Location: Nagasaki Peace Park and Museum

It's time to continue (and pretty much finish) my adventures through Nagasaki. A short hike down from the One-Pillar Torii sits the hypocenter of the second atomic bomb drop.
 Above ground sits a museum, while beneath this reflecting pool is the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims. The two glass blocks will come into play later.
 Some parts of the hall are dark. Empty. This hall is meant for rememberance only.
 Those two glass blocks that protrude toward the sky drop deep into the main hall, letting in natural light through 12 pillars. The names of all the victims are stored in the case in the center of the hall.
 The museum is linked to the hall by a passage. As with Hiroshima, broken timepieces tell the moment when the bomb exploded.
 A large open space gives a feel for the destruction one might have felt walking through Nagasaki after the bomb was dropped.
 Artifacts. The museum has a lot of the same themes and types of displays as found at the Hiroshima museum. However, those truly interested in both cities' histories will want to visit both museums.

It's hard not to make comparisons between Hiroshima and Nagasaki's efforts to educate about, and honor the victims of, the atomic bombs. Each have a rememberance hall, a museum, at least one landmark remain (the A-Bomb dome in Hiroshima and the One-Pillar Torii in Nagasaki), and a park at the hypocenter.
 Nagasaki sits on a hill, so one must walk downhill a little ways to get to the hypocenter park. The hill is landscaped well to make a series of trails that give a small sense that one has escaped from a city.
 At the top of the hill is this piece of art.
 As you travel down the hill, other memorials are in place.
 As with Hiroshima, the paper crane here honors a young girl who died of leukemia after being exposed to radiation from the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Cranes symbolize good luck in Japan.
 At the bottom of the hill, a large open area leads up to the hypocenter.
 Here, more memorials are found.
 At the hypocenter, a sunken portion of earth is found.
 Nearby, a few remains from a nearby shrine are tucked in the trees.
 A memorial is found at the actual hypocenter.
 This is the hypocenter. Note the brick wall in the near background on the right.
 These are remains from what was the grandest cathedral in Asia. The cathedral sat a couple hundred meters away, and has since been rebuilt.
 Looking back at the cathedral and hypocenter through some flowers.
 Nearby is the memorial park. This fountain was installed in 1969 to answer the victims' cries for water.
 A collection of monuments donated from other countries lines a promenade leading from/to the fountain.

 Also along the promenade is the public building closest to the hypocenter at the time of the explosion.
 All that remains now are simple foundations. The story tells how powerful the blast was: (remember, you can click on a picture to enlarge it)

 Finally, you reach the 10 meter tall Peace Statue.
The statue's right hand points to the threat of nuclear weapons, while the left hand symbolizes peace. At the base of the statue is a vault containing the names of all the victims and survivors who have died since the Nagasaki bombing. (Note: I have conflicting information which says this vault is located in the black pillar monument at the hypocenter.)

As I mentioned earlier, the Nagasaki site, though set up for tourism, feels less touristy. That might be because it's a lesser-visited site. Most people visiting Nagasaki for sightseeing will be interested in the Peace Park, but for those who don't have another reason to go all the way to Nagasaki, the Hiroshima location will serve the same purpose.

Nagasaki Peace Park is spread out among three side-by-side sites. The Peace Statue, memorial statues and fountain are found in the north section of the park. A street lined by commercial and residential buildings separates that section from the smaller southern section containing the hypocenter monument and cathedral remains. Finally, the museum and memorial hall is up the hill to the east. Due to the terrain and layout of the park, the entire "complex" forms a sort of C shape. The easiest access is from Matsuyamachi Station via tram line 1 or 3, which is across the street and behind some buildings from the parks, just to the west. The museum is open 8:30-5:30 (6:30 May-August) and admission is 200 yen.

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