Hiroshima was made famous on the 6th August 1945 for very unfortunate reasons, and most of the pictures I had seen from the place were devastation scenes in my history books at school. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, and I was in for a surprise…
Modern Hiroshima is nothing like the history book pictures! Lively, busy, with an amazing food scene, loads of shops and very important historical sights. A really nice town to explore for a couple of days!
We stayed at the Washington Hotel in the city centre. The room and bed are on the small side, but it is very good value for money and very well situated in the town.
Day 1 – The Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima Castle & the city centre
We arrived in Hiroshima around lunch time and grabbed a quick lunch on the go on our way to the hotel. After dropping our bags, we were ready to explore and started our visit at the Peace Memorial Museum.
The museum has been done very nicely and it walks its visitors through the terrible event very tastefully, from the timeline of the day and weeks that followed, to the science behind the impact of nuclear weapons on human bodies and nature. A real eye-opening experience and a very touching one too. A good reminder that peace is what we should all seek for.
Outside the museum, there are a couple of memorials. One is dedicated to the victims of the bombing, the other is the Children’s Peace Monument, both are touching and beautiful.
From the park, you will have a great view of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, the most famous remaining symbol of August 6th, 1945.
After a rather emotionally-heavy afternoon, we decided to walk to Hiroshima Castle to reflect on what we had seen and learned.
The castle definitely worth swinging by with its beautiful gardens and shrines.
We ended the day at ふみちゃん 流川店 for the most delicious okonomiyaki.
Day 2 – Miyajima island
One of the most beautiful places we visited while in Japan is Miyajima island, just outside Hiroshima. To get there we took the tramway for 40 minutes and then a boat for about 20 minutes. There is a faster route I believe, but we enjoyed our tramway ride seeing the locals commuting to work and children going to school.
On arrival you will be met by a furry welcome committee, Miyajima island is populated with a large deer community. Keep a close eye on your belongings because if you carry any sort of food they will find it (check the video at 3:07)!
Miyajima island has some amazing sights that you commonly see on postcards. There is the beautiful (but very busy) Istukushima Shrine.
The very famous floating torii.
The five-storied Pagoda which features on most cherry blossom pictures you would see of the island.
Miyajima island is basically a giant postcard. We loved hiking up and down the hills all day, but the real highlight for us was Daishō-in.
A magical shrine at the top of the hill, the place is simply gorgeous.
After hiking a bit longer and a few close encounters with some deer, we headed back into town for another okonomiyaki.
A lot of our friends going to Japan asked us if Hiroshima worth visiting, my answer? Absolutely, but if you are going all the way there make sure to visit Miyajima island too! Otherwise, it may not worth the hours on the train.
Planning a trip to Japan? Make sure to check out my guides to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hakone!
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