All around Hiroshima there was, what they call, a-bombed trees. Trees that survived the bomb and still standing high and mighty.
Let me introduce you one of the trees that I met – this tree is standing in the courtyard of Hiroshima castle. The castle had to be totally rebuilt after the blast. The bomb exploded 600 meters over the city.
“During the final months of World War II, the castle served as the headquarters of the 2nd General Army and Fifth Division , that made a castle, along with other military and industrial facilities in the city, a legitimate military target. As a result, it was destroyed in the atomic bomb blast of August 6, 1945, and for many years, it was believed the castle structure was blown away by the explosion that destroyed Hiroshima, but newly discovered evidence suggests the explosion only destroyed the lower pillars of the castle, and the rest of it collapsed as a result” (text; wikipedia.org)
The castle, also called the Carp Castle, was totally renovated in 1958 by using the same building methods as they did in the 15th century.
Within the castle walls, three trees survived the atomic bombing, a eucalyptus and a willow only 740m from the hypocenter, and a holly approximately 910m from the hypocenter.
Both specimens are preserved just beyond the Honmaru (castle walls). Also located inside the Honmaru is the concrete bunker from which the first radio broadcast out of Hiroshima following the atomic bombing was made. I missed that one – the bunker!
But I didn’t miss the eucalyptus and I felt so small and humble standing under this tree (it was massive) …. it shows that nature have a strength that nobody can stop. Look at those crocked branches – totally deformed by the blast.
Our hotel is situated along the Peace Boulevard – and in the green park area along the street there was quite a few “a-bomb” trees with their sign off survival. The hotel was 10 min walk from the Peace Memorial Park, so there would have been nothing left what so ever, where Mitsui Garden Hotel is today.
I think this with given the surviving trees their place and recognition – is such a beautiful thing. That’s one of the reasons why Hiroshima and I clicked so well. To show respect to the mightiness of nature and incorporate it in the new modern city.
When we visit the castle there was also an adorable and extremely noisy group of boys and girls – that visit the tower, the Tenshu. A small ocean of pink and blue. They really made the castle grounds cute and joyful.
“Storms make trees take deeper roots.”