The Children's Peace Monument in Hiroshima's Peace Park brims with color and joy. It is home to thousands of paper cranes which have been folded and sent by children from all over the world. Origami cranes have long been a symbol of peace in Japan, an idea made famous by Sadako Sasaki's quest to fold 1000 paper cranes in the hope of curing her illness. The Children's Peace Monument, built in 1958, was inspired by Sadako's story and in memory of all the children that died following the atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Along with being a place of remembrance and reflection, the monument is also a space of optimism. The thousands of colorful cranes and messages of peace which are on display exude a positive energy which is bound to leave you smiling and feeling hopeful for the future.
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My first encounter with Japan was in June 2013, when I spent a month in Tokyo/Hiroshima interning for Japan Travel. I knew from the moment that I set foot in this mesmerising country that one month would not nearly be enough time to enjoy what Japan has to offer. So here I am back in Japan, this time living and working in Sapporo City and brimming with excitement about the adventures that await around the corner!