While travelling on the bullet train to Hiroshima, one inevitably thinks about everything you have ever learned about the devastating events that transpired here during the Second World War. On 6th August 1945, the Enola Gay dropped the first of two atomic bombs over Hiroshima. The city was levelled instantly from the blast and thousands of people were killed in the explosion and its aftermath. In all honesty, I was unsure of what to expect on arrival in this place that has sadly become famous for one tragic reason.
Despite its harrowing past, I was immediately surprised to see that Hiroshima has not only recovered but is now a buzzing and exciting metropolis, with huge amounts of growth, lots of green open parks and a young, thriving population. I boarded the tram and headed to the infamous Atomic Bomb Dome and the Peace Memorial Park, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The dome was the only structure left standing following the disaster, so it was decided that it should remain permanent on the city’s skyline as a poignant reminder of the past and a symbol for future peace. While I walked around trying to take it all in, I found the sheer scale of the 1945 bombing hard to comprehend. The atmosphere is solemn but respectful. As the canal flowed behind me and the sun slowly set in the sky above, I found the experience both moving and intense.