Nagasaki Peace Park stands as a memorial to those that perished to the dogs of war. What was war, is now a place of peace, a reminder of the past and a symbol of hope for the future. Serenity replaced the once horrific site of war through magnificent sculptures and beautiful botanicals. The Peace Statue is a symbolic piece of sculpture evoking emotions for visitors. The hand that points to the sky warns of the falling fires from the heavens, the left hand stretching to the horizon symbolizes eternal peace and the closed eyes are of prayers.
This is just one of the stops you can make to discover the Nagasaki Prefecture up close and personal. Here are 7 reasons to visit the Nagasaki Peace Park:
1. The Peace Symbol Zone: the coming together of nations
Nagasaki City set up a peace zone city in 1978. A pour of donations reached the city from other countries that supported this advocacy. Donated from around the globe are art pieces with hopes that the message of peace is spread throughout. There are around 18 sculptures received, but what stands tall amongst those monuments is The Peace Statue, which is a masterpiece of Seibo Kitamura, a local of Nagasaki.
2. The Botanicals: see a garden of life
The monuments of the Nagasaki Peace Park are looking sharp and brave like the sentinels that they are. The memories of the lives lost and a reminder to the future generations adorned the site with beautiful arrays of botanicals that have been donated from around the world. It is amazing to see the plants flourish from the soil that was said to remain barren for 75 years. The plaque of ‘Flower of Love and Peace’ a donation from Poland in 1986 reads: “Like a phoenix reborn from the ashes, like a flower grown out of stone, mankind affirms its existence when peace reigns over the Earth” exemplifies this garden. Feel the magic as you stroll through the park. Calm and inspire your soul around the many flowers and trees that brought back the colors of life in this area.
3. The History: remember the past
On August 9, 1945 the United States dropped a nuclear weapon on the city of Nagasaki that so many lives were taken in an instant with no discrimination. The Nagasaki Peace Park stands as a reminder of these events. The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum is located next to the park where the history leading up to these events is reflected upon. The memorial halls also preserve materials about the atomic bombings and records of radiation illnesses among others. These are archived for the present and the future generations to understand and learn from the sordid past.
4. In Memoriam: of lives and loved ones lost
The Nagasaki Peace Park is also dedicated to those who would like to memorialize their deceased loved ones. The tranquility the place offers makes a great location to connect with the heavens and contemplate in peace. A memorial tribute to those who died from the 1945 bombing is held at the Peace Park every year. Hundreds arrive and pray for the 70,000 people who died in the attack. Both new and old generations remember the loss that occurred in the devastation of so many lives, as we try to teach the next generation of the cost that war takes upon humanity.
5. Happier Times: the season of cherry blossoms
It was with hard work and sacrifice that built Nagasaki as what it is today. The beautiful city is a commemoration of the resilience and determination of its citizens. Spring comes to Nagasaki where the flowers and greeneries start to sprout. Sakura, the vernacular of cherry blossoms is something to look forward. The Nagasaki Peace Park has around 200 trees, which makes this place the best spot for Hanami or Cherry blossom viewing.
6. Surviving Through Time: see a welcoming city!
Go to the Nagasaki Peace Museum, located near the Nagasaki Peace Park. It is where you can check items and artifacts recovered after the bombing. The watch in the photo above is a central exhibit in the museum. It captured the exact time that the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. So is it safe to visit the city or the peace park, which is the epicenter of the destruction? Yes, it is. The amount of radiation in both two locations of the bombings, Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not enough to affect human health. These bombs have exploded up higher and the radioactive material has dissipated over the air or to the sea. If no amount of science will convince you, check the natural wonders around. Plants started to grow just 30 days after the bomb was dropped. Through time, the city is thriving and surviving.
- Name: Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
- Price: 200 Yen
- Opening hour: 8:30 to 18:30
7. A Call for Peace: the war is over
People from all over the world continue to visit this shrine in search of peace. May it be that elusive peace within or peace for all humanity. You will find plenty of time and space for contemplation. Learn how the nuclear era with the technology innovation could bring devastation. This historical monument is an avenue for you to do some soul searching and realize that as humans we can be better. Find the corner where you can write and offer your wishes and prayers. You will see many notes written, a remembrance of the sad story of Nagasaki or a wishful message for peace on earth.
- Name: Nagasaki Peace Park
- Address: Japan, 〒852-8118 Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki, Matsuyamamachi, 2400−3
- Price: Free Admission
- Phone: +81 95-829-1171
- Website: http://nagasakipeace.jp/index_e.html
The Nagasaki Peace Park is walking distance 2 minutes from the tram stop of Matsuyanama-Machi. From the Nagasaki train station, that would be a 45-minute journey. However, once you are in the park, no matter how short or long your visit is, it would be a journey to remember.
Have a good trip and travel!