The Hiroshima Prefectural Building stands today as a memorial to the futility of war and the insane, incomprehensible, destructivness of nuclear weapons. This was one of few concrete buildings in Hiroshima on the morning of August 6th 1945 and one of a small number of buildings to remain in structure after the explosion and fires that ravaged the entire city, even though what we see today is a concrete shell only. The survivors of Hiroshima left the building to stand as a visual memorial of that morning. All tourists to Japan should visit either one or preferably both the the Peace Parks and memorial museums at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Three times I led groups of students and teachers on trips to Japan visiting our sister school in Osaka but also spending time at the Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum. On each occasion when my group gathered in the park after experiencing the museum there were few dry eyes, no one spoke, the silence was all consuming.
This Torii gate is the entrance to Itsukushima Shrine, a 16th century Shinto shrine built over the water from the shore of Miyajima Island just across from Hiroshima on Honshu in Japan. This great Torii is the boundary between the spirit and human worlds and with the shrine has long been one of the most significant Shinto Pilgrimage sites in Japan. The entire shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. To stay at least 1 night on Miyajima Island and wander around the Shrine at night is one of the most peaceful experiences one can have. I have visited Japan four times and always planned a night on Miyajima.