The Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima has now become a very well-known tourist spot, and visits by foreign tourists, especially those from Western countries, have recently been increasing. However, since the museum is just a place to tell future generations about the war, your understanding of it will deepen if you know several things in advance. The following summarizes five points that you should know about before going to the museum.
1. Know the history of the Peace Memorial Museum.
When visiting tourist sites, if you know the history and origins of the place, how you feel about it and the degree of your understanding will change significantly. Especially in a place like this that tells you about historical events, it is hard to understand unless you have some degree of knowledge before going. Since various guidebooks and websites have information about the story of the museum, and why it was built, it would be good to check such things in advance.
2. Listen to lectures by those who experienced the atomic bombing.
The museum regularly holds lectures by those who experienced the atomic bombing. As the number of those who experienced the war gradually decreases, it would definitely be good to participate so that you can hear their very valuable stories.
3. Check such things as the special exhibitions.
Besides the permanent exhibition, there are sometimes special exhibitions for limited periods. Since such periods are the only opportunities for these precious materials to be displayed, you should certainly try and visit.
4. View the exhibit with an audio guide.
The Peace Memorial Museum lends out audio guides in each language. While it is fine to go around without the audio guide, you will have a deeper understanding if you view the exhibit while listening to the commentary of the audio guide. If you have the time, you should definitely try and use this as you take time going through the exhibit. Also, you can use it with ease since the audio guide is available in 16 languages.
5. Go and see the real thing after studying at the museum.
After learning about the misery and the horror of the atomic bombing by seeing the museum’s exhibits, please go outside and have an actual look at the Atomic Bomb Dome and the numerous memorial monuments. How you feel will probably change before and after you study at the museum. And this might be a good opportunity to discuss with friends and family the various things that you felt.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is certainly not a place that you should visit without serious thought. The museum is full of tragic exhibits that you almost want to avert your eyes from. However, they all contain a strong message. It is a place that has a powerful message not only for Japan, but also for the whole world. And its name has become more well-known globally because Barack Obama, the president of the United States, recently visited. Due to this, tourists will probably increase further, not only from Japan, but also from around the world.
It is very crowded during the season of the Obon festival in summer. We recommend that those who want to take their time looking around should avoid going during this period in mid August. Also, since the Peace Memorial Ceremony is held every year on August 6th, the day that the atomic bomb was dropped, it might be good to take the opportunity to try and attend this once.
This post is also available in: Japanese