I’m getting there. I’ll have all these Japan posts up by the end of the year I promise!
The next stop on our 2 week Japan adventure was Hiroshima. I really wanted to include Hiroshima in our trip so I could visit the atomic bomb dome. I also heard they do amazing okonomiyaki!
So we got another early Shinkansen from Osaka down to Hiroshima which only took a little over two hours. It was a short walk to our hotel from the station and we dropped off our bags and headed into the city on foot.
We headed straight through the city to the Peace Memorial Park where our first stop was the atomic bomb dome.
In 1945 during WWII an atomic bomb was dropped over the city where much everything was destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people were killed.
Only a few buildings such as this one below remained standing. It is kept in tact all these years later to serve as a reminder to the world that this should never happen again.
It’s hard to put into words how I felt when Topher and I stood in front of the building. So many emotions including sorrow and anger and this could still be a possibility so many decades later.
The Peace Memorial Park was tranquil and beautiful. Perfect to put across the Japanese’s message of world peace which was their reason for building it.
Inside the park there are a few monuments including the below:
Flame of Peace
“The flame has burned continuously since it was lit in 1964, and will remain lit until all nuclear bombs on the planet are destroyed and the planet is free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.”
Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims
Holding all the names of the victims of the bomb, the cenotaph lines up with the dome, the flame and the museum.
Children’s Peace Monument
“The Children’s Peace Monument is a statue dedicated to the memory of the children who died as a result of the bombing. The statue is of a girl with outstretched arms with a folded paper crane rising above her. The statue is based on the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died from radiation from the bomb. She is known for folding over 1,000 paper cranes in response to a Japanese legend. To this day, people (mostly children) from around the world fold cranes and send them to Hiroshima where they are placed near the statue. The statue has a continuously replenished collection of folded cranes nearby.”
Afterwards we went to the Peace museum. A lot of it was closed for renovations but there was still plenty to see. Though it’s a very sobering experience, if you’re in Hiroshima you should definitely pay it a visit.
After a couple of hours at the museum we went for lunch before exploring the rest of the city.
I loved our hotel while we were here as it was clean, comfortable and was by a river so had some lovely views.
On our second day in Hiroshima, we took a day trip south of the city to visit Miyajima (also known as Itsukushima) Island. This involved taking a train for around half an hour down to catch a ferry over to the island. If you have a JR pass then you can get the JR train and ferry as part of your ticket.
Miyajima island is famous for being both a scenic spot and home to the giant tori gate. When it’s high tide it looks like it’s floating on the water.
We found out that the island was home to lots of deer so if you don’t have time to visit Nara and want to see some then this is your place.
They were very docile (unless you had food on you!) and were mainly found laying around in groups.
There is also a shrine and places to hike on the island but honestly by this point in our holiday we were pretty tired so we gave them a miss this time.
Instead we headed through the street full of food stalls and tried lots of snacks. But that’s for another post.
When we got back to Hiroshima we visited Hiroshima castle and then had a wander around the city again.
Check out my other Japan posts: