Indirectly, if I think about Hiroshima I think about war and the atomic bomb and not to a precise point of attraction. Maybe I am right, as the city today doesn’t have much to offer to a hungry visitor. But, if you’ll visit Hiroshima even for a few hours or being in transit for another destination as myself, check the signs of the past for an inside reflection.
We all know the past it can’t be erased and the people of Hiroshima do live their lifes as nothing happened – at least from the outside. We need to move on, but this doesn’t mean we have to forget the past, as it is a lesson.
Now, let’s see how you can spend a few hours in the city or the full day.
Peace Memorial Park
If you need to chose one single place to visit in Hiroshima this should be the Peace Memorial Park. The consequences of the atomic bomb can still be seen here today. This is to remember the past to the future generations and make them chose a brighter future.
Atomic Bomb Dome, Genbaku Domu
This dome, registered under Unesco World Herritage, is probably the most known image of Hiroshima and a symbol of the past. On 6th of August 1945 was launched the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare. This is one of the buildings severely damaged and today it stands to convey the horror, reminding us to “fight” for an eternal peace.
Children’s Peace Memorial, Genbaku-no-Ko-no-Zo
There is a place in the park comemorating the children who survived the air raid. It is beautiful covered in colourful garlands in cranes shapes, a symbol of health.
Cenotaph for the A-bomb victims, Genbaku Shibotsusha Irehi
This cenotaph is comemorating more than 200.000 victims of the atomic bomb. Nearby, you’ll see the peace flame – Heiwa-no-To, who is always burning. It won’t be extinguish until the latest nuclear weapon won’t be distroyed.
There are two more places around where you can learn more about the history of Hiroshima. The first one is a national hall for peace and the second one is the Peace memorial museum.
Moving to a more positive side of the city, Hiroshima has its own castle. Rebuilt after the war, it is a nice place to spend a few hours around the town. You can learn about its history, see an weapons and armours exhibit and having a nice view over the city from the observation platform. The entrance fee for the castle is ¥370.
This garden is located not far from the castle. Is expressing the idea of collecting and miniaturizing many scenic views, being a mini-model of the Xihu – West Lake, in Hangzhou – China.
The garden has a circular way to visit and the variety inside is big. You will seee a bridge almost in the middle of the garden, a pond with many islets, tea cottages and a huge garden with bamboo groves, many diverse species of trees and grassy fields.
If you want to explore more, from the garden you can enter straight into the Art Museum. There is an extra fee to be paid of ¥510, apart from the garden fee of ¥260.
I trully enjoyed this garden to end my day in a peacefully way, by exploring its surroundings and the nature. It is a true oasis of relaxation.
Friends around the world
Maybe there weren’t many things to do in Hiroshima but when we have friends there, things change. Luckly, during my trip to Egypt, my friend and I, met another traveller from Japan. We ended up by spending our day together and keeping in touch for the future.
So, this was that time of the future when we meet again. This time it was in Japan, in Hiroshima and we did spend a nice evening together, having a diner and catching up on our last travels. Thank you, Hisashi, for being a good friend and having such a good heart. I hope I will meet you and your wife again when I’ll move to Japan.
Even if you will visit Hiroshima for only a few hours or a day, don’t miss the Memorial Park. This is a place we all need to see and understand what war brings. Let’s all promise it will never happen again.
Meanwhile, read more about other wonderful places to visit around Japan here.