When planning that big trip to Japan, a lot of people tend to focus on cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and even Okasa. But Hiroshima is a destination that needs to be on more lists. It’s stunning beauty and rich culture make it a marvelous place to spend time.
Naturally, there was a defining point in its history that has become infamous since the end of World War II. While that should never be forgotten and should not be ignored, Hiroshima offers so much more to any visitor who makes the journey.
Visit Peace Memorial Park & Museum
Going to Hiroshima without acknowledging the impact of World War II in this region is difficult to say the least. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is located at the center of the city, and is dedicated to the lasting legacy of the nuclear bomb strike.
Part of the park is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which exists to document all aspects of the bombing. This is a somber and sobering stop, but not one that should be missed by anyone who makes a trip to the city.
Meditate in Shukkei-en Garden
Hiroshima is a stunning city, filled with a healthy mix of natural and architectural beauty. They cross paths in the Shukkei-en Garden, a historic Japanese garden that was initiated in the early 1600s. It served as the villa of the Asano family until they donated it to the city in 1940.
Now open to the public, Shukkei-en is a marvelous example of the traditional Japanese garden. This is a space that is picturesque to say the least. That being said, the true joy of Shukkei-en is found in the soul and the calm that can be experienced there.
Experience Hiroshima Castle
Referred to by some as the Carp Castle, this is one of the most prominent sights in the city. Hiroshima Castle dates back to the 1590s when it was constructed by the the prefecture’s current daimyo. Unfortunately, things changed quite dramatically.
The atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in World War II destroyed the original castle. A replica was erected in 1958 and now serves as a museum to the city’s history before war. While it might be a replica, that doesn’t make the castle any less stunning.
Spend time on Miyajima Island
In the northwest part of Hiroshima Bay is Itsukushima, an island popular with both locals and tourists. It’s colloquial name is Miyajima which quite literally translates to Shrine Island. It is a nickname the island has rightfully earned.
In addition to it’s incredible beauty and views, Miyajima is best known for the Itsukushima Shrine. It is a massive Shinto complex that has a variety of features, including a famous torii gate that appears to be floating, depending on the tides.
Find the meaning of life at Okonomimura
After experiencing the historical and cultural sides of Hiroshima, it’s time to experience a completely different side of the the city. That means eating until you explode, and enjoying the amazing food in this city.
For all intents and purposes, Okonomimura is a food theme park. This space has 23 Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki restaurants, each one serving the traditional savory pancake made with different ingredients. Go and eat until you can’t move.