Things To Do In Hiroshima
A tour of Hiroshima City in Japan is best started with a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It contains a historical center, the remainders of structures pulverized by the 1945 nuclear bomb and landmarks to the individuals killed by the atomic assault. Comprehending Hiroshima's relatively recent destruction is necessary in order to admire its magnificent and fascinating culture. Visit the reconstructed locales like the Hiroshima Castle and Shukkei-en Garden, and follow it up with the Itsukushima Shrine on the adjacent island of Miyajima. The journey to the port city of Hiroshima is a learning experience; it serves as a shining example of how war destroys and affects everyone’s lives and why an atomic bomb attack must not happen again.
When To Go:
Hiroshima City has a calm atmosphere, with temperatures ranging from 30° Fahrenheit in January to 80° Fahrenheit in August. The precipitation sums up to 50 inches of downpour every year and is spread evenly throughout the year; June and July are the wettest months, getting approximately 20 inches rain. The humid months are December and January, averaging about 2 inches of downpour each. Light snowfall happens from December to January, averaging close to 3 inches a month.
Learn about history and explore these great places and things to do in the city of Hiroshima…
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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is located in the Peace Memorial Park and the entrance fee is 50 yen. From the train station, it can be easily reached by tram no. 2 or 6. You can spend about 2 1/2 to 3 hours in the museum to learn all about its historic past. There are lots of photos, films, and objects that have been exposed to radiation from the Atomic bomb. Because of the educational content it is also frequently attended by many schoolchildren. On an ordinary day, about 300 children can roam around the park and the museum. They all have questions for tourists so be warned. Nonetheless, a visit is absolutely worth it!
The reconstructions in this museum retrace (in an extremely detailed and well-built presentation) every moment of the atomic bomb explosion. While visiting, time seems to stop, the photos will take you back in time and make you understand what happened back on August 6, 1945. It highlights in a great timeline how “Little Boy’’ (the code name for the bomb) made its way to the city of Hiroshima. It is a thought provoking museum that stirs up a visitors’ emotion, the kind where you begin to run out of breath and holding back the tears is quite difficult. The place is incredibly quiet, in sharp contrast to the strong image it projects outside. It is very well done, with numerous videos, artifacts, and photos. The site explains the whole story of Hiroshima, the atomic bomb, and the effects of the bomb on Hiroshima.
Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
The architecture and design of the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims is very unique and definitely effective. Do not miss the library where you have the opportunity to see films and photographs that the Japanese made immediately after the release of the bomb. Hear the testimonies of survivors and see movies of Americans. It is interesting to be there and observe everything that is related to the bombing of Hiroshima.
The memorial is placed in the park and describes the exact moment of the explosion. Do not cut your visit short, it deserves time and respect. Devote the entire day to visit the park, museum, memorial and all the related attractions regarding the atomic bomb explosion that occurred in this city more than 70 years ago. The area takes you in the middle of a destroyed Hiroshima soon after the outbreak. This is the reality you cannot escape from here - what man can and will do. Only brave and open minded individuals can face this reality. For people who are too sensitive and emotional, and kids, it is not advisable to see the horrors of war that happened in this city.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is really symbolic and must not be missed while on tour of Hiroshima. In this park, eerie silence reigns, the eternal flame is always on and the various monuments make it extremely touching. It is a kind of park that makes the visitor think about how the city coped following such devastation. You can take the walk from the museum up to the Atomic Dome; all sites are connected and stand very close to the park.
The famous park is well known because it appears in photos, documentaries and cult films (Hiroshima Mon Amour). It is permeated with a dense atmosphere of sorrow shared by the mass of visitors from around the world, which can be perceived immediately. The experience is like a punch in the stomach as you see the huge open space, light cypresses twisted like dark flames. It is a perennial arch through which everyone can watch the terrible ruin of the Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. There is no consolation in such atrocious testimony. Even the thousands of colorful origami cranes made by children from around the world, a symbol of hope and rebirth, dangle delicately like weeping willows. The Hiroshima Memorial Park is definitely worth a visit.
Atomic Bomb Dome
The deafening silence will welcome you as you enter the grounds of the Atomic Bomb Dome. It is the kind of silence that greets visitors to the park and leaves everyone breathless. Just the thought that this was the scene of devastation and horror, yet such infinite silence reigns over it, makes it one of the most moving experiences for every visitor. See the sun, walk in the streets, and observe the parks, monuments, and memorials. It will leave a strange feeling of sadness and hope that what happened here does not happen again anywhere.
The small essential monument was designed by Kenzo Tange, with the prospect of the flame always on and a tank (in which it is reflected) with a view of the dome of the remaining ruins. The place is regarded as a sacred site and often leads to reflection, concentration, silence, and prayer. It is a must to see all the monuments of the peace park, especially the Dome, and it is here where you can see the rubble and the contrast with the rebuilt city. The area is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At night, the moonlit clouds above the dome and the river recreate a landscape of haunting and poignant sadness. It will be hard not to cry and suffer again as the place looks back through the story of the Second World War. This site illustrates one of the saddest episodes and tragic human history in a city that was entirely destroyed by a weapon of mass destruction.
Children's Peace Monument
The Children’s Peace Monument is a memorial dedicated to a little girl named Sasaki Sadako, who died several years after the explosion. She was a student/athlete who died of leukemia. She was convinced that by making a thousand paper cranes, (the bird is a symbol of longevity) she would be able to defeat the disease which she got from being exposed to the radiation. She wanted to finish a thousand origami cranes to help her heal but did not make it because she eventually died. As a result, her classmates gathered money to build the site. Today, in this monument, there are thousands of origami cranes created to remember the small children, and those who like her, who perished in that tragic way.
Until now, people continue to deposit paper cranes daily, all kept in special cases near her monument. The actual site looks touching and colorful, and all around the monument you can see multicolored cranes gathered from the visitors. It is a very pleasant place that gives a feeling of being alive. Here you will learn her story, feel the pain, and gain compassion. Do not forget to visit this inspirational place.
It is interesting to be near the point of impact of the atomic bomb while walking around the city. Ground Zero is nothing more than a small tiled plaque on the street where the actual bomb landed, but if in Hiroshima there is no reason not to see it. It is appropriate to offer a moment of silence and prayer while there.
You cannot describe it in words. It is shocking to be even in the area where the direct impact of the bomb happened. A visit is encouraged to understand the effect of the tragedy in this simple town. It is not hard to find it because it is located near the Atomic Bomb Dome.
Hiroshima Museum of Art
The Hiroshima Museum of Art is a little treasure in the heart of the city. It contains four rooms of French and European art. The museum also consists of a number of great examples of Western artists including Monet, Van Gogh and Munch. It is both an art museum and a paper shop. One of the products offered in the museum are the sliding doors made out of rice paper that are very artistic and original. Visit this museum and be amazed by the art collection and its friendly staff.
The Cenotaph was built in memory of the hundreds of thousands of children, women and men who died and disappeared (there is a marker that lists all of their names here). It is insignificant in terms of architecture but powerfully evocative from the emotional point of view. The Japanese architect Kenzo Tange wanted elicit this effect; letting the visitor spend enough time to look at them, in order to focus and gather rather than be amazed and distracted by great architecture.
The small arc is intimate but opens to the horizon of destruction (the Atomic Bomb Dome), and has an amazing ability to present to the visitor the range of destruction. Bring flowers, offer a silent moment and prayer for the victims and enjoy the tranquility and solemn atmosphere of the place. It is a site of peace and hope for the victims of World War II that helps open everyone’s mind about the terrible aftermath.
The Peace Bell can be freely hit more than one time and you must listen to the sound. It is advisable not to make noise at the same time or even talk. It is better to think about all the innocent people that died during wars and give yourself a promise every day to work toward being the best possible human being. This is the concept of the bell, for peace to reign and for everyone to be more compassionate and merciful towards others.
The monument invites anyone to play the great bell in the expectation of world peace. It allows everyone to participate actively and it does inevitably reflect on the role that each of us has in the fate of mankind. It is hard to believe that the city was obliterated. Hit the bell in memory of the victims of the war and appreciate the silence and say a prayer of hope for the city.
The Mitaki Temple is a Buddhist temple created in the year 809 and located not far from Hiroshima Station. It is just two stops on the train (6 minutes); the station is still about a 15 minute walk up from the hill. In the temple, there are many statues of Jizo and the goddess Kannon, which is dedicated to the temple. Mitaki in Japanese means - "3 Falls", and there are also three sources of waterfalls that you can visit. It is a very secluded and peaceful place lined with striking maple trees. At the entrance to the temple, there is a small cafe serving tea matcha with incredibly delicious Japanese dessert called the "Warabi-mochi.” It is the best in Japan and something you must not miss while in Hiroshima.
It is accessible after a couple of stops from the train / railway station and located in the cemetery, which is located near the temple. While you can see three waterfalls, you can only reach only two of them because the passage to the third was closed after a landslide.
The Hiroshima Castle is worth seeing to get an idea of the architecture of the end of 1500. Of course, it is a reconstruction, but the Japanese are very good at faithfully recreating what men or fires or earthquakes destroyed. Inside is a small museum and from the terrace of the fifth floor you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city. In the park, there are trees that survived the atomic attack. There is also a temple where traditional Japanese weddings are always held.
The castle of Hiroshima was destroyed by the atomic bomb (just like the rest of the city) and was rebuilt starting from its central Dungeon, according to the most classic style of the Japanese castles of the Shogun. A visit here can be short, but it is worth the stop even for the beautiful garden and the deep moat that form the backdrop. If you have a quarter of an hour, you must not miss a visit to a symbol of a city or a nation that survives and fiercely rises from every catastrophe. The nice thing is that you can climb to the top and see the view of the whole city. It is surely the most beautiful castle of Hiroshima.
The Hijiyama Park is an impressive complex that is well-maintained, and full of paths that include a pond and bridges. The vegetation and the plants are beautiful, but the feature of this park are the cherry trees that preferably come and bloom in the spring season. Nevertheless, even in summer it is worth to visit it because it is a place of tranquility in the heart of the city. The garden is very photogenic and you will be impressed by how detailed the Japanese caretakers are with their well-cared-for plants, trees, ponds, and corners.
Hiroshima is one of those historic places that everyone should visit at least once in their life. It will touch you and teach you a lot about war and humanity as well as the value of life. Anywhere you go; there is something to see, to hear, to feel, to experience how it was really during 1945, and how one bomb changed everything. Get a good guide because some places are described in Japanese, then go out and see the city and appreciate its brave people, historic sites, and culture.
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