May 17: We took the bullet train to Hiroshima. A young woman named Masuko at the Peace Park Tourist Information Center had done a terrific job of finding us an inexpensive hotel near the park, phoning us repeatedly in the U.S.—all for free. If we were to return to Japan, we would probably book all our hotels through the TICs in the cities concerned: their service is exemplary.
The afternoon we arrived we set out for the Peace Park, site of the center of the explosion of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima August 6, 1945. Brick crumbled, people evaporated and were burned, and the wood and paper houses were incinerated. Resistance was strong for many years to creating the park, but it is now a center for world peace activities.
We discovered that the reason our hotel was so inexpensive was that it was owned and subsidized by the city of Hiroshima to attract groups of young people to the Peace Park. We saw many such groups while we were there.