Festivals & Events
At 8 a.m. every August 6, a ceremony in Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park commemorates the anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city in 1945. Survivors, relatives and members of the public gather in front of the Memorial Cenotaph to pay their respects and pray for peace.
A minute's silence at 8:15 a.m. marks the exact moment the atomic bomb was dropped on the city. While this is an understandably somber occasion, it carries a hopeful message of a wish to learn from our past mistakes and a desire for world peace.
You can reach the Peace Memorial Park by a 20-minute streetcar ride on the Hiroshima Electric Railway, which you catch a few steps away from JR Hiroshima Station.
President Obama was the first sitting U.S. president to attend the ceremony
The ceremony was first held in 1947 by the then mayor of Hiroshima, Shinzo Hamai
The Prime Minister of Japan always attends
During the day, guests of all nationalities are encouraged to participate in the commemoration. It culminates in the evening with a lantern ceremony, when thousands of paper lanterns carrying written messages of peace are lit and sent floating on the Motoyasu River.
The Memorial Ceremony aims to honor the dead and to pray for world peace. Some worry that their presence at the ceremony may not be welcome or may cause tension, but everyone is welcome. You can rest assured that paying your respects is appreciated.
Although the minute of silence is held throughout the city, the center of the ceremony is at the Memorial Cenotaph in the middle of the park.