Travel
Comments 2

My Days in Hiroshima 「広島への旅」

I recently spent three days in Hiroshima, in western Honshu, the main island of Japan.  I enjoyed visiting Hiroshima but for me it was a bitter-sweet trip.

Visiting Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome (Genbaku Dome) and the Peace Memorial Park deeply affected me. I won’t start a discussion about the reasons behind Hiroshima bombing but I deeply believe this should never happen again. The atomic bomb not only killed thousands of people in Hiroshima but also caused unspeakable suffering to survivors.

hiroshima

The sad story of Sadako inspired the Children’s Peace Monument. Children from all over the world still send folded paper cranes to be placed beneath Sadako’s statue.  They make the same wish which is engraved on the base of the statue: “This is our cry, This is our prayer, Peace in the world”.

hiroshima

hiroshima

The iconic Dome pays tribute to the events of August 6th and also reminds visitors of Hiroshima’s efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.  Because human spirit is so resilient, Hiroshima has managed to revive and become a city of culture and prosperity.

hiroshima

If you want a peek into Hiroshima’s past, you can visit Hiroshima Castle in the middle of the city. The Castle was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945 and later rebuilt.  The entrance to the castle is so pretty.

hiroshima

hiroshima

Follow the path and end at Hiroshima Castle. So beautiful! You can go in, climbed the stairs (5 stories so it’s not bad) and enjoyed the panoramic views of the city from the top floor.

hiroshima

hiroshima

Plum trees blossoms in the Castle’s gardens.

hiroshima

hiroshima

It’s most likely that you’ll be in Hiroshima a couple of days so you must go to Miyajima Island.  The beautiful Itsuku-shima-jinja (Itsuku-shima Shrine) is said to be one of the three most beautiful sights in Japan, and was designated as a nation’s historic site. Its symbol is the Great Torii Gate (shrine gate) that stands in the sea. (How to get there? catch an early ferry from Miyajimaguchi, 25 minutes south of Hiroshima station)

hiroshima

hiroshima

hiroshima

Just like in Nara, you’ll find adorable (and wild) deer

hiroshima

Lots of little stores and eateries in the island. Hiroshima is famous for its oysters so I had fried oysters for lunch

Kaki Fry for lunch (Fried Oysters)

hiroshima

hiroshima

hiroshima

hiroshima

hiroshima

Beautiful and peaceful temples in the island provide the perfect spot to enjoy a break

hiroshima

hiroshima

Back in Hiroshima, if you have some energy left, visit the beautiful  Shukkeien Garden that dates back to 1620. Around the garden’s main pond there are a number of tea houses and a path which winds around it and passes through all of Shukkeien’s various miniaturized sceneries. Follow this path around the garden and don’t forget to feed the fish in the pond!

hiroshima

hiroshima

hiroshima

hiroshima

hiroshima

hiroshima

Kokokyo Bridge

Hiroshima

Take Hiroshima’s streetcars, locally known as “Hiroden“, to go around the city. The history of Hiroden is old and it has always been the means of transportations for Hiroshima people for a hundred years. You can learn how to ride them HERE

Hiroshima

hiroshima

After a long day sightseeing, you’ll be hungry.  Dishes like Okonomiyaki and oysters are the stars of Hiroshima but there’re many other local delicacies!

hiroshima

hiroshima

Tempuradon

Hiroshima Okonomiyaki (photo via gethiroshima.com)

Hiroshima Okonomiyaki (photo via gethiroshima.com)

hiroshima

Hiroshima Momiji Manjyu (photo via visitmiyajimajapan.com)

hiroshima

 

One more personal tip… 

Japanese female photographer Ishiuchi Miyako has produced an amazing photo collection of clothing and personal effects which once belonged to some of the 140,000 people estimated to have been doomed by the bomb. Here’s a great article about her work:  “Behind Things Left Behind: Ishiuchi Miyako

 

おつかれさま Hiroshima!

thanks

 

All photos on this blog were snapped by me unless otherwise noted. If you see something you’d like to share, please be sure to provide a link back to this space. Thank you!

2 Comments

  1. As a lifelong resident of the USA, I think I would be too overwhelmed with guilt to visit Hiroshima. Thank you for showing it to me. It looks beautiful.

    We have a Sadako statue here in Seattle. People leave paper cranes there all year long.

    • You are so welcome, Paul. The city is beautiful indeed. I read about Sadako’s statue in Peace Park and saw photos online 🙂 Guess our cities are connected not only through coffee shops. Cheers xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s