One of the few remaining trams which survived the Hiroshima bomb has been restored to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the attack.
Watch this BBC video and answer the questions below. The activity is suitable for Intermediate 2 students.
1 When did the tram car stop being in regular service?
2 When was the tram service back in service after the bomb exploded?
3 What material was the Bank of Hiroshima made of?
4 How high were the temperatures after the explosion?
5 What prediction was wrong about Hiroshima after the atomic blast?
...of August 6 Japanese time, the first atomic bomb hit an enemy target.
This has to be the most famous building in Hiroshima, and one of the most famous in Japan. But many people outside Japan think the A-bomb dome is the only thing that survived in the middle of Hiroshima after the atomic explosion. That’s simply is not true.
So this actual tram car survived the atomic blast, was restored after the war, put back into operation and, in fact, this car was running on the streets of Hiroshima in regular service (1) until just a few years ago. It’s now used for tourists rides. But the tram system itself is another remarkable story because they got the trams up and running on part of the system (2) just three days after the atomic bomb exploded here. So the trams are a symbol of rejuvenation and survival for the people who live here.
Quite a lot of other large buildings in the middle of Hiroshima actually survived, especially if they were made of (3) reinforced concrete. And one of them was the Bank of Hiroshima. It’s just down the street over here.
So actually this is the Bank of Japan building and it’s only around 400 metres from the hypercentre of the explosion. This building survived despite temperatures which would have risen to (4) 3,000º. Everything and everybody around here was incinerated but amazingly, inside this building, because of its thick walls, some people survived.
After the bombing a lot of people here thought (5) Hiroshima would be an atomic wasteland and nothing would grow here for 50 or maybe 70 years, but that, too, was wrong.
These are the grounds of Hiroshima castle, and all of the buildings here were completely wiped out in the explosion. But look at the trees. You come here and you can’t help thinking some of the trees must be older than 70 years, and indeed they are. This one is a survivor. Not only has it survived, it seems to have thrived and there are many trees in Hiroshima like this. And they are an incredible testament to the resilience of nature.