The approach to the museum is surprisingly serene, along a weeping willow-flanked river.
Brightly-coloured garlands of origami storks greet you at the gates. These have been donated by children visiting the museum, in memory Sadako Sasaki. She was a girl who developed leukemia ten years after being exposed to radiation from the Hiroshima atomic bomb. She believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes, her illness would be cured. Sadly she died, having folded 964 cranes. Sadako's friends took over the task of folding 1,000 paper cranes and it soon became a symbol of the worldwide prayer for peace throughout Japan and also overseas.
The building is impressively designed, with a light filled spiral hallway that leads down to the exhibition.