Hiroshima is a modern city on Japan's Honsu Island. It was destroyed by an atomic bomb on August 6, 1945. Today, the city becomes a symbol of peace in the world. If you plan to visit this city of peace, please do not miss these things to do in Hiroshima.
You cannot boast that you were in Hiroshima if you do not visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to commemorate the bombing event. Inside the park there is an "Atomic-bomb Dome", a Children’s Monument, a Memorial Museum etc.
Besides, you can admire the mysterious Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island, visit Shukkei-en Garden (Shrunken Garden), visit Hiroshima Castle to enjoy the city panoramic view, take a stroll in downtown Hiroshima, and take a look at Japan's automobile technology. Last but not least, your trip to Hiroshima will be perfected by trying Hiroshima's local delicacy, Okonomiyaki.
- Understanding the bombing event on August 6, 1945 through the Peace Memorial Park, the Children’s Monument, the Atomic-bomb Dome (A-bomb Dome), and the Memorial Museum;
- admiring the mysterious Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and taking photos below the floating torii gate;
- relaxing at the Shrunken Garden and enjoying Japanese tea;
- trying Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, the most popular local delicacy;
- enjoying the panoramic city view from Hiroshima Castle;
- strolling in bustling Hiroshima downtown and buying typical Japanese stuff;
- taking a look at Japan's automobile technology at Mazda Museum.
1. Understanding the bombing event on August 6, 1945
Recommended visiting time: 3-4 hours
One of the purposes people come to Hiroshima is to get a brief understanding about what happened on August 6, 1945. You can get a big picture of the bombing event through things exhibited in Peace Memorial Park.
There are at least three things to do when you visit Peace Memorial Park. First, you can go to see the cenotaph for the atomic bomb victims to grieve for the lost. Every August 6, there is a Peace Memorial Ceremony held at this cenotaph for remembering the bomb victims. Then, you can go to visit the memorial museum, where you can get an accurate picture of the atomic attack and its tragic radiation effects.
Inside the museum you can see some belongings of victims, through which you can imagine the horror of that tragic day, and you can also gain an understanding of the history of Hiroshima before and after the bombing. Then, you must visit the Atomic Bomb Dome (people call it A-bomb Dome). It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of peace for the world.
Beside those three things, you could also visit the Children's Peace Monument, which was dedicated to Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died because of radiation poisoning. She believed that by folding 1000 paper cranes she would make her wish to get better come true, but then she died before she finished those cranes.
Inside this park you can also see some phoenix trees which survived the radiation from the bomb without wilting; they have continued to live up to this day.
2. Admiring the mysterious Itsukushima Shrine
Recommended visiting time: half a day
Itsukushima Shrine is located on Miyajima Island, a very small island only 10 minutes from Hiroshima. The shrine is what makes this island well-known, besides the sacred atmosphere. Itsukushima Shrine, also known as the ‘floating shrine’, is one of the World Heritage Sites in Hiroshima.
You will go through a vermilion torii which is 16 meters tall and serves as the water entrance to Itsukushima Shrine. This torii has a unique 'floating-like' appearance when the water is at high tide.
When you arrive at the main shrine, you can see that it is very significant to the Shinto faith. So, come and feel the mysterious atmosphere at Itsukushima Shrine. You can get the best view here at sunset or after dark when the torii gate and the shrine are lit up.
3. Relaxing at the Shrunken Garden
Recommended visiting time: 2-3 hours
The Shrunken Garden, or Shukkei-en, is one of the finest examples of a typical Japanese garden. You can see mountains, lush forests, deep valleys, scenic lakes, bridges and pagodas, all in miniature!
Shukkei-en Garden was built almost 400 years ago. It features the traditional tea house where you can taste Japanese tea, coffee, and sweets in an outdoor setting. It is good to relax here and enjoy walking around, since it is very like a natural landscape.
With the tranquil lakes and traditional teahouses, you definitely will have the chance to take some good photos!
4. Trying Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki
Tasting local delicacies is one of the best parts when you visit new places. Okonomiyaki is Hiroshima's most famous dish, that can be regarded as a Japanese savory pancake. It contains a variety of ingredients like squid, pork, egg, cabbage, bean sprouts, noodles, and anything you really want!
You can visit Okonomimura, a food theme park with over 20 different okonomiyaki restaurants for a great okonomiyaki experience. It is a nice and memorable place to try Hiroshima's local delicacy.
5. Enjoying the panoramic city view from Hiroshima Castle
Recommended visiting time: 2 hours
Hiroshima Castle is a fantastic example of a typical Japanese castle construction. The current castle was reconstructed after World War II, and now it is designated as National Historic Site and as one of Japan's Top 100 Castles.
The castle is surrounded by a water-filled moat and it gives visitors a glimpse of the solemnity of the original castle. One of the things that you should not miss out on doing, is to reach the top of the castle to see the panoramic view of Hiroshima City. It is a fantastic view, indeed.
6. Strolling in bustling downtown Hiroshima
Recommended visiting time: half a day
Downtown can be bustling, but it is a nice place to relax and enjoy the daily life of Hiroshima. There are many places for shopping. Besides, there are also a number of restaurants where you can get the authentic Hiroshima Okonomiyaki. The place is nice and clean and the people are polite.
You could visit Hiroshima Hondori Shotengai, a shopping street which passes through the middle of downtown. There is a variety of stores such as restaurants, local product shops, clothing and general goods stores as well as pharmacies.
It is a good place to shop for some Japanese traditional craft, anime goods, products made from moshio (Japanese seaweed salt) and the like. You can also go to Daiso, a popular 100-yen chain store.
7. Taking a look at Japan's automobile technology at Mazda Museum
Recommended visiting time: 2-3 hours
The Mazda Museum was founded in 1920 by Mazda Motor Corporation. Whether you are a car enthusiast or not, Mazda Museum is worth a visit, since Mazda is one of the innovative players in Japan's automobile industry.
A Mazda representative will take visitors through the museum and explain about Mazda's history, its automobile technology and the prospect of its future. Then you will walk through an actual working assembly line where you can see Mazda cars being produced, and at the end they will take you to a shop where you can buy all the Mazda souvenirs.
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