Hiroshima Travel Guide
Hiroshima does not need an introduction. Made famous for the shocking effects of the atomic bomb which landed here in August 1945, Hiroshima has managed to pull itself out of the rubble and create a contemporary city, much like a phoenix rising from its own ashes. Millions of visitors make their way to Hiroshima to pay their respects to those who died or survived but with devastating results.
However, Hiroshima is much more than a remembrance to the events of 1945. This vibrant city is home to an amazing wealth of cultural attractions, interesting things to do, shopping opportunities and restaurants catering to all palettes. Our Hiroshima travel & city guide will provide travel tips and ideas to explore the city better.
The Peace Memorial Museum is the first stop on tourists’ itineraries. Known in Japanese as the Heiwa kinen-shiryōkan, this is the place to go to in order to understand why the atomic bomb dropped by the Americans happened and the devastating consequences of the people who lived here. In the east building you will find displays two models of Hiroshima, both before and after the city, as well as exhibits of the prologue to the bombing. You will also find a theatre where two movies in English document the events and aftermath.
Head on up to the fourth floor where you will discover a museum after a gallery of photographs and models depicting the injuries the local people suffered. These photographs will haunt you for the rest of your life, no horrors left unbound. After this, you can walk along a corridor which overlooks the Peace Park and contemplate on what and why it occurred.
After you have visited the Peace Memorial Museum, the next best place to visit is the Peace Memorial Park (Kinen-koen). A place of peacefulness and contemplation, you will find a vast number of monuments and statues dedicated to the victims and survivors of the bombing. The Children’s Peace Monument is one of the most haunting statues you will come across, with a young girl ontop of an extended dome with an origami crane in hand. Children from all over the country make their way over to this monument to lay garlands of origami cranes over this monument. This was started in 1955 when a young schoolchild named Sasaki Sadako was diagnosed with leukaemia due to the effects of the bomb.
Hiroshima has other cultural attractions apart from places dedicated to the Hiroshima bomb. Hiroshima Castle is a fantastic place to visit. The castle was initially built sometime in the 1590s by Terumoto Mori, the Hideyoshi warlord. Unfortunately, the castle was destroyed in 1945 when the Hiroshima bomb fell but was then rebuilt in 1958, although some of the original foundations make for an interesting photo shoot. Cherry blossom parties, known as hanami, are held here and the museum takes you on a fascinating journey through the history of the castle and Hiroshima itself.
There are several temples and shrines well worth visiting in Hiroshima, but the 14th century temple complex Fudoin is by far the best. Situated just north of the city, it was lucky enough to be spared from the devastation felt in the city. The temple complex its utterly beautiful and envelops you in its peaceful embrace.
Restaurants in Hiroshima will delight every sense known to man. Like most cities in Japan, Hirshima has its own local cuisine. When in Hiroshima, you should definitely try okonomiyaki, a type of pancake with soba noodles, egg, cabbage, cheese, seafood or meat.
You will find a vast number of hotels in Hiroshima, all ranging in comforts and prices. More affordable than Tokyo, nonetheless the top of the range hotels can be quite expensive. The mid-range hotels are generally the best in terms of comfort and rates and can be found throughout the city.
Hiroshima is one of those cities where you cannot miss out on experiencing. Although the bombing has made Hiroshima famous throughout the world, the city is much more than this one historical event; historical and cultural, it is a city which will stay in your mind years after you have left.