Criticisms have emerged over Hiroshima City’s plans to illuminate Hiroshima Peace Park for Christmas.

There are currently plans to display Christmas lights at both the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island to commemorate the 20th  anniversary of these two historic locations being listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The A-Bomb Dome is located within the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in central Hiroshima City, while Itsukushima Shrine is located on Miyajima Island, about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

According to Hiroshima City officials, they hope that the “Peace Lights Illumination” display will be a “message of peace that will spread to the world through a gently articulated light production”. But not everyone is feeling the Christmas spirit, with many arguing that it is inappropriate to turn a place of memorial into a tourist spot for Christmas.

▼ The A-Bomb Dome at night


There have been similar types of light presentations at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in the past but they have been unrelated to Christmas celebrations. For example, candles were lit along the path connecting the memorial monument with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The A-Bomb Dome itself was also illuminated with light bulbs in May 1956 to commemorate the opening of the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy exhibition at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. However, this time there have been criticisms over the association of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with the Christmas celebration.

▼ A-Bomb Dome at night from another angle


The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Itsukushima Shrine Christmas lights are scheduled to start on December 7 and will last until February 5.

What do you think about the plan to light up Hiroshima Dome for Christmas? Do you think it is a good idea?

Source: Asahi Shimbun
Top image: Wikipedia/FrottingPencil
Insert images: Flickr/Neepster, Flickr/KimonBerlin