Hiroshima's Peace Park and
     the Atomic Bomb Dome
Japan
Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park is located where the U.S.
dropped the first Atomic Bomb on August 6, 1945.  A second
bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.  The two A-bombs caused
Japan to surrender, ending World War II.  

The Hiroshima Peace Park includes a large Memorial
Museum dedicated to explaining what happened, including
the role of Japanese militarism in starting the war, showing
the Atomic Bomb's devastation of the city, and calling for an
end to nuclear weapons.  The Peace Park includes numerous
other memorials, statues, and paper cranes, which oppose
militarism and war.

Above you see the Cenotaph, containing the names of all
those killed by the Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima.  
Official ceremonies to mark the bombing take place here.  
Looking through the Cenotaph, you see the structure housing
the Flame of Peace, which will burn in Hiroshima until
nuclear weapons no longer exist anywhere on earth.  Lastly,
under the Cenotaph is a view of the A-Bomb Dome.   
The Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome stood nearly directly below
where the Atomic Bomb exploded.  This building was the
city's Industrial Promotion Hall.  That it survived the blast,
even as a shell, is hard to comprehend.  Now it stands alone,
neither demolished nor repaired, as the one structure from
August 6, 1945 left to remind us of war's terrible tragedy, and
the special suffering of Hiroshima.  It can be seen both as a
symbol of unbelievable destruction, but also as a sign of hope,
since the City of Hiroshima has endured and survived.  The
A-Bomb Dome was declared a World Heritage Site in
1996.      
A visit to Hiroshima's Atomic Bomb Memorial Museum can
be disturbing.  This picture shows the bomb as a red ball, still
hovering above the city and people it has destroyed.  The
A-Bomb dome is directly beneath the bomb, and the museum
site is marked by the white paper slightly to the left.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free streaming video of this trip,
"Castles of the Rising Sun", by clicking on:
http://www.adventurepics.com/IBE/video1.aspx?
VF=RisingSun.wmv