A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

The A-bomb’s Hypocenter

On August 6th, 1945, the atomic bomb “Little Boy” exploded roughly 180 meters (590 feet) straight up above this quiet spot on a side-street of modern day Hiroshima, Japan. Atlas Obscura 

Upon our arrival in Hiroshima, we were fortunate enough to have booked a walking tour with an amazing guide, Keiko, from which we learned quite a bit about the history of Hiroshima. Keiko’s own father, who lived 40 kilometres from the city was visiting Hiroshima that fateful morning and was at the train station when “Little Boy” hit the city. Fortunately, as he was wearing a white t-shirt, his burns were limited to his limbs and face. But from that point on, he never talked about his experience, not even to his daughter who became a guide and recounts this tragic story almost every single day. Some want to bury these memories while others need to voice them so we never forget.

Hiroshima has a beautiful way, however, to vow for peace and prosperity. This is done through paper cranes that are made, bought and sent to Hiroshima by the millions every year. The story goes that this little girl who was a toddler at the time of the explosion developed leukemia. She was told if she made 1,000 paper cranes, her wishes would come true. She was indeed able to complete the cranes before her death, and the paper cranes became the symbol of peace for the city and country as a whole.

Walking through the city and learning about nuclear power was as beautiful as it was horrifying. It seems the world needs to be shown devastation for it to work toward peace and harmony. And even then, history keeps repeating itself and we keep electing leaders for whom world peace is second to wealth and profitability.

As for our accommodations, well, our Canadian backs (or knees!!) are simply not made for mats on the floor to sleep, eat and play. As much as I wanted the true Japanese experience, getting to the floor and up put a real strain on my body and my poor feet took the brunt of it. I feel like an injured duck walking through the streets of the city while beautiful kimono-clad women walk gracefully by.

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