Hiroshima today is one of popular places of interest among the international tourists, as many people are willing to see the city, which managed to survive a nuclear catastrophe and is good to live in now. There are many Hiroshima tourists attractions, and far not all of them are related with the tragic events during the World War II. Among the Hiroshima attractions, you will see parks and squares, art museums and ancient buildings, Hiroshima museum and much more.
History of this Japanese city dates back to 1598, when it was founded as a residential place for warlord, Mori Terumoto. The city is located on the seashore, and there is a river in the city. Such convenient geographical position allowed Hiroshima to become a profitable trading center and a place to live for many people, involved into military, marine and certain industrial businesses.
By the way, John Hersey wrote a book, also known as the Hiroshima novel, to commemorate the victims of the bomb blast and to tell the histories of the survivors. Even after complete destruction the city faced after the World War II and a typhoon, which hit Hiroshima only a month after the nuclear blast, the citizens managed to restore their native city and make it adequate for living. If you are not sure what to do in Hiroshima, Japan, below you will find a good tip.
Top 10 things to do in Hiroshima:
- Take a look at the A-Bomb Dome;
- Take a walk in the Hiroshima park and enjoy blooming cherry trees;
- Take a ferry and view the city from the river;
- Visit the Hiroshima Museum and try to imagine the size of nuclear catastrophe of 1945;
- Pray for the peace in the world, so that the Hiroshima tragedy would never repeat;
- Taste raw oysters with soy sauce;
- Travel within the city on an electric city car;
- Hear the sound of the Peace Bell;
- Walk along the Miyajima Maciya street;
- Enjoy view in Tomonoura port.
The A-Bomb Dome, one of the most popular Hiroshima sights
Whenever you come to Hiroshima, the A-Bomb Dome is a place you definitely have to visit.
This place is a real symbol of peace, and is the main of Hiroshima tourist attractions, and is a reminder to everyone, that nuclear weapon may cause a lot of grief and destruction. Originally, this building was created by an architect from Czech back in 1915, and before the World War II was known as the Perfectural Industrial Promotion Hall.
This place was loved by the citizens, as it featured that exotic and unusual for them European style, and looked very modern among the other traditional buildings and houses.
It is curious, that in 1912, there took place the National Confectionary Exhibition, and sweets from all over the world were represented here. The same year, a German confectioner Baumkuchen offered their traditional cake, which was then first cooked and sold in Japan. Since then, this dessert became one of the most beloved overseas sweets of the Japanese.
The building was located only 160 meters away from the nuclear explosion hypocenter, and all the insides were blown away by a powerful wave. However, due to the fact, that the blast took place in the air, not on the ground, the building was not totally destroyed. Its frame, walls and even roof managed to withstand that strong nuclear bomb impact, and remained on the place. Today this place is one of the Hiroshima top attractions, and in 1996 it was declared to be a world heritage by UNESCO. People come here to commemorate the victims of the World War II and those, who died during the explosion, and pray for peace in the world, so it is one of the key Hiroshima tourist attractions.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
One of the other popular tourist attractions in Hiroshima, Japan, is a Hiroshima Park. It is located right in the center of the city, and is very spacious. Years ago, this place, which features triangular shape and is washed from the sides by two rivers, used to be the heart of busy life in the city. It was a center of residential life, and many industrial buildings were also located here, but after the bomb blast, it was completely wiped out and everything here was destroyed.
When it came to the reconstruction of the city, there were several ideas on what should be on this place. But the architect Kenzo Tangle made a decision not to build another downtown here, and to commemorate the people, who died here immediately after the bomb blast by arranging a memorial park at this place. The park was completely built by 1954, and today is one of well-known tourist attractions in Hiroshima, Japan.
Today, in this Hiroshima bomb place, people are offered to compare tranquil beauty of Japanese nature with all the grief the city faced after the nuclear blast. This park is also well-known for the beautiful cherry trees, which are exceptional when they bloom. In the park, there are planted around 300 cherry trees, which bloom with those magnificent pale pink flowers. So no wonder, the park is one of the most popular places to go in Hiroshima in spring. Also, along the river Motoyasu there cruises a ferry, which offers the citizens and tourists take a look at the A-Bomb Dome from the river side, so is one of the Hiroshima tourist spots.
On yearly basis, in this park is held the Memorial Ceremony, and it takes place on August, 6th. People pray for peace here in front of the Memorial Cenotaph, and hold one-minute silence, for the victims of the bomb, exactly at 8.15, since this is the time, when the Little Boy has exploded. In the evening, people write words of pray and desire, that this catastrophe would never occur again on the lanterns, and have the lights flow along the river. This event looks really amazing.
Hiroshima bomb museum and world heritage
The Hiroshima memorial museum, also known colloquially as the Hiroshima bomb museum, is one of the most symbolic buildings in the city, and the most appealing place for international tourists. It is located right in the Peace Memorial Park, and you may find this building standing in one line with the Memorial Cenotaph, the A-Bomb Dome and the Peace Flame, if you take a look at these sights from the side of the Peace Boulevard.
The Hiroshima Memorial Museum was open back in 1955, with the aim to educate the visitors about the danger of a nuclear bomb, and its influence towards the city in 1945. Also, the visitors are welcome to familiarize themselves with the history of Hiroshima before and after the bomb blast by visiting this museum, Hiroshima.
The exhibitions of the Hiroshima bomb museum offer many reference materials.
The East Wing of the Hiroshima Museum shows photographs, videos and panels on the historical events of the city, comparisons before and after the nuclear bomb blast.
The main building offers the visitors to review the belongings of victims, such as bikes, lunchboxes, etc.
The Peace Museum, Hiroshima, was also designed by Kenzo Tange, the architect, who also took care of the Memorial Park development. The base idea, which lies inside of these architectural sights, is to reveal the strength of humanity in the people, and to remind the dimensions and all the horror of the nuclear catastrophe Hiroshima sustained. So everyone, who at least once visits the Hiroshima Museum, should strongly feel, that such misery should never happen again, with any other city, town or country on the planet, and that there is a lot of beauty to enjoy, which is way better, than the warfare.
Hiroshima Perfectural History Museum
Among the popular places to visit in Hiroshima, there is a Perfectural History Museum, which is located in the Bingo district, to the South-East from the city center. Here you will see ancient things, which were found by the archeologists at the bottom of the Ashida-river. Many of them date back to Kusado-sengen-cho-iseki period, and are parts of the medieval history of Hiroshima. Besides, here are the restored buildings, and the place looks as if you walked into an ancient city, centuries ago. Here you will get acquainted with the history, traditions and culture of old Japan, and will definitely enjoy this experience.
Here is how you may get to this Hiroshima area:
- You may go by car, and drive around 20 to 25 minutes by the Sanyo Expressway from Fukuyama-higashi direction;
- You may travel by train and then walk for five minutes from the station of JR Fukuyama;
- The fee for the permanent exhibition is 290 yen.
Children’s peace monument
Not far from the Hiroshima museum you may find one more place you have to visit, when you come to this Japanese state. It is a monument, which was built in order to commemorate the young children, who died as a result of the A-bomb blast back in 1945, and those, who suffered serious diseases after the blast and were impossible to cure. It was built after the death of a 12-year-old boy, Sasaki Sadako, and is dedicated to all kids like him.
The monument itself is a dome, with a girl standing on top of it and holding a crane. Nearby, there are statues of the other boys and girls, who stand for the peace and safety. This monument is one of the most popular Hiroshima tourists attractions, and people from all over the world come here, especially on August, 6, to commemorate the kids, who also became the victims of that nuclear blast and didn’t manage to live a long life.
The public transport, which may take you to this monument:
- City train #2 (Hiroden-Miyajimaguchi direction);
- City train #6, station “Genbaku Dome-Mae”, on the route to Hiroshima station.
The Peace Bell
There are many places to visit in Hiroshima, and in the city you will find many monuments and places of interest, dedicated to the tragic event, which took place in the city by the end of the World War II and took lives of thousands of military and civilian people. One of Hiroshima places to visit at this point is the Peace Bell. It is also a monument, which was constructed by the A-Bomb survivals. It was open in September, 1964, and is one of the famous places in Hiroshima, as it is quite often depicted on the postcards and brochures, available in the city and via the internet.
The monument itself has got a world map, which is carved on the stone, with no border lines between the countries. The slogan of this monument is “One World”, which means that all the people, who live on our planet, should be tolerant to each other, as we are all equal. Besides, a tragedy in one country may not be safe for the rest of the world. The bell itself has got a dedicated logo, which pleas to ban nuclear weapon in the world. And on the other side of this bell you will find a mirror, which reflects the beauty of peaceful Japanese city. It is curious, that in 1996, the Japanese ministry of environment selected the sound of the bell as one of those 100 best sounds in the country.
How to get to the Peace Bell:
- City train #2 (Hiroden-Miyajimaguchi direction);
- City train #6, station “Genbaku Dome-Mae”, on the route to Hiroshima station.
Flame of Peace
To take a look at the Flame of Piece is one of the things to do in Hiroshima, Japan. It is considered one of the meaningful places in Hiroshima, and was established by a professor of Tokyo University, Tangle Kenzo. This sight is also known as fire of hope, and was established back in 1964. Since then, it has always kept burning, and was never down. The pedestal of the Flame of Peace is represented with two hands, which are pressed together, and are bent back. The palms point upwards, to the sky.
This constantly burning flame is one of the meaningful symbols of the protest against nuclear weapon usage, and means that the hands will be directed to the sky, and the flame will be burning, until nuclear weapon stops existing on our planet. This place is very often visited by the international peace organizations, since in Hiroshima there are many conferences on anti nuclear steps, certain social aspects and peace lectures. And, as an ultimate part of such events, the participants come to see the Flame of Peace. Also this place is visited by numerous tourists and citizens every year on August, 6, in order to commemorate those, who died of the bomb blast.
Fukuyama Temple, ancient castle with nuclear scarves
There are certain sights, which should be at the first place, when you think of what to see in Hiroshima. And one of such Hiroshima places of interest is an ancient castle, known as the Fukuyama temple. It was built back in 1622, managed to survive the nuclear bomb blast. Even though it had certain damages, it was reconstructed and now works as a history museum and is another Hiroshima must see and is one of the main of the places to see in Hiroshima.
Originally, this building served as a holly temple, and was established during the Edo period of the history. It lies on one of the hills, located on the Fukuyama plane. Before, in this area was a capital, which belonged to Bingo Fukuyama Han, hence the name. After the temple was built, it was surrounded with twin moats, and there was an inlet, directly connected with sea.
As a result of bombing and further nuclear blast, the castle was almost destroyed, so the temple had to be restored. The work was finished by 1966, and also there was built the Fukuyama Station nearby. So, the place is very easy to find and explore the unique magnificent world of Asian temples. Besides, you will be able to take many great pictures, and learn more about the history of this city, as today it is more a museum, than a temple. So if you are in Hiroshima, what to see is no longer a question for you.
Maneki-Neko Museum: getting acquainted with the role of cats in the city
If you have some free time, and are thinking what to do in Hiroshima this time, we may offer a good idea. One of very unusual Hiroshima tourists spots is the “path of Cats”, with is an atmospheric walking line, which lies is located not far from the Mt. Senkoji. This place may amuse anyone, with small kittens walking along it. Along the part, you will find a museum of Maneki Neko. Officially, this cat is a lucky figure in Asia, and brings fortune, helps in businesses and is a symbol of something profitable. It is said, that this smiley beckoning cat invites luck into the place it is located in. And the museum is a real house for these traditional Japanese cats.
On the first floor, you will find a big shopping place, where you may purchase a figure of Maneki-Neko.
On the second floor of the building, there is the actual museum, where you may view ancient statues of this cat, and learn more about this symbol.
Mitaki Temple, a beautiful building in a magnificent forest
Some tourists say, that the Mitaki temple is one of the best of Hiroshima castles. It is located on a magnificent mountain slope and looks beautiful of forest background. Surprisingly, this place is not overwhelmed with tourists, so it is very quite here. And a bonus for those, who love taking pictures during their trips: everywhere you take a look is a great opportunity for a shot. Everything in this place seems to be perfectly mated together: statues, buildings, trees, mountains… This is exactly what is called harmony.
The temple was built back in 809, and the water from the three waterfalls, which are located nearby, was brought to help out the victims of the nuclear bomb. As of 1951, this temple proudly holds the memorial services for the people, who died as a result of the nuclear bomb blast. Here you will find many wooden statues, in spring you may enjoy blooming sakura trees, and in autumn – red and yellow maple leaves.
Besides, here are several nice waterfalls. The enterance fee here is around 200 yens, which is way less, than the payment to enter the other similar places. However, it may seem to be quite difficult to get to the place, since it is quite far away from the center. If you have made a decision to attend this place, and do not mind getting around Hiroshima, here is how you may get there.
First, you need to get tickets and go from Hiroshima station right to JR Kable line, and your stop is the third one, from Mitaki. It takes around 10 minutes.
Then you go on feet, and may refer to maps or your navigator. You may always ask local residents, and they will gladly help you. The way will take you around 15 minutes, and you will be there!
Miyajima Maciya Street, a traditional street in a busy Japanese city
If you think, what to do in Hiroshima at your spare time, we recommend you to take a walk along that traditional Japanese street, Miyajima Maciya. It lies right behind the well-known shopping street, Omote-Sando, where are always many people, and is quite noisy. Though Maciya street is very quiet, and features that nostalgic atmosphere of the times, which have already passed. Here you will see that traditional townscape of the old good times, with pagodas, relatively short buildings and Japanese citizens.
At this street you will find art galleries, which are located inside of what before used to be just detached houses of local people. So if you came to Japan with a desire to feel what that purely Japanese traditional life is, here you’ve got a chance to become part of it. So you are welcome to take a short walk here, and you will not regret.
Tomonoura, one of the attractions in Hiroshima
In case you are thinking on where to go in Hiroshima, you are welcome to consider Tomonoura. The place lies to the South East of the Hiroshima state. It is an old port, and its history has got over 1000 of years, and the place was an important center of the industrial and transportation life of Hiroshima. Today, this place looks almost the same, as it did years ago, and still reveals that spirit of good old traditions, strong sea winds and mysteries. In the night, here are many lights, and piers are very good to walk on.
Since Edo period, between 1603 and 1867, this harbor was conserved and did not serve for the maritime needs of the city. It is curious, that around this harbor there is a traditional old Japanese cityscape, which still keep the spirit of old times. It is not only a great place to walk, but an amazing source for your pictures. If you are thinking of a good and distinctive souvenir to bring form here, you may purchase a bottle or two of the traditional Japanese liquor, Homeli-shu. It is not just an alcohol drink, but is a medical drink, which effectively cures sensitivity to fatigue, cold and certain other illnesses.
Near the Tomonoura port, there is a guesthouse Taicho-ro, and it was built years ago, during the Edo Period. From this place you may see awesome ocean view, and years ago the old Korean envoy noted, that it is one of the most marvelous views in Japan. Take your time to investigate this port place, see the old cityscape, and smell that salty sea wind.