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Peace Memorial Ceremony [Entry Restrictions]
August 6, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 amFree
The ceremony can be viewed live on YouTube below and livestreamed here.
You are also welcome to watch the ceremony on screen at Social Book Cafe Hachidori-sha, after which there is sure to be some open and lively discussion. You can also buy breakfast there.
As last year, many peace activists (and the usual right wing black sound trucks) will still, no doubt, gather in and around the park and there are some art related events scheduled along the riverside opposite the A-bomb Dome.
The Peace Memorial Ceremony is held each year in memory of the victims of the atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15am on August 6, 1945. On this occasion, those who lived through the event as well as those who lost loved ones play a special part in the proceedings.
People of all ages from Hiroshima, throughout Japan and the around the world, as well as a number of Japanese and overseas dignitaries, gather in front of the cenotaph in the middle of Peace Memorial Park. The current mayor of Hiroshima makes an appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the achievement of everlasting world peace. The ceremony is usually broadcast on television stations worldwide.
The seating area is opened at 06:30, but the official events begin at 08:00. At 08:15, the time the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the Bell of Peace and sirens are sounded and a 1 minute of silence is (mostly) observed. Speeches, a peace declaration, the release of doves and the singing of the Hiroshima Peace Song follow. Everything is finished by just before 09:00 and a day of demonstrations by both protestors on the left and the right, as well as various anti-nuclear groups take over the streets for much of the rest of the day.
It is usually extremely hot at even 8am and those who arrive early should be careful to avoid heatstroke and are encouraged to avail themselves of the cold water and chilled towels available below the pilotis of the Peace Memorial Museum.
In the evening, there is a lantern floating at which around 10,000 lanterns are put into the water next to the A-bomb memorial. This ceremony is less formal, with are no long speeches, but is very powerful as the light from the dome shines down on the water lit by the many colorful lanterns floating downstream.