Monday, April 14, 2014

Nagasaki: Atomic Bomb Museum

Nagasaki's Urakami area was the hypocentre of the Atomic Bombing on 9th August 1945. 

The turning point of the World War II was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Till date the twin bombings remain the first and only use of nuclear weapons in wartime. 
The first bomb, nicknamed "Little Boy", was dropped on Hiroshima on 6th August 1945. Three days later on 9th August 1945 at 11:02 am, the second bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki. The original target of this bomb was Kokura in north eastern Kyushu but due to bad weather conditions, the target was changed to Nagasaki. The intended target in Nagasaki was the Mitsubishi Shipyard but due to bad weather conditions and poor visibility, the nearby Mitsubishi Arms Factory became the intended target. However the bomb exploded 500 meters above the Urakami Cathedral, Japan's largest Catholic Church at the time. The Hypocentre Park marks the exact spot over which the explosion took place. The impact of the bombing was such that anything within the radius of 1 km was instantly destroyed. Many of the victims suffered severe burns from the heat caused by the explosion. The fires caused by the explosion wiped out almost 1/3 of the city. About 75,000 people died instantly, while an almost equal number succumbed to injuries in subsequent years. Six days later, the World War II ended. 

The Atomic Bomb Museum was opened in 1955 and rebuilt in 1996. Real objects damaged by the Atomic Bomb, photos and other relics related to the atomic bombing are displayed in the museum.

One of the rooms has exhibits which depict the city as it existed before the bomb was dropped over it. A clock which stopped at 11:02 at the exact time the bomb exploded, is also on display. 
A portion of the wall of the Urakami Church which was at the hypocentre of the Bomb explosion has been reconstructed in the museum. Another portion has been reconstructed in the Hypocenter Park next to the museum.

The development of the bomb, the attacks and the events leading up to the bombing are explained through visuals and photos. 

Some exhibits display the impact of exposure to radiation.Items found at the site of the explosion are also on display. 

Some leaflets which were dropped by the American forces before the bombs were dropped cautioning citizens to leave and informing the power of the atomic bomb are also on display. A copy of the Nagasaki Peace Declaration is also on display.Some visuals and exhibits can be depressing but they display the dangers of nuclear warfare. 

Goodwill messages and gifts from around the world are also on display. 

Admission: 8:30-18:30 hrs

Entrance fees: 200 yen

Closed :December 29-31st

Access: Walking distance from the Matsuyama machi station on Nagasaki Street Car Routes 1 and 3.

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