Nagasaki Peace Park commemorates one of the most violent and tragic moments in world history, WWII. At 11:02 on August 9, 1945, much of the Nagasaki area turned to ashes as an atomic bomb detonated, killing around 10,000 people and affecting about 74,000 inhabitants. To mark the tragedy and pray for the victims, local sculptor Seibo Kitamura created the Heiwa Kinen-zo statue. Completed in 1955, the statue is intended to help prevent such incidents in the future and wish for world peace.
The bronze statue sits 9.7 meters above its base of around 3.9 meters and weighs around 30 tons. The right hand of the statue is raised up, symbolizing threat of nuclear weapons, while the extended left hand shows the symbol of peace. Its eyes are closed in order to pray the souls of bombing victims. Interestingly, the statue portrays a non-Japanese individual because it symbolizes a person who goes beyond human races.
The surrounding area of Nagasaki Peace Park is filled with statues and monuments. There is a black pillar marking the atomic explosion’s center in Hypocenter Park with a list of bomb victims, as well as a peace bell and monuments donated from various countries. Every August 9, a memorial service for the dead and a peace ceremony is held in front of the Heiwa Kinen-zo statue to commemorate the tragedy and pray for the souls of bombing victims and for world peace.
Near the Peace Park, there is an atomic bomb museum that is open daily from 8:00 to 18:30, though it is closed from December 27 to 31. With an entrance fee of only 200 yen, visitors can learn the history of the Nagasaki atomic bomb and explore the gallery. Facilities such as a rest area, cafe, souvenir shops and free wi-fi so visitors can enjoy their trip to historic Nagasaki.
There is no entrance fee for the Peace Park itself. Be advised, though, that the park may be full of visitors — it is a popular spot on holidays, and on weekdays many students come on school field trips to learn the history of the tragedy. The Peace Park also offers visitors a pond and a sitting area to take a rest and enjoy the fresh air of Nagasaki.
The Peace Park is in the north part of Nagasaki city, in the Urakami area, which can easily be reached by tram line 1 or 3 on a 10-minute trip from JR Nagasaki Station. The park is a short walk from the Matsuyamamachi or Hamaguchimachi city tram stops.
|Name||Nagasaki Peace Park|
|Address||2400−3 Matsuyama-machi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki-ken|
|Access||[map]2400−3 Matsuyama-machi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki-ken[/map]|
|Opening Hours||08:00 - 18:30|