I am very please to launch my new series called Travel Inspirations with a guest post by Abigail King from Inside the Travel Lab. Sometimes it’s around the familiar corner and sometimes it’s around the world, but you never know when your travels will take you to a place that hits you deep, a place you will carry with you for the rest of your travels. This week Abigail shares with us some moving moments and beautiful photographs from her travels in Hiroshima, Japan. Welcome, Abigail!
The view from Miyajima island is often described as one of the most beautiful in Japan. A softly curved Torii, a scarlet figure a little like the symbol pi, rises out of the calm water against a backdrop of mountains and the ferryboats crossing from Hiroshima.
Laura invited me to write about a place I love and how it inspired me and I thought of this corner of the world. It’s tranquil now, with its rows of stony lanterns and gently lapping shore, but in 1945 it witnessed one of history’s worst moments.
When the Enola Gay dropped the world’s first atomic bomb, killing 80,000 in a single day and thousands more through injury and disease, the world was introduced to a new level of fear and horror. One that became synonymous with the name of the place itself.
How could such an act become inspiring?
A visit to twenty-first century Hiroshima, a clean city with efficient trams, schoolchildren in uniform, shopkeepers, parks and all the workings of a healthy, happy place, showed me the power of healing.
The Peace Memorial Park uses monuments, rainbow paper cranes and commemorative services not only to remember the dead but also to promote peace. A flame burns in front of the cenotaph, not in vengeance or retribution, but in peace.
Across the water, on Miyajima island, it’s easy to get swept up in the tourist driven port that sells geisha shoes, rice scoops and trinkets covered in calligraphy. However, as the sunlight fades, the island offers quiet, inspiration and even a glimpse of peace.
Abigail King is a journalist with a passion for travel. She blogs at Inside the Travel Lab and writes travel features for Cheap Weekend Breaks and MNUI Travel Insurance.
Wanderlust Woman says
As a New Yorker, you know what came to mind while reading this? Maybe the Big Apple needs a Peace Park and not some sorrow-filled memorial where the Twin Towers once stood. Wouldn't that be a great idea?
Thanks for inspiring, Abi.
Yet another place to add to my Wishlist of travel destinations.
Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy says
When I was in high school, I went with my choir and we sang in the Peace Memorial Park…we were definitely trying to heal through song 🙂
Abi King says
Wow, that's a really interesting point about New York. I actually think it's a much more powerful way to remember the dead – and to give people hope for the future instead of just fear.
Abi King says
I love the idea of schoolchildren travelling to heal through song as well.