Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to close temporarily from February 29 through March 15

by Aya Kano, Staff Writer

On February 27, as a result of the spread of the new coronavirus, the City of Hiroshima announced Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Naka Ward, a major tourist spot for visitors from home and abroad, would close temporarily from February 29 through March 15. The city is prioritizing avoiding the expansion of the spread of infection, and made the decision to temporarily shutdown the museum, as a large number of people usually stay within the museum building for a long time.

The museum is one of the key destinations in Hiroshima for those who visit to the city from Japan and other nations. In fiscal 2018, 1,522,453 people visited the museum, with an increasing number of foreign visitors seen in recent years. With regard to closing the museum for a long period of time because of a reason other than renovation, Haruaki Nakagawa, director in charge of the A-bomb Experience Preservation within the Peace Promotion Division, said, “We have never experienced such a closure as far back as we have recorded.”

The museum has taken measures to prevent the threat of coronavirus so far by significantly increasing the number of areas containing alcohol-based antiseptic solution within the building. Mr. Nakagawa said, “Though we didn’t have enough time to inform potential visitors of the shutdown, we would appreciate their understanding about our stance prioritizing measures to prevent the spread of infection.” For tourists, information regarding the museum’s temporary closure will be announced on the city’s website and via other sources.

The Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, the other facility located within the Peace Memorial Park like the museum, will be closed for the same period of time.

Aside from the museum, all together, the city will close 10 municipal facilities that attract visitors, including Hiroshima Castle in Naka Ward, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art in Minami Ward, and Numaji Transporatation Museum in Asaminami Ward.

Also, given that several people were infected after exercising at the same fitness club in Chiba Prefecture, the city has suspended the use of 10 training rooms at the sports centers in each ward. Additionally, eleven municipal libraries can only be used for receiving books users previously reserved online, and for returning the books borrowed prior to restrictions being placed. Visitors to these libraries will not be allowed to use the libraries for other purposes such as reading books inside the buildings.

Municipal facilities which the city has decided to close temporarily

Naka Ward:
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Castle
Hiroshima 5-Days Children’s Museum
Hiroshima City Ebayama Museum of Meteorology
Collection exhibition on B1 of the former Bank of Japan Hiroshima Branch
Hiroshima Health Sciences Museum

Higashi Ward:
Hiroshima City Museum of Waterworks

Minami Ward:
Hiroshima City Museum of History and Traditional Crafts
Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art

Asaminami Ward:
Numaji Transportation Museum

(Originally published on February 28, 2020)