1,350,000 visitors to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in fiscal 2008

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writer

On April 14, the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation released figures on the number of visitors to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in fiscal 2008. The number increased to 1,357,233, an increase of 1.3 percent compared to the previous fiscal year, marking the fourth consecutive year of increase. The number of foreign visitors exceeded 180,000 for the first time. However, the number of visitors began to decrease in January 2009 due to the impact of the economic downturn.

Meanwhile, there were 214,677 visitors to Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, also located in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, in fiscal 2008. This is the largest number of visitors the Hall has received since opening in fiscal 2002. Owing to the Hall’s promotional efforts in cooperation with Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and its longer opening hours, the number of visitors to the Hall increased by 2.0 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.

Concerning the breakdown of visitors to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the number of visitors, believed to be foreigners by city employees at the ticket windows, reached 181,727, an increase of 4.0 percent. The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation attributed this increase to the fact that “Miyajima, a World Heritage Site in Hiroshima Prefecture, now appears in well-known overseas guidebooks and therefore Hiroshima has become more popular as a tourist destination.”

As for monthly figures for Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the number of visitors between April 2008 and December 2008 increased by 2.3 percent compared with the same period of the previous fiscal year, while visitors between January 2009 and March 2009, in contrast, decreased by 0.8-7.5 percent. The worldwide economic downturn is thought to have affected the number of visitors.

The number of students visiting Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on school excursions increased by 2.6 percent to 306,648. Koichiro Maeda, director of the museum, referring to U.S. President Barack Obama’s sweeping vision for nuclear abolition, commented, “Though we can now see brighter prospects for nuclear abolition, the threat of the use of nuclear weapons still remains. More than ever, we will make an effort to convey the futility of war.”

(Originally published on April 15, 2009)

Related articles
Number of visitors to Peace Memorial Museum exceeds 1.3 million in past fiscal year(April 22, 2008)