Free campsite available for August 6 at Hiroshima City University

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

The city of Hiroshima will set up a free campsite on the athletic field at Hiroshima City University, located in Asaminami Ward, between August 3 and 7, in conjunction with the anniversary of the atomic bombing on August 6. The campsite is intended for Japanese and foreign visitors who will attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony and other peace-related events. This will be the first time the grounds of the campus are made available for camping, a decision prompted by the fact that all lodging facilities in Hiroshima become fully booked around this time of year.

Approximately 8,000 square meters of land will be open to campers. Advanced reservations are required and will be limited to about 300 people per day. Although campers are responsible for their own tents and sleeping bags, they will be able to use such campus facilities as restrooms, showers, and a kitchen. Volunteers will assist in operating the campsite and paid shuttle buses are planned for those who wish to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony on the morning of August 6.

A city official commented that a 2006 survey indicated there are approximately 130 lodging facilities in the city, with a total capacity of about 17,000 people, and that these facilities become fully occupied around August 6.

Requests have been made to the city, particularly from young people, for a place where they can “sleep outdoors in a safe environment.” The city studied a campsite that has been organized for the Aomori Nebuta Festival and decided to experiment with its own campsite this year, under the name “Hiroshima Peace Camp 2008.”

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba expressed his hopes for the endeavor, saying, “I anticipate the campsite will provide a forum for like-minded people who are interested in the abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of world peace to interact and exchange ideas.” Those who wish to make camping reservations should contact the Citizens Activities Promotion Division by July 31 by calling 082-504 2677.

(Originally published on July 8, 2008)