Dynamic and compelling, Hiroshima defies expectation.
The cosmopolitan capital of the Chugoku Region, Hiroshima has grown from a harrowing symbol of destruction to a thriving example of Japanese ingenuity and optimism. After the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped in 1945, Hiroshima’s citizens defied expectations and managed to rebuild their city into what it is today; a vibrant, dynamic and compelling place to visit.
In the center of the city, the large Peace Memorial Park stands as a moving testament to the events of WWII. The Peace Memorial Museum is made up of two buildings with exhibitions outlining the city’s history and the aftermath of the atomic bomb destruction. Nearby stands the UNESCO World Heritage A-Bomb dome, the shell remains of the former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall which was directly underneath the bomb blast. The Cenotaph for the A-Bomb victims is a memorial tomb for the 220,000 people that died as a result.
Most people combine a visit to Hiroshima with a side trip to Miyajima (less than one hour away) to see the famous floating red torii gate at Itsukushima shrine. With more time in the city, the photogenic reconstruction of Hiroshima Castle houses an interesting museum about the history of Western Japan, and offers a great view of the city from the top floor.
Nearby, the traditional Shukkeien gardens are a nice place to stroll around in good weather, or you can head to Hijiyama park to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. If you’re into your cars, or manufacturing in general, the Mazda Museum houses the world’s longest assembly line and has daily tours in English.
Hiroshima is famous for Hiroshima-yaki, the local version of Japanese okonomiyaki (a savory egg pancake stuffed with vegetables and other ingredients) as well as oysters and other seafood. You can work all that food off at a Hiroshima Carps baseball game, joining in the chants and well-organised dancing at the official stadium just north of the Peace Memorial Park.