Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall

Remembering the victims of the atomic bomb

By Sleiman Azizi    - 2 min read

A thousand suns seared through a thousand lives as tears of horror rained out of the hearts of a city...

It is hard to put into the words the feeling one gets upon entering the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims. Tragically beautiful, Nagasaki's monument to the victims of that fateful day in 1945 is an unnerving place of deep reflection and quietude.

There is a vibe here, accentuated by the stark design and judicious use of light and shadow, of a silence begetting more silence, until I began to ask myself that most pressing of questions, why? An attempt to provide an answer is offered in the Peace Information Corner. Facts and figures are available here, touching, as they do, on dates, times, letters from survivors and so forth. Even names. 179,266 names are listed as victims of that day. Sombre in its isolation, a registry exists in the Remembrance Hall, the names of the silent in a hall of silence.

Even with all of this, the answers never really came. I don't know why. A small reflective pool at the end of the corridor leading to the Remembrance Hall only offered more silence. I gazed into that pool and waited for the placid surface of its water to reflect back an answer to my question, but I received no response.

Austere in its design, the Nagasaki National Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims is a beautiful place, but not an easy one to enjoy. Absorb its silence, honour its memory, and be thankful you are here.

Getting there

Take Tram line 1 or 3 to Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum Station (#20). The Memorial Hall is about a four-minute walk. If you are coming directly from Nagasaki Airport, take the Limousine Bus bound for JR Nagasaki Station and get off at Matsuyama-machi bus-stop. The Memorial Hall is about a five-minute walk.

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Sleiman Azizi

Sleiman Azizi @sleiman.azizi

A Japanese Permanent Resident, I drool over proper soba and sushi while Japanese aesthetics ticks all the right boxes for me.With over 100 published articles on Japan as well as 5 English language books written in a traditional Japanese style, I also happen enjoy writing. Funny that...I'm also the Regional Partner for Tokyo, Japan's never ending capital, so if you've anything to say about Tokyo - or Japan in general - don't be shy and contact with me via sleiman.azizi@japantravel.com

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Elena Lisina 3 months ago
Solemn and impressive!
Sleiman Azizi Author 3 months ago
It is, in the most reflective of ways.