Rare footage of a pre-atomic Hiroshima released

Eerie footage has been released of a thriving Hiroshima, filmed 10 years before it became the world's first city to be destroyed by an atomic bomb.

The rare black and white film was shot by a local resident in 1935.

It shows hundreds of cherry blossoms, which are an iconic Japanese flower, and people rowing across the river.

Japanese women in detailed kimonos walk the streets as a tram moves through the city centre, and uniformed soldiers march by.

A decade later, in August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing an estimated 146,000 people. Three days later another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki taking an estimated 80,000 lives.

Japan surrendered to the Allied nations a week after the Nagasaki bombing, spelling the end of WWII.

In the years to follow, many surviving residents suffered radiation sickness.

The video was handed over to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in 1961 but they've only recently decided to digitise it, costing them more than US$8000.