HIROSHIMA–Haruno Horimoto was 15 years old when she hopped on the first streetcar after a suspension in operations in Hiroshima. She noticed the relative silence of the passengers, and the surprise that service was running.
Remarkably, tram operations were available just three days after an atomic bomb reduced the city to rubble on Aug. 6, 1945.
Perhaps even more remarkable is that two of the streetcars damaged on the blast are still running today.
The streetcar operator, Hiroshima Electric Railway Co., provided encouragement to the bombed city with its quick resumption of services in some areas of the devastated city. Its preservation of the streetcars now provides lessons to younger generations about the horrors of war.
The now-deceased Horimoto was studying at the rail company’s domestic science school for girls at the time. Her notes about her streetcar ride on Aug. 9, 1945, are included in the history of Hiroshima Electric Railway.
“Many of the …