A Tribute to Hiroshima and Nagasaki

To commemorate the lives that were lost in the atomic bombings, Peace Parks were created in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These beautiful outdoor spaces are informative and moving. With the peaceful presence of fountains, sculptures, strands of brightly colored paper cranes, and nature, you may be called to sit and ponder a while.

Both parks express strong desires for peace and pleas to end nuclear warfare, so I’ve accompanied my pictures with quotes from The Anti-War Quote Book

Hiroshima Peace Park

During World War 2, an atomic bomb was dropped- for the first time in history- on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. The blast and heat rays burned and crushed all buildings within a 2 kilometer radius. Around 140,000 lives were lost and thousands more suffered (and are suffering) from the effects of radiation.

“Hiroshima signaled a failure of mankind, not just of the United States. The growth of technology has far outstripped our ability to use it wisely.” -Pervex Hoodbhoy


 “As the bomb fell over Hiroshima and exploded, we saw an entire city disappear. I wrote in the log of my words: “My God, what have we done?” -Robert Lewis

 “We have guided missiles and misguided men” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Hiroshima peace park

 “I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Hiroshima Peace Park

“Nothing enduring can be built on violence.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Hiroshima Peace Park

I found the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (part of the Hiroshima park, pictured below) to be especially poignant- remains of a scorched tricycle and charred food in a lunch box brought me to tears.

“The practice of violence, like all action, changes the world, but the most probable change is to a more violent world.” -Hannah Arendt

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Museum

Nagasaki Peace Park

Three days after the bombing in Hiroshima, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945. Around 80,000 lives were lost, and again, more suffered (and are suffering) from the effects of radiation.

“I believe that there is a greater power in the world than the evil power of military force, of nuclear bombs- there is the power of good, of morality, of humanitarianism.” -Linus Carl Pauling

 “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” -Benjamin Franklin

Nagasaki Peace Park

“If the Third World War is fought with nuclear weapons, the fourth will be fought with bows and arrows.” -Louis Mountbatten

Nagasaki Pace Park

“It is never too late to do right.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nagasaki Peace Park

“I am not only a pacifist, but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace.” -Albert Einstein

Nagasaki Peace Park

“There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” -A. J. Muste

Nagasaki Peace Park

“Peace hath higher tests of manhood than battle ever knew.” -John Greenleaf Whittier

Nagasaki Peace Park

“Remember your humanity and forget the rest.” -Bertrand Russell 

Nagasaki Peace Park

“In war, as it is waged now, with the enormous losses on both sides, both sides will lose.” -Douglas MacArthur

Flowers at Nagasaki

“Peace can start with just one heart.” -Holly Near

Flowers at Nagasaki Peace Park

 “Here and now, as we offer our heartfelt consolation to the souls of those sacrificed to the atomic bomb, we pledge to join forces with people all over the world seeking the abolition of the absolute evil, nuclear weapons, and the realization of lasting world peace.” -Matsui Kazumi, Peace Declaration on August 6th, 2014

No war. Know peace.

Trip Planning: Here’s practical information about visiting the Hiroshima Peace Park, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and the Nagasaki Peace Park.


  1. lesvoyagesdumonde | 3rd Apr 15

    This is important. When we travel we sometimes forget about the sensitive issues surrounding a destination. We have become desensitized. Thoroughly enjoyed this read and will keep all those effected in my thoughts.

    • Words of a Wanderer | 16th Apr 15

      You’re right- it’s easy to forget about history and the stories that took place in different destinations, but I think both parks did a great job of presenting this sensitive issue in very heartfelt ways.

  2. Lexi | 4th Apr 15

    I love how you intertwined the quotes with the pictures. I think I would have cried too 🙁

    • Words of a Wanderer | 16th Apr 15

      Thank you! I thought the quotes went well with the pictures.. they perhaps did more justice than my words could have. 😉

  3. The Roaming Renegades.com | 5th Apr 15

    Lovely post and nice to see these events remembered to this day. As with other events and places we should never forget but sometimes it can feel a little under publicised or often too tied in with other politics that people over look the horror of what happened to normal, innocent people.

    • Words of a Wanderer | 16th Apr 15

      I completely agree with that. It’s nice that these parks were memorials to the lives that were lost- nothing more, nothing less. It’s perfect.

  4. Anneka | 5th Apr 15

    What an incredible place. Ralph Waldo Emerson is my favourite poet!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 16th Apr 15

      They really are incredible places. Glad I got to visit. And I had to put Ralph in the post.. haha 🙂

  5. alison abbott | 6th Apr 15

    What a thoughtful memorial they have designed with poignant reminders of the terrible events that took place. I can really imagine some time spent there in sensitive thought, as I was moved by the quotes and photos you shared.

    • Words of a Wanderer | 16th Apr 15

      I was moved too- it really is a special place. I’m glad you enjoyed the quotes and photos- I thought they went together like peanut butter and jelly. 🙂

  6. Kate | 22nd Apr 15

    A beautiful tribute. Thanks for writing this!

  7. Dr.Cajetan Coelho | 10th Aug 15

    Life is a precious gift.

    • Words of a Wanderer | 12th Aug 15

      Indeed it is! Thanks for stopping by!

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