GetHiroshima joined up with EARTH Hiroshima at the clean up event, held every year in the run up to the A-bombing commemorations on August.
We arrived at around 7am to find the parking area next to the east wing of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum packed with people. There was a mix of neighborhood associations, companies, local government departments groups and NPOs, all gathered around their group’s banner.
GetHiroshima took part with EARTH Hiroshima, who supplied us with T-shirts and our clean up kit, a part of white gloves, a paper garbage bag and towel. After a short speech by the mayor of Hiroshima, followed by the obligatory group photo, we set of along the river behind the museum and made our way up to the A-bomb Dome.
This being Japan, there really wasn’t much trash to pick up (most seemed to come from plastic bottles being stuffed deep into the bushes that surround the park) and we ended up spending most of the 45 minutes or so doing some ad hoc weeding of the stone walls down by the river. Though someone did dig out an empty shochu bottle (perhaps a casualty of spring cherry blossom season).
Across from the A-bomb Dome, local fire fighters pumped what from the Motoyasu River to give the concrete steps from which thousands of peace lanterns will be set afloat on the night of August 6 a high pressure cleaning with their hoses.
Elsewhere around the park, preparations for the August 6 ceremonies were underway.
I think we got more out of participating than we put in; it felt great when a middle-aged lady stopped to thank me for helping out as she passed by. We may not have collected much garbage, but we were very glad we made the effort to go to the park and play a small role in helping Hiroshima get ready to welcome the world on August 6. We’ll definitely do it again in the future.