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Film Location: Hiroshima Peace Park, Japan

Written on May 6, 2017

Hiroshima Peace Park

Hiroshima Peace Park is a space dedicated to commemorating the victims of the atomic bombing of the city on August 6th, 1945. The park spans an area of 120,000 square meters of what was once the the political and commercial heart of Hiroshima. Planned and designed by the Japanese architect Kenzō Tange, the park consists of memorials, museums, monuments, peace bells, lecture halls, bombing ruins, trees, lawns, and walking paths. Locations of particular interest to filmmakers and photographer include:

A-Bomb Dome is the ruined shell of the former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. It was the building closest to the hypocenter of the atomic blast that still remained at least partially standing.

Children’s Peace Monument is dedicated to the memory of the children who died. The statue is based on the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who passed away from radiation sickness that resulted from the bomb. She folded 1,000 paper cranes it the belief it would cure her cancer. To this day, children from around the world fold cranes and send them to Hiroshima where they are placed near the statue.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is an intense experience for any visitor. The museum houses a vast collection of information, photos and personal memorabilia exhibiting the effects of the bomb on the nearly 140,000 killed or injured.

Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall is dedicated to mourning the victims of the bomb. The museum is located underground. On the roof, near the entrance is a clock frozen at 8:15, the time the bomb went off. The museum contains a seminar room, library, temporary exhibition area, and victims’ information area. The Hall of Remembrance, contains a 360 degree panorama of the destroyed Hiroshima.

Memorial Cenotaph. Near the center of the park is a concrete, saddle-shaped monument that covers a cenotaph holding the names of all of the people killed by the bomb.

Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound is a large, grass-covered knoll that contains the cremated ashes of 70,000 unidentified victims of the bomb.

Hiroshima Events

Every August 6th, a ceremony takes place to memorialise the victims, establish the memory of nuclear horrors and to advocate world peace. The ceremony is held in the morning from 8:00, in front of the Memorial Cenotaph. A one-minute silence to honor the victims is observed at 8:15, the time of the atomic bomb’s explosion.

Hiroshima Flower Festival is held from 3rd to 5 May, during Japanese Golden Week, in the Peace Park and Peace Boulevard.

Location Permits For Film & Photography

Filming on the grounds of the Peace Park is allowed with the permission of the Hiroshima City Office. Permission to film inside the Peace Memorial Museum is required from museum authorities. Filming inside the Memorial Mound and Atomic Bomb Dome is more restricted. Generally, only documentary projects are allowed access inside the Memorial Mound and Atomic Bomb Dome.

Permits to film are generally free of charge. For a small footprint shoot, allow at least 3 days to process permits for Peace Park grounds. Larger productions involving lights, dollies, cranes and many crew members are also allowed to film in Peace Park, however they require more time to permit.

Hiroshima Peace Park receives over a million visitors annually so they remain the priority for authorities. As such, locations cannot be locked off for filming, however visitors are generally open to holding for a moment if asked politely.

In terms of best time of day to film, it’s best to shoot earlier in the morning, especially around the Cenotaph. In terms of best time of year to film, the August 6th ceremony is very busy with visitors and speakers.

There are no additional rights issues concerning royalties for architects or other artists. Once you have the location permits you can use the footage.

Hiroshima Production Support & Shooting Crew

Contact us if you are looking for a local fixer or producer to help arrange your shoot in Hiroshima. Our local team are able to arrange everything from interview subjects, to location permits, to film crew and equipment. Likewise, if you are looking for Hiroshima or Japan based shooting crew such as directors, DoP’s, videographers, or stills photographers, we are also able to arrange those.

Getting In & Staying

Hiroshima is located in the southwest of Japan, a 9hr drive from Tokyo, or 5hrs by Shinkansen high-speed rail. Hiroshima is a modern city with plenty of accommodation and dining options. And yes… the food is safe to eat, water safe to drink, and air safe to breathe.