poems. The library holds over 140 000 memoirs written by the survivors of the bombing.

The Memorial Hall was designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange (1913 – 2005), who also designed the Peace Memorial Museum, Cenotaph, and Flame of Peace.

F. Rest House – Tourist Information

The big brick house called the Rest House, constructed in 1929, was originally a Kimono shop and shopping center in a lively area of Hiroshima. It later (in 1943) became a fuel distribution station before the bombing, and renamed “Fuel Hall”.

Rest House Hiroshima
The Rest House, originally constructed in 1929, now houses the tourist information. Photo by Hiroshima City.

The atomic bombing made the roof collapse and the interior destroyed and burned, but the building structure miraculously survived.

All 37 people in the building at the time of the bombing died, except one person. The 47-year old Eizo Nomura, who was in the basement, was the only one inside the building which survived as the basement had a concrete roof that shielded him from the radiation. He lived into his 80s.

The building was restored in 1982 and called the Rest House.

The Rest House has recently re-opened (July 2020) after a two years renovation process which put the building back to its original shape of 1929. Today, it houses the tourist information and a souvenir shop on the 1st floor, and a cozy cafe on the 2nd floor with great views of Atomic Bomb Dome. There is an exhibition area on the 3rd floor. You can enjoy free Wifi in the Rest House.

Make sure to walk down into the basement as it is kept intact after the bombing and is like a small museum.

  • Opening hours Rest House: 08:30 – 18:00 (March – November), until 17:00 December – February, and until 19:00 in August (until 20:00 on the 5th and 6th of August).

G. Korean Atomic Bomb Victims Cenotaph

Korea was part of the Empire of Japan between 1910 and 1945. Many Koreans came over to Japan to find work, and it is estimated that over five million Koreans lived and worked in Japan in 1938, many in the military.

It is estimated that at least 45 000 of the dead and injured from the atomic bombing in Hiroshima were Korean laborers. One of the killed was the Korean prince Yi U who served as a lieutenant colonel in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II and lived in Hiroshima. He only became 32 years old.

Korean Atomic Bomb Victims Cenotaph Memorial Hiroshima Peace Park
Monument (Cenotaph) in Memory of the Korean Victims of the A-bomb

The Korean Atomic Bomb Victims Cenotaph is a memorial monument for these Korean victims. It is a rectangular-shaped column with two dragons on the top, standing on a gigantic turtle. You will notice that the cenotaph is decorated with Korean national symbols.

Why the turtle, you might ask? In Korea, China, Japan, and Vietnam, the turtle shell symbolizes heaven and was often used in fortune-telling. The turtle’s four feet represent the four corners of the earth, and the flat square of the turtle’s body is the symbol of earth.

The turtle is believed to be a magic animal that united heaven and heart, like the turtle carries the world on its back. This belief derives from Taoism/ Daoism, a philosophical tradition and religion that originated in China. The turtle is also regarded as an immortal creature, and you will often see it on gravestones in Japan and China.

The Korean memorial monument was completed in 1970 and was originally placed near the place where the Korean Prince Yi U body was found after the atomic bombing. It was moved into Peace Park in 1999.

The monument has the inscription:

The Monument in Memory of the Korean Victims of the A[tomic]-Bomb. In memory of the souls of His Highness Prince Yi Wu and over 20000 other souls.

The side-inscriptions of the monument says:

Souls of the dead ride to heaven on the backs of turtles.

H. Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound

Many of the people that were killed by the atomic bomb were impossible to identify and were cremated. The Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound, a big grass-covered hill, holds the ashes of 70 000 unidentified victims in an underground vault. Either their names are unknown, or their relatives are also dead.

Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound Hiroshima Peace Park
The Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound in Hiroshima Peace Park is a large, grass-covered knoll that contains the ashes of 70,000 unidentified victims of the atomic bomb.

Every year, Hiroshima City publishes a list of names of atomic bomb victims whose identity has been found in the hope that relatives will claim the ashes. Memorial services are regularly held in front of the mound by different religions and sects.

Before the bombing, there was a Buddhist temple here, and the area of Hiroshima was called Jisenji-no-Hana.

The circle-shaped mound is formed after an imperial tomb typical for the Memoyama Period (1583 – 1600). A small stone pagoda sits on the top of the mound. The mound is 16 m in diameter and 3,5 m tall. It was designed by Kikuji Ishimoto, who later designed the former Hiroshima Municipal Baseball Stadium (1957).

I. Bell Of Peace

There are actually three Peace Bells in Peace Park, but this is the biggest and considered the main Bell of Peace. Make sure to ring the bell for world peace. When walking around in Peace Park, you will hear the bell ringing, almost like chanting.

Bell of Peace Hiroshima Peace Park
Ring for peace on the Bell of Peace

The bell was constructed in 1964, donated by the Greek embassy, designed by Masahiko Katori. Walk up close to the bell, and you will see a map of the world covering the bell’s surface, where the “sweet spot” is an atomic symbol.

You will also notice three different inscriptions on the bell – in Greek, Japanese, and Sanskrit. The English translation of the Greek text (γνῶθι σεαυτόν) is:

Know Yourself.

The Greek philosopher Socrates

The Sanskrit text on the bell is by the Indian ambassador and is a quote from Longer Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra. Translated to English, it means:

The lord of vast light, incomparable and infinite, has illuminated all Buddha countries in all the quarters, he has quieted passions, all sins, and errors, he has quieted the fire in the walk of hell.

Longer Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra

A small Peace Bell is only used for the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony on the 6th of August. On the other days of the year, you can see it displayed in the east building of the Peace Memorial Museum.t

J. Children’s Peace Monument

The Children’s Peace Monument is my favorite monument in Hiroshima Peace Park. The monument is of a young girl holding a paper crane while standing on a tall three-legged cement socket. A boy and a girl are standing at the sides. You will see several large glass cases containing thousands of colorful paper cranes behind the monument, a symbol of peace in Japan.

The story behind this monument is heartbreaking. The bronze girl standing on top of the monument is of young girl Sadako Sasaki, who died of radiation poisoning caused by the atomic bomb.

According to an old Japanese saying, you are granted one wish if making one thousand origami paper cranes. Sadako decided to make one thousand origami cranes and her wish would be a world without nuclear weapons. Sadly she died of leukemia on the 25th of October 1955, only twelve years old, having achieved her goal of making a thousand cranes, but her wish for a nuclear-free world has sadly still not yet come through.

After Sadako’s death, her classmates and school children all over Japan started a fundraising campaign, and the money was used to build this monument. The monument is by the artists Kazuo Kikuchi and Kiyoshi Ikebe, and it was unveiled at a ceremony on the Japanese Children’s Day holiday on the 5th of May 1958.

You can see an inscription on a black marble block, which in English means:

This is our cry, this is our prayer: for building peace in the world.

That ends the walking tour of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Events In Hiroshima Peace Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony – 6th Of August

On the anniversary of the atomic bombing, the 6th of August, a memorial service called the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony is held at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

Thousands of colorful paper lanterns for the souls of all the dead from the nuclear blast floats down the Kyuotagawa River in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome.

The paper lanterns are a strong and beautiful sight.

Read more: 10 000 Lanterns At The Peace Memorial Ceremony – Hiroshima

How To Get To Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum

From Hiroshima Station, take the Hiroshima electric tram and get off at Genbaku Dome-mae Station or Hon-Dori Station.

Or take the Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus “Hiroshima Meipuru~pu” and get off at the “Peace Memorial Park (Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)” bus stop.

Where To Stay In Hiroshima

Top End

Sheraton Grand Hotel Hiroshima

Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel
Our fantastic room at Sheraton Grand Hotel Hiroshima

We stayed at Sheraton Grand Hotel in Hiroshima and had a fantastic stay. It is a modern high-end hotel situated in a great location just opposite Hiroshima train station with plenty of transport, shopping, and dining options nearby.
The rooms are large, bright, and well furnished with comfortable beds and all modern comforts. Breakfast has a good selection of both Japanese and Western food. The Wi-fi is free and fast. We would definitely stay here again.
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Mid Range

Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima
Rihga Royal hotel offers excellent value for money, and its location is fantastic for exploring Hiroshima. The Peace Memorial Park and the city’s buses are both within easy walking distance, and the views overlooking the beautiful Hiroshima Castle are spectacular. Rooms are spacious, well furnished, and comfortable with every modern amenities including free Wi-fi. Breakfast is excellent, and there is even a swimming pool!
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Candeo Hotels Hiroshima Hatchobori
Candeo Hotels is a new fresh hotel centrally located within walking distance of the Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, and public transportation. Rooms are relatively small but tidy, clean, and comfortable. The staff speaks English and there is a lovely Onsen/hot bath on the roof perfect after a long day sightseeing.
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K’s House
K’s House operates hostels in a few cities across Japan, and we’ve always found them to be quite excellent, with friendly and helpful staff and clean and comfortable rooms. This one is thankfully no exception. The JR train station and a tram station are just a short walk away making it a great base from which to explore the city. There are both dormitory-style rooms, as well as western-style private rooms with bathrooms available.
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That’s it, our ultimate guide to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum with the best walking tour/ route of the Hiroshima Peace Park, including its main attractions.

Although we came to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Museum and Park, Hiroshima took us by surprise with its fantastic sights and attraction. Check out what else you should see and do in Hiroshima.

Also, make sure to check out what else you should not miss when going to Japan in our recommended Japan itinerary.

To get the full picture and learn all about the atomic bombings of Japan, you should also visit Nagasaki (a 9-hour train trip one way from Hiroshima).

Make sure to check out what you should not miss when visiting Hiroshima in our recommended 1-day Hiroshima itinerary.

Read next, our other articles about Hiroshima: 

What To Do In Hiroshima – A 1-Day Hiroshima Itinerary

Where To Stay In Hiroshima – Our Favorite Hotels & Areas

Autumn Colors At The 400 Years Old Shukkeien Garden, Hiroshima

10 000 Lanterns At The Peace Memorial Ceremony – Hiroshima

I would also recommend that you do a trip to Miyajima from Hiroshima. Read our articles about Miyajima Island:

What To Do In Miyajima – A 1-Day Miyajima Itinerary

A Journey To The Sacred Mount Misen – Miyajima Ropeway

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Guide to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum      Guide to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum

Do you plan on visiting Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park? Will you see other attractions in Hiroshima, or maybe take the ferry over to Miyajima? We would love to hear from you in the comment area below. If you like this article and find it useful, please share it on social media. Thanks! 🙂

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About The Writer Maria Wulff Hauglann

Maria is a Norwegian travel nerd who has explored more than thirty countries on four continents. She holds a master's degree in Computer Science, as well as an MBA. In 2014 while on a year-long trip across South East- Asia, Maria co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads to help others get out and explore the world. In 2018 she left her day job permanently for a life of full-time travel. See our about page for more about Maria.

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