Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
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More background information:
for the bombing and its historical context see under Hiroshima
Plans for the museum go back to early suggestions in the late 1940s and the initial Hiroshima Peace Memorial Reconstruction Act was enacted in 1949 and a design competition launched. This was won by Kenzo Tange, an acclaimed architect of modernism, in particular so-called brutalism and structuralism. In these areas he was one of the most influential architects ever. (He also played a crucial role in the rebuilding of Skopje
in the 1960s, for instance.)
The actual Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was first established ten years after the bombing in August 1955. It has since been expanded and remodelled a couple of times, in particular in 1975, 1991 and most recently between 2014 and 2019. The main museum building is an architectural icon, and it was complemented later by a conference centre wing to the west and the East Building, which houses additional exhibition space.
The museum is Hiroshima
's No. 1 tourist attraction, and also a prime destination for domestic school group excursions. Together this makes for ca. a million visitors annually.
When I was last there, in April 2019, the Main Building was still undergoing earthquake-proofing, but the main exhibition had just reopened. The exhibition parts in the East Building had already reopened in 2017.
The changes made from the previous exhibitions, which I had seen in 2009, were quite substantial, so it is worth adding a section for a comparison of the old and new exhibition:
To begin with, the circuit through the East Building and the Main Building has been completely changed. Before you could first go through the historic sections in the East Building with the background on the development of the bomb and the reasons for it, and also learn some technical details about the physics involved. Now the route takes you first upstairs to a short prelude about Hiroshima
's history before the bombing and then it's straight into the all-new main exhibition called “Reality of the Atomic Bombing”. In the past, preceding the Main Building's exhibition, there used to be a large physical diorama with a red ball suspended over the hypocentre to mark this (you can still see another version of this at the Honkawa School Peace Museum
). This has now been replaced by a digitalized version instead, as described below
. While this is no doubt impressive in itself, I rather regret the loss of the physical diorama.
Also gone are the drastic mock-up scenes of A-bombed Hiroshima as you entered the Main Building exhibition: scorched red-brick ruins with ghostly life-size figures with horrific wounds and burnt skin hanging from limp arms. Maybe this was deemed too graphic and was removed for that reason. I don't know.
The main exhibition's design has changed substantially too. While the predecessor was quite light and airy, the new one follows what seems to have become an international trend (I've seen it in several updated museum exhibitions of recent years also in Europe): now the walls are black or very dark grey and thus a distinctly gloomy atmosphere prevails, visually. In this setting individual artefacts are picked out by spotlights and thus appear more separate from each other. Texts are now mostly white against black/dark backgrounds rather than the other way round.
To be honest I am personally not so fond of this trend. On the one hand, I prefer the sombre atmosphere to be derived from the exhibits and their description themselves, rather than being invoked, from the “outside” as it were, by pre-imposed design features. The general gloom also makes photography
more difficult (I don't know for sure, but I can imagine that this may be part of the point, now that everybody and their mother wield smartphones and point their little cameras at everything).
Content-wise, the new exhibition is also different, primarily through a much stronger focus on victimhood in general and on more personal stories in particular. The latter also seems to be a trend, and it's one I can relate to much more. It is indeed often more conducive to relating to tragedies of such magnitude if instead of trying to comprehend the incomprehensible scale of the facts and figures you try to adopt individuals' perspectives. The same is the case for, say, Holocaust
exhibitions. On the other hand, I found the shift away from a sober and factual illustration of the A-bomb effects and towards a more tear-jerking focus on the victims a little heavy-handed.
What hasn't changed much is the selection of artefacts. I found most of the ones I remembered so well from my first visit in 2009 also still part of the new exhibition, albeit in a different style of presentation and somewhat rearranged order. I got the feeling, though, that the exhibition must have been streamlined. It felt smaller. And even though it was extremely crowded on the day I visited, probably because it had only just reopened on the day I was there (also evidenced by various media crews conducting interviews inside and outside the museum), it took me noticeably less time to go through it all. But that was probably due to my familiarity with many of the artefacts on display, meaning that I didn't need to read all the new text panels. Going through my 2009 photos, though, I found a lot more detail about the physics of the bombing as well as the medical effects compared to the photos I took in the new exhibition. In turn, there's evidently more on child victims and their stories now than there were before. One particularly prominent story, namely that of Sadako Sasaki, however, is still similarly emphasized.
The exhibition(s) in the East Building were reworked before the Main Building and reopened in 2017. These too I found to have changed a fair bit. This now begins with what used to be the first elements previously, namely the history and physics of the development of nuclear weapons. This part too is now darker in design, but doesn't feel quite so oppressive as the new main exhibition, thanks to it being much more open-plan and thus airier. The narrative was still largely the same, except that the coverage of some of the medical aspects of radiation exposure has been moved here now. Likewise some of the hands-on exhibits (melted bottles and roof tiles).
The most drastic change is the removal of some larger-scale exhibits. In the old East Building exhibition a 7:10 recreation of the A-Bomb Dome
dominated. This is now gone. The same unfortunately goes for two further physical dioramas – one showing old Hiroshima
before the A-bombing and a counterpart showing it afterwards. Given the digitalized version preceding the new main exhibition, these were probably deemed no longer necessary either. I regretted the loss of these before-and-after displays even more, though.
What has been added is a lot of contemporary multimedia and interactive elements, both in the form of screens and animations as well as in the form of a large table with touchscreens on which you can dig deeper into information about various issues. On the one hand, this is a sensible approach, as visitors get options as to how deep they want to explore. (And it's also just a sign of the times – everything has to be touchscreen these days, it seems.) On the other hand, some aspects are now buried deeper and can much more easily be overlooked altogether unless you systematically go through everything. This was true for the coverage of the Nanjing massacre
at the hands of the Japanese military in their campaign against China
. This widely condemned war crime was much more openly referenced in the old exhibition. Now there's just a very brief mention of it on one of the text panels, otherwise it's been relegated to the depths of an interactive touchscreen station, so it will most likely get significantly less attention by visitors. Whether that is deliberate policy or not I cannot say, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it was, given recent political developments in Japan
. See also the controversial Yasukuni shrine and Yushukan war museum
Overall, however, the new exhibition has to be regarded as a slight improvement over the old one, certainly in terms of modernization of design and the addition of interactive elements. The English translations of texts have also improved. But not all aspects of the remodelling of the exhibitions are convincing, and the shift of emphasis also has a few problematic elements. But I particularly mourn the disappearance of a few displays I remembered so well from my 2009 visit and liked, such as those large physical dioramas.
What there is to see:
a lot! This museum certainly requires time
. Do not rush it! Labelling of exhibits and explanatory texts are bilingual, in Japanese and English, throughout, and for the most part the translation quality is very good (the odd slight slip notwithstanding). In addition, there are stations where you can get extra information in yet more languages and even in sign languages. Moreover you can hire audio-guides for yet more info. Since I'm not especially fond of such devices and also wanted my hands free for photography, I did not use one of these, so I cannot comment on their quality.
The circuit through the museum now starts upstairs with a prelude
section about Hiroshima before the bombing
, followed by a room whose walls are lined with large panoramic photos showing the devastation
caused by the bomb: a wasteland of charred rubble and shells of burnt-out concrete buildings. In the centre of the room is a digital display
illustrating the bombing: the centre of Hiroshima is projected on to a circular canvas, as is a sequence of superimposed projections
of first the flash of the bomb, then the fireball forming, followed by the blast wave and spreading fires, and then the smoke of the mushroom cloud. It certainly conveys an impression of the vastness of the inferno this single bomb created.
You then enter the exhibition “Reality of the Atomic Bombing” in the Main Building . By the entrance is an uncommented photo of an injured girl, clearly a surviving victim of the bomb … you'll later learn what became of her.
This newly reworked main part of the permanent exhibition reopened on 25 April 2019, on the day I was there. So predictably, it was very crowded, not just with visitors but also media photographers and teams conducting interviews with museum representatives both outside the museum and inside the exhibition. So moving around was at times difficult and I often deviated from the given circuit when and where some space opened up. But I will try to piece back together the proper sequence of the exhibition:
You first pass through a narrow corridor lined with blow-ups of photos, one showing badly burned victims huddling on the ground amongst the ruins, then there's a series of photos of the mushroom cloud taken from the ground at different distances.
You then come to the first hall with actual artefacts on display. In the centre of the hall is a large glass display cabinet in which dozens of items of victims' clothing are spread out. Lining the walls around this are displays of various bits and pieces of debris from the devastated city: bent iron girders, scorched and fused metal and bricks, a mangled bicycle, even a whole safe, salvaged from a business 470 metres from the hypocentre that was hence totally destroyed – apparently all contents of the safe were carbonized.
There are loads of other charred and/or melted objects on display, such as a cluster of small glass bottles fused together by the intense heat of the bomb or personal belongings such as glasses, fused coins or a lunch box whose contents were turned into a black, coal-like mass by the heat. Also displayed is a piece of concrete wall with shards of glass embedded in it. These demonstrate the power of the blast well. If glass blown out of windows (2200m from the hypocentre) could penetrate concrete then it could certainly penetrate skin – indeed some of the worst injuries sustained by those who survived the thermal rays and fires were caused by flying glass. To this day, survivors have to have fragments surgically removed from their bodies. Some of such pieces of glass are on display too.
Perhaps the most infamous object in the collection is the doorsteps of a bank on to which the shadow of a man is projected. This was the effect of the heat rays colouring the stone white except for where the man, who must have been incinerated and vaporized instantly, had been sitting, thus leaving a black “shadow”. The real shadow has faded over the years, though it's still just about visible, but a photo next to it dating from when it was found shows the full effect as it looked at the time.
One particularly nasty aspect of the immediate after-effects of the bomb was the “ black rain
”. This came from soot mixed into the radioactive mushroom cloud, which then rained off 20 to 30 minutes after the detonation in big black oily drops. These were of course full of highly irradiated particles. Tragically, the surviving victims of the destruction on the ground who had bad burns were also terribly thirsty, and in their desperation many drank the “black rain” water – thus allowing dangerous radionuclides into their bodies, which made their exposure even worse, namely from the inside. A chart and map shows that almost all of the Hiroshima
area was affected by the “black rain” and on display are several items of clothing stained by it, as well as a piece of wall with streaks of black that had run down it (this seemed to me to have been recreated – since the black of the stains seemed deeper than I remembered it from my previous visit ten years earlier). Once you know what it is this is also a particularly poignant exhibit.
In addition, there are countless other photos
showing not only the destruction of the city but also the horrendous injuries suffered by its inhabitants. All of these were taken well after the bombing, of course. There aren't any photographic images of the horrors during the fires and the agony of the victims – however, these are amply illustrated through gruesome drawings and paintings by survivors. Also covered are the relief stations set up in the turmoil after the bombing, including the one at Fukuro-machi School
One section in this first half of the exhibition is especially gruesome, namely the one about the medical after-effects of the A-bombing. Besides plenty of icky photos of the various conditions victims developed, there are also a few artefacts, such as a replica of a tongue with so-called “spots of death”, genuine pieces of black fingernails that grew on people after the bombing, or a surgically removed sample of a 'keloid', the kind of scar tissue that many survivors suffered from for years after.
The second half of the main exhibition is more decidedly focused on victims and survivors and the first half is entitled “Cries of the Soul”. It is here that you find another particularly famous exhibit: a rusty children's tricycle and helmet. The child riding this tricycle died in the A-bombing and initially the father buried these objects alongside the dead child (to be used in the afterlife, presumably), but 40 years later he dug everything up again, gave the child's remains a proper burial and donated the tricycle and helmet to this museum. Around this iconic exhibit are yet more displays that emphasize the large number of children amongst the victims . Several individual cases are picked out, making it more personal … but also more sentimental.
Next is a section about the drawings/paintings that were submitted to the museum and some media companies after a single such drawing taken by an A-bomb survivor to a broadcasting station triggered a call for more such artistic illustrations. Several thousand were collected. A small handful is represented here in the permanent exhibition, but many dozens more were on display in a temporary extra exhibition at the time of my visit. In many ways these images, even though often crude and clearly made by artistically untrained hands, convey the horrors after the A-bombing even more than all artefacts, photos, texts and figures.
A short section in this part focuses on the subject of foreigners
who got caught up in the A-bombing, including German priests, students and conscripts from South-East Asia and an American POW
, an airman whose plane was shot down only a few days before and had been unlucky enough to have been brought to Hiroshima by 6 August where he died in the bombing.
The final section of the exhibition in the Main Building concentrates on the plight of the survivors, not only in medical terms but also the grief for lost family members and sometimes the isolation this caused for individuals.
One individual story picked out and presented in more detail is that of Sadako Sasaki
, the girl who died from radiation-induced leukaemia ten years after the bomb aged 12 and who had folded thousands of origami paper cranes as a symbol of hope. Even though it did not save her in the end, her story started the tradition of origami cranes being so associated with Hiroshima
and its peace movement. There's also a special monument in the Peace Park
dedicated to Sadako and her cranes.
The final item in the main exhibition is entitled “It Never Ends” and is a photo of a grieving mother “thinking of her dead child”. After that, you emerge from the at times oppressively dark gloom of the exhibition and come to the bright and airy north side of the building overlooking the cenotaph and Peace Park through large glass windows. The contrast in light is almost shocking. There are a few exhibits here about the construction of the Peace Park and Museum, otherwise it's empty save for some benches where visitors can sit and catch their breath again after the often horrific details shown and tragic stories told in the exhibition.
At the end of this light-flooded corridor leading back towards the East Building is a double photo. The first one is identical to the one you saw as you entered the Main Building, the other shows the same person as an adult woman. A text explains that this injured survivor girl, who was ten at the time of the bombing, grew up and initially led a happy family life, married with two children, but then developed cancer in her thirties and died from it in 1977 aged only 42. So not quite a happy ending.
In the room connecting the Main Building with the East Building is a space where you can sit down and watch video testimonies of survivors (these come with English subtitles).
Visitors then re-enter the East Building, where there is extra exhibition space. This had also been reworked and was opened two years prior to my return visit in 2019, so was still fairly new. (For a comparison to the old exhibition see above
The first part here is called “The Dangers of Nuclear Weapons” and begins with a section about the scientific discovery of nuclear energy. The section about the development of the atomic bomb features a replica of Albert Einstein
's famous letter urging the US government to undertake research into nuclear weapons ahead of Germany
. As we know Hitler
did not get the bomb (see Vemork
), whereas the decisive research did materialize in America, namely as the Manhattan Project
. Pieces of trinitite
from the very first A-bomb test in the New Mexican desert, " Trinity
", are on display in the museum – one piece is under a magnifying glass so that the substance's surface can be studied more closely!
Detailed coverage is given to the reasons for dropping the bomb – see the general Hiroshima
chapter for my own summary. It is quite remarkable how balanced the exhibition tries to be and how little overt blame is put on the USA
. That doesn't mean, however, that the voices that were speaking out against the bombing(s) are not given space. For instance there's a replica of James Franck's famous warning that if the USA were to be the first to drop the bomb, a) its reputation could be forever damaged, and b) it could trigger a nuclear arms race. However, as we know, the decision to drop the bomb without any prior warning was taken. There are several (facsimile) documents about that, as well as a section about the Potsdam Conference
Next is a section about the preparations for the bombing, from target selection to training missions, including the dropping of practice A-bombs, called “pumpkins”, on to Japanese territory by bomber crews specially selected for this and stationed on the Pacific
island of Tinian
As part of the section outlining the actual bombing mission, a noteworthy exhibit is some of the equipment that was dropped by parachute together with the bomb to measure heat and air pressure (i.e. the blast). Other than that, there is a screen playing an animated explanation of how the gun-type uranium bomb system worked physically, and a small cube of at best 3 cubic centimetres illustrates how little of the ca. 50 kg of uranium of the bomb is understood to actually have undergone fission. Furthermore, there are scale models of the two A-bombs, “Little Boy” (for Hiroshima) and “Fat Man” (the Nagasaki bomb) as well as a model of the A-Bomb Dome before and after the bombing. Other physical artefacts include a few hands-on items, namely melted glass bottles and roof tiles, on whose surfaces you can feel the bubbles from the melting heat. But mainly this exhibition is of the text-and-photo/document sort.
The medical effects of the bombing on the victims is picked up here again as well, this time less graphically and rather more scientifically explained rather than gorily illustrated with actual specimens and gruesome photos as in the Main Building.
The next section here leaves the specific topic of Hiroshima and moves on to the subsequent development of the Cold War
and its nuclear arms race
, including some coverage of the topic of nuclear testing
too. The case of the Lucky Dragon No 5 fishing boat, irradiated by a US test, is naturally brought up in this context.
This leads to the topic of campaigning against nuclear weapons, and Hiroshima city's particular role as a proponent of peace. Finally visitors are brought nearly up to date with regard to the “Global Movement for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons”, yet this was clearly still set up during the Obama administration … things have changed somewhat since.
Also part of this section is a “ media table ”, where interactive touchscreens set into it allow visitors to explore several related subjects (or rather: the same as in the physical exhibition in this section) for themselves.
You then move on down to a mezzanine level
(called “second floor” here) where there is the third part
of the museum’s permanent exhibitions. This is mostly about Hiroshima before, during and after the war
. So in a way, it's a jump back in time and feels a bit like an afterthought. Anyway, covered here are topics such as the mobilization
of civilians for the war effort, including schoolchildren. In Hiroshima these were also used for demolition works in an effort to prepare the city for the incendiary bombings that were feared may be coming. After all, that had happened to Tokyo
and other cities before. But of course nothing could have prepared Hiroshima for what was actually about to hit it.
An interesting aspect is the coverage of the Japanese campaigns abroad
, in particular China
. On the text panels there is a very brief mention of the Nanjing Massacre
(that word is indeed used here) “that included soldiers, POW
s, civilians, and even children” … but that's it. In the old exhibition there was more explicit coverage and the numbers of those massacred were not withheld. In the new exhibition these things have been relegated to another “media table” where you can use the interactive screens to search deeper. So only if you do so and actively look for information about the Nanjing Massacre (like I did, after seeing the meagre representation on the panels) will visitors find something, and even then, it really isn't much. So this leaves a bit of a bad taste, not as bad as the downright revisionism at the Yushukan
(where the massacre is completely glossed over), but still.
The rest of this section focuses on the recovery efforts and the post-war rebuilding of Hiroshima, including a degree of repetition (e.g. the issue of nuclear testing, its fallout and peace movements in Hiroshima and globally is brought up here again), before stairs lead visitors back down to the ground floor . Here, a few more exhibits are on display, including yet more personal belongings from victims as well as another piece of wall scarred by flying glass from the bomb's blast.
Furthermore, there's space for a couple of extra sections, including temporary exhibitions . At the time of my latest visit there was a large exhibition of survivors' drawings and paintings of the infernal horrors of A-bombed Hiroshima, and another about the refurbishment of the Main Building. In the process patches of earth were discovered and an original “A-bombed layer” of soil is on display.
And finally also on the ground floor is the museum shop . When I was first here in 2009, the museum even had two shops, one here and one upstairs outside the Main Building entrance. The latter has gone, and the ground floor shop too seemed to me to be reduced compared to before. I didn't inspect its offerings in detail on my last visit, because I had already made so many purchases the previous time, but walking past I didn't spot any of the books and brochures I had bought back then. But the current range looked decent, and still included several works in English.
There is yet more to be discovered at this museum, though, namely in the basement – which is also accessible free of charge, independently of a visit to the main exhibitions. This includes a section with artefacts that have been collected or donated to the museum more recently. Some may eventually find their way into the main exhibition, though I can't recall seeing any of those that were in this section ten years before having made it there, nor were they still in the basement section in 2019.
One item I could not find any more was a photo I found particularly interesting – it was taken at the A-Bomb Dome
during the US occupation of Japan after WWII and showed evidence of early dark tourism at the site, as it were. On the fence around the ruined building English-language signs can be seen that offer memorial stamps and souvenir pieces of "Atom struck" tiles to "visitors to Explosion Center"!
What I did find in 2019, however, was an equivalent, namely a shop run by a Japanese survivor who had been hospitalized for years due to his injuries, and then found himself jobless and homeless – so he opened an A-bomb souvenir shop, mainly for Americans, to whom he’d hand out A-bombed roof tiles and also show his scarred back!
Another set of artefacts was also interesting: earthenware pots and bottles apparently made from the scorched earth found near the hypocentre. There were also yet more pieces of melted, fused glass, items of clothing and personal belongings such as watches.
Also in the basement is a library, a Peace Memorial Hall, meeting rooms as well as administrative offices.
All in all
, it cannot be doubted that the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is one of the top institutions in Japan
and certainly one of the most important dark-tourism destinations in the world. Despite the odd critical remarks voiced here about certain aspects of the exhibitions, this is still a top-notch place and an absolute must-see!
Access and costs: easily accessible and very reasonably priced.
for directions see Peace Memorial Park
. From the Peace Boulevard you can already see the long low structure of the museum behind the Fountain of Prayer, coming from the A-Bomb Dome
you pass through most of the Park first. I recommend starting the day's visiting itinerary at the museum, however; that way you can use the Park afterwards to unwind a bit.
The museum charges are rather symbolic 200 Yen admission fee, which is an almost ludicrously small amount considering what you get for it. Audio-guides are available at the entrance for 400 Yen – in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, French (down from the impressive range of 17 different languages on offer when I first visited the museum in 2009!). But since I didn't use one, I cannot comment on its quality.
Opening times: daily 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (to 7 p.m. in August, only to 5 p.m. December to February – closed 30/31 December). It makes sense to go as early as possible, preferably to be there when the museum opens, in order to beat the worst of the crowds.
Photography, astonishingly, is permitted inside the exhibition rooms (for private purposes; but I found it quite easy to obtain a permit for photography for publication).
a lot – do not underestimate this museum! It's one of the most absorbing museums I've ever encountered. Allow half a day for it … or else you have to be selective and even skip whole portions of it (which you may regret later). Some tour groups do just that, the ones I observed back in 2009 did so to excess, hardly allowing adequate time for any exhibits at all, and zooming through the rooms in as little as 30-45 minutes or so. Don't do it like that. That short amount of time does not do this excellent museum justice!
Myself, I spent over four hours in the museum's exhibitions – including the temporary/special exhibitions in the basement. I still felt that I had rushed it a bit and hadn't quite seen all there would have been to see (especially of the testimonies), but unfortunately I had quite a tight itinerary on my Japan trip in 2009 and wanted to see as much of the rest of Hiroshima
as possible too. On my return visit in 2019 I went through the museum a bit quicker, as I was basically there to check out the changes, but didn't feel the need to re-read the parts that were still more or less the same.
Yes, long hours in a museum can be taxing and emotionally draining, but this museum realy does demand and deserve such serious time-investment. If you don't have so much time or don't think you can take it all in at once, you may have to skim or skip sections, according to your relative interests (e.g. if the medical side isn't your thing, skip that bit; if you're already familiar with the historical background, you can skim through that part quickly).
If you can and want to give the museum all the time it deserves, then have a good breakfast beforehand, as you may not necessarily feel like lunch straight after the long and harrowing circuit through the museum. Afterwards, the surrounding Park offers plenty of tranquillity to unwind amongst the trees and the many memorials. This helps in finding your feet again emotionally, as it were, and switching into a more contemplative mood for the memorials (see Peace Memorial Park
You should also seriously consider seeing Nagasaki
's Atomic Bomb Museum
too! In some ways the story of the second A-bombing is even more tragic than Hiroshima. And modern-day Nagasaki is an interesting and pleasant city that deserves more attention from international tourists in general.
Combinations with non-dark destinations:
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 01 - in Peace Park
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 02 - central main building wing
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 03 - undergoing earthquake-proofing in 2019
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 04 - new Hiroshima bombing display 1
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 05 - new Hiroshima bombing display 2
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 06 - new Hiroshima bombing display 3
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 07 - new Hiroshima bombing display 4
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 07b - before the bombing - old diorama, no longer part of the exhibition
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 07c - and after the bombing - old diorama, no longer part of the exhibition
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 07d -large diorama with red ball over the hypocentre - also no longer part of the exhibition
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 08 - new, gloomy exhibition design
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 08b - famous tricycle exhibit in the old exhibition - donated to the museum by Nobuo Tetsutani
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 08c - stopped at the moment of the detonation - wristwatch donated by Akito Kawagoe
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 08d - charred glasses - donated to the museum by Ayano Harigaki
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 09 - bent steel girders
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 10 - clothing of various victims
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 11 - shadow of a man vapourized in the blast
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 12 - traces of black rain - exhibit donated by Akijiro Yashima
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 13 - charred lunch box
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 14 - more personal angles
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 15 - ghostly new exhibition in the main building
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 16 - mock-up ruins no longer there
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 17 - graphic reconstruction of the horror removed from the new exhibition
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 18 - new exhibition in the East Building
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 19 - hands-on exhibit of A-bombed roof tiles
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 19b - surface melted in the heat - exhibit donated by Hiroshima University
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 21 - more hands-on exhibits, melted bottles
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 21b - Trinitite - donated to the museum by Akihiro Kamizuka and Raymond Wilson
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 22 - before and after
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 23 - new design much more media-heavy
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 24 - interactive screens table
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 26 - two levels
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 27 - looking up from the ground floor
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 28 - old East Building exhibition hall with scale model of the A-Bomb Dome, no longer there
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 29 - concrete wall scarred by flying debris - donated to the museum by Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 30 - flying shards of glass were embedded in walls and people - exhibit donated to the museum by Morihisa Suzuki
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 31 - additional exhibits hall in the basement
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 32 - evidence of very early dark tourism
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 33 - cenotaph with museum building in the background
- Hiroshima Peace Museum 34 - view of the Peace Park, Museum and A-Bomb Dome
- Hiroshima Peace Museum