The quiet romance of Hiroshima and Miyajima

On August 6th 1945 Hiroshima became immortalised in history as a place of great tragedy. The first atomic bomb was dropped that day causing mass devastation to this now unassuming Japanese city. The affects of that day are no longer visible to us, the city has been redeveloped and is bustling with people again but it can still bring your heart to a complete halt.

I hadn’t expected much from Hiroshima, I had imagined dull museums, unrecognisable war artefacts and monotonous audio guides. I had envisaged dark and dreary to match its heartbreaking past. But, it wasn’t. It was bright and cheery, relaxed and full of hope. Hope for peace.

I had never anticipated that a site of such pain could find the strength to be a leading force in the battle for a notion so seemingly unattainable as World Peace. Standing there at the Peace Memorial Park, you can’t help but feel a warmth. It is a quiet love. A love for those that feel the pain of war. It is a quiet hope. A hope that the pain will never have to be endured again. Something beautiful has truly blossomed from the worst ugliness.

Miyajima continues this sense of beauty with wild dear roaming at the docks and magical views of the surrounding islands. Miyajima and Mount Misen proved just as breathtaking as the nearby Hiroshima, albeit for other reasons. The sense of love is different here, instead of a romanticised ideology the romance is found in nature. It is here forests and land have laid untouched for centuries creating a sense of mindfulness. The peace Hiroshima creates hope for is found on this small seaside island and it becomes all too easy to lose yourself watching the tide creep in and the sun drift away.

Perhaps it was the oysters we had for lunch. Maybe it was the trek to the Eternal Flame of Love. Whatever it was, Hiroshima and Miyajima have a quiet romanticism encapsulating them, making this adventure truly unforgettable.

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