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Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Hiroshima
Population
2,878,949

Hiroshima Peace Bell

For those who seek peace from the storms of society, a bell rings with hope.

At first glance, this modest, gray-colored dome-shaped bell in the middle of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park doesn’t inspire, but the genius is in the details. Completed in September of 1964 by bronze and metals artist Masahiko Katori, the peace bell is intricately etched, and can only be appreciated if standing directly under the bell. The dome covering the bell was intended, according to Katori, to represent the universe.

The shell of the bell, on the outside, shows a map of a boundary-less world that would have made John Lennon nod with approval. As you ring the bell, that haunting, broad echo is one of a list of 100 hundred sounds that, since 1996, Japan has made a goal to preserve.

Hiroshima

Landscape of Tomonoura (in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan)
If you look closely, you’ll notice inside the bell a picture of the atomic symbol of energy—a design meant to symbolize the eventual end of atomic weapons in the world. Around the bell is a pond outlined with lotus flowers. These same lotus flowers were used to staunch the bleeding of the victims on that fateful day of August 6th.

Masahiko Katori, who passed away in 1988, would have been pleased with the way his bell has remained a focal point of the Hiroshima Peace Park for the last half-century. Another bell of his can be found in San Diego, California, known as the Yokohama Friendship Bell.

Here is an excerpt from the poem by Hiroshima Higan-No-Kai near this the Bell of Peace:

“We dedicate this bell/ As a symbol of Hiroshima Aspiration: / Let all nuclear arms and wars be gone, / And the nations live in true peace!”

Before you go

In case you’re wondering about expenses, the cost to walk around outside the Hiroshima Peace Park and ring the bell is free.

Trivia

Landscape of Tomonoura (in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan)

Hiroshima

It’s easy to think of Hiroshima as a victim but this prefecture doesn't let tragedy define it.

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How To Get There

By train

From Tokyo station, take the Tokaido-Sanyo bullet train to Hiroshima station. It is a somewhat difficult thirty-five minute walk from the station to peace park. You could also take a bus via the Asahigaoka Line at Hiroshima station and get off at the Kamiyacho stop. The bus takes 10 minutes, followed by a short walk to the park. The Peace Bell is near the northern edge of the park.

By car

The trip will take around 10 hours from Tokyo station.

Where To Stay

Hotel Park Side Hiroshima Peace Park
  • Naka-ku Ote-machi 2-6-24 Hiroshima-Shi, Hiroshima 730-0051
  • 8.5/10
  • 0.2 km
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Hotel Sunroute Hiroshima
  • Naka-ku Otemachi 3-3-1 Hiroshima-Shi, Hiroshima 730-0051
  • 8.3/10
  • 0.3 km
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Million City Business Hotel
  • Naka-ku Ote-machi 3-2-24 Hiroshima-Shi, Hiroshima 730-0051
  • 7.3/10
  • 0.3 km
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Chizuru Ryokan
  • Naka-ku Fukuromachi 4-12 Hiroshima-Shi, Hiroshima 730-0036
  • 8.3/10
  • 0.3 km
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