Hiroshima Tourist Information
Hiroshima is, of course, best known for being the first city to suffer a nuclear bombing. It is for the memorials to this event that most people visit the city today.
It is a poignant and moving experience to visit the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Peace Park and the museum; an experience no person interested in the modern world and the direction humanity is taking should miss.
But the city is not all about those terrible events. It has risen Phoenix-like from the ashes to become an attractive, modern, buzzing city with a happening nightlife. It is also a short distance from there to cultural and historical sites like Hiroshima castle.
The most notable of those sites is the island of Miyajima, a short way offshore, entirely untouched by the tragedy of 1945, and home to one of Japan’s most picturesque shrines: Itsukushima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is built on the shore, right over the waters of the sea, where is seems to float. At the entrance to the inlet in which the shrine stands is the famous giant torii gate in the water, framing a view of the hills and mountains of the mainland.
The island is home to a picturesque village, several other historic shrines, and herds of pampered deer that wander the streets at will, entirely unfazed by the tourists clicking away at them.
We have a number of tours which take in Hiroshima as part of the itinerary including our Japan Heartland Tour and the Cherry Blossom Tour.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial (A-Bomb Dome)
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is the symbol of one of the most momentous events in human history. This building, formerly the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, a kind of exhibition space, stood almost directly underneath the blast that demolished Hiroshima in 1945.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park needs no explanation. It is a beautiful and dignified garden with monuments, joined with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which, though affecting, is a place we must all visit.
Hiroshima Castle, otherwise known as Carp Castle, is the more life-affirming symbol of Hiroshima. The original was built in the 16th century and guarded the city until that awful day in 1945. The current castle is a faithful reconstruction and houses a museum to the historical city.
Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima
This shrine, on the island of Miyajima, must be one of the most beautiful shrines in Japan. It stands on stilts over the shallow waters of a small inlet, whose entrance is dramatically marked by its famous towering torii gate. Torii and shrine seem to float magically on the water at high tide.
Mt. Misen Cable Car Ride, Miyajima
Mt Misen is a steep and rugged peak, the tallest on Miyajima, but you can sail up it in cable cars that offer spectacular views of the island, the ocean, and the pristine forest beneath your feet.
The Eternal Flame near the summit of Mt.Misen
The Eternal Flame is just one of the Seven Wonders housed in the many shrines near the summit of Mt Misen, all of which can be visited by the cable car. This flame is said to have been lit 1,200 years ago and provided the Flame of Peace at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
Oysters — the pearls of Miyajima’s cuisine! It’s a quirk of Japan that every locale in the country has its own signature food, and for Miyajima it’s oysters which grow abundantly around the island. They are cooked every way you can imagine and quite a few you’ve probably never thought of. The best may be those char grilled at the street stalls.
The Biggest Rice Spoon in the World
Who knew there was such a thing? But this is not a gigantic act of whimsy, and is, in fact, a product of legend and the history of Miyajima. But how so? And how big is it? Your homework is to take a guess and then check your answers when you visit the island. No peeking at Google in the meantime!