Hiroshima Peace Pagoda
A prayer for everlasting world peace nestled in the hills of Hiroshima.
This mysterious silver structure glinting in the trees to the north of Hiroshima city is both a prayer for peace and a memorial to the victims of the atomic bombing.
Perched on top of Mount Futaba (139 meters), Hiroshima’s Peace Pagoda is a bulbous Buddhist stupa (a mound-shaped monument) that was erected in 1966. Its large silver dome houses ashes of the Buddha, and thousands of memorial stones that each represent a prayer for peace offered by a local resident.
The pagoda’s close proximity to Hiroshima station makes it easily accessible both by car and on foot. A hiking trail runs up the mountain from Toshogu shrine, just to the north of the station, which will take you to the pagoda in under an hour. It is a tranquil way to experience the Peace Memorial Park area.
Starting at the back of the shrine, a series of stone steps will lead you through a tunnel of red torii gates and past numerous small shrines. About halfway up, a set of stairs on the left leads to an observation point where you can rest and look out over the city. From here, return to the main path and follow it up through the forest until you reach the pagoda.
Whether you arrive by foot or by car, at the top you’ll be rewarded with a close-up look at the pagoda and a fantastic view out over Hiroshima city. There’s also a spacious open area which is perfect for a picnic if the weather is good.
Know before you go
Keen hikers wanting to explore further could try the Futaba-no-Sato Historical Walking Trail, which is about 10 kilometers long and takes you to 16 shrines and temples in the area.