Hiroshima is a city that boasts a rich history, stunning natural beauty, and a vibrant culture that is sure to captivate any traveler. Whether you are a foodie, a history buff, or a nature lover, this city has something exciting and unique to offer. In this article, we will explore 10 of the most exciting things to do in Hiroshima, from visiting the Peace Memorial Park and Museum to discovering Hiroshima’s beautiful gardens and venturing to nearby islands. So, sit back, grab a cup of tea, and prepare to be amazed by all that Hiroshima has to offer!
Explore the Peace Memorial Park
If you are fascinated by history and culture, then the Peace Memorial Park is a must-visit location in Hiroshima. This sprawling park is home to several attractions that commemorate the city’s tragic past but also celebrate the strength and resilience of its people.
As you enter the park, take a moment to appreciate the lush greenery and serene atmosphere. It’s hard to imagine that this peaceful oasis was once the site of such devastation and horror.
Visit the Atomic Bomb Dome
The Atomic Bomb Dome is perhaps the most iconic structure in Hiroshima. It is the only building that remains standing from the fateful day in 1945 when the city was hit by an atomic bomb. The dome’s eerie beauty and historical significance make it a truly unique destination.
As you approach the dome, you may feel a sense of awe and reverence. It’s hard to imagine the sheer force of the explosion that destroyed everything around it, leaving only this haunting shell behind.
Take a moment to reflect on the lives lost and the countless families affected by the bombing. The dome serves as a powerful reminder of the need for peace and understanding in our world.
As you continue your walk through the park, you will encounter several other memorials and statues that pay tribute to the victims of the bombing. One of the most moving is the Children’s Peace Monument, which was inspired by the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who died of leukemia caused by the radiation from the bomb.
The monument depicts a young girl holding a paper crane, a symbol of hope and peace. Visitors often leave paper cranes at the monument as a gesture of remembrance and solidarity.
Reflect at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Before leaving the park, be sure to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. This museum provides a sobering look into the events leading up to the bombing, as well as its devastating aftermath. The exhibits are both educational and emotional, and will leave a lasting impact on anyone who visits.
As you walk through the museum, you will see artifacts and personal belongings of the victims, including clothing, toys, and even a melted tricycle. These items serve as a stark reminder of the human cost of war and the importance of working towards a peaceful future.
The museum also takes a broader view of global peace, highlighting the importance of disarmament and the prevention of future wars. It is a powerful reminder of the human cost of conflict and the urgent need for peace in our world.
As you leave the museum and the park, take a moment to appreciate the resilience and strength of the people of Hiroshima. Despite the unimaginable horror they endured, they have rebuilt their city and dedicated themselves to promoting peace and understanding around the world.
Discover Hiroshima’s Beautiful Gardens
If you are looking to escape the city buzz and surround yourself with natural beauty, then Hiroshima’s gardens are the perfect place to be. These serene and tranquil spaces are scattered throughout the city, and each one offers a unique experience.
Wander through Shukkei-en Garden
Shukkei-en Garden is a Japanese-style garden that dates back to the 17th century. It was built by Ueda Soko, a samurai and tea master, and was originally designed as a villa for the Asano family. The garden was opened to the public in 1940 and has since become one of Hiroshima’s most beloved attractions.
The garden features a large central pond surrounded by a variety of trees, plants, and flowers that change with the seasons. In the spring, the cherry blossoms bloom, creating a stunning pink canopy over the water. In the fall, the maple leaves turn brilliant shades of red and orange, making the garden look like it’s on fire.
The garden is designed to resemble a natural landscape, with rocks, hills, and waterfalls dotted throughout the scenery. The tea house, which was built in the 18th century, is a great place to stop for a cup of tea and a snack. It overlooks the pond and offers a peaceful spot to rest and reflect.
As you wander through the garden, take the time to stop and appreciate the beauty around you. Sit by the pond and watch the koi fish swim, or stroll along the winding paths and admire the lush greenery. It’s a great way to relax, recharge, and reconnect with nature.
Relax at Mitaki-dera Temple
Another beautiful garden in Hiroshima is Mitaki-dera Temple. This temple is located up in the hills and offers a stunning view of the city below. The temple was founded in 809 and has a rich history that spans over a thousand years.
The temple’s grounds are home to several garden areas, each with its own unique character and charm. The main garden, which is located near the entrance, features a pond with a small island in the center. The island is home to a small shrine, which is said to grant good luck to those who visit it.
One of the highlights of Mitaki-dera Temple is the waterfall, which cascades down amidst the lush foliage. You can follow the trail up to the waterfall and feel the refreshing mist on your face. It’s a tranquil spot that feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
After you’ve explored the gardens, take some time to visit the temple itself. The main hall, which was built in the 16th century, is a beautiful example of traditional Japanese architecture. Inside, you’ll find a statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, who is said to protect those who pray to her.
Overall, Hiroshima’s gardens offer a peaceful retreat from the city’s busy streets. Whether you’re looking to relax, explore, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature, these gardens are the perfect destination.
Experience Hiroshima’s Vibrant Culture
Hiroshima’s culture is an amalgamation of the old and the new, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern innovations. From food to sports to art, there are plenty of ways to experience the city’s unique cultural offerings.
Taste the Local Cuisine: Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki is a Hiroshima specialty that is not to be missed. This savory pancake is made with cabbage, noodles, and a variety of toppings, all grilled together on a hotplate. It’s a hearty and filling meal that is perfect for any time of day.
Many restaurants in Hiroshima specialize in okonomiyaki, but one of the best is Nagata-ya. This restaurant has been serving up delicious okonomiyaki since 1950 and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Be sure to try the Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, which features layers of noodles and a fried egg on top.
Attend a Hiroshima Carp Baseball Game
Baseball is a beloved sport in Japan, and the Hiroshima Carp are the local team that captures the hearts of thousands of fans. Attending a game at the Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium is a great way to experience Japanese baseball culture and cheer on the hometown heroes.
From the lively atmosphere to the enthusiastic chants and cheers, watching a baseball game in Japan is an electrifying experience. Don’t forget to indulge in some of the stadium’s delicious snacks, like takoyaki (octopus balls) or yakitori (grilled chicken skewers).
Explore the Hiroshima Museum of Art
For art enthusiasts, the Hiroshima Museum of Art is a must-visit destination. This museum features a diverse collection of Japanese and Western art, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and more.
The museum’s permanent collection includes works by renowned artists like Van Gogh, Monet, and Matisse, as well as a selection of Japanese art that spans several centuries. The museum also hosts several temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so there’s always something new to see.
Venture to Nearby Islands
If you have some extra time in Hiroshima, then a day trip to one of the nearby islands is well worth the effort. These islands offer stunning natural beauty, rich history, and a slower pace of life that is sure to refresh and rejuvenate you.
Marvel at the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island
Miyajima Island is perhaps the most famous of Hiroshima’s islands, thanks to its iconic Itsukushima Shrine. This shrine is built over the water and appears to float on the surface of the Sea of Japan, creating a breathtaking sight.
As you explore the island, be sure to sample some of its famous oysters, which are considered some of the best in Japan. You can also take a cable car to the top of Mount Misen for stunning views of the island below.
Hike Mount Misen for Breathtaking Views
If you’re up for a challenge, then hiking Mount Misen is a must-do activity on Miyajima Island. The hike takes around 2-3 hours and offers stunning views of the island and the surrounding sea.
As you climb higher and higher, you’ll pass through dense forests and past trickling streams. The summit offers panoramic views that are sure to take your breath away. It’s a challenging hike, but the reward is well worth the effort.
Unwind in Hiroshima’s Hot Springs
Few things are more relaxing than soaking in a hot spring, and Hiroshima has several hot spring resorts that are perfect for unwinding and de-stressing. These resorts offer traditional Japanese hospitality and some of the most rejuvenating experiences you’ll ever have.
Soak in the Yuki Spa at Hiroshima Airport Hotel
The Yuki Spa at the Hiroshima Airport Hotel is a luxurious hot spring experience that is not to be missed. This spa features several different types of baths, including a rock bath and a cypress bath, each with their own unique benefits.
After soaking in the baths, you can relax in the onsen’s lounges or pamper yourself with a massage or beauty treatment. It’s the ultimate way to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing in Hiroshima.
Experience the Serenity of Miyahama Onsen
Miyahama Onsen is a hot spring resort located on the island of Itsukushima. This resort offers a peaceful and calming atmosphere, with several baths to choose from, including outdoor baths that offer stunning views of the island.
The resort also offers several dining options, including traditional kaiseki cuisine and casual izakaya fare. After a day of exploring the island, there’s nothing better than soaking in a hot spring and enjoying a delicious meal.
Hiroshima is a city that truly has it all – from rich history to stunning natural beauty to a vibrant culture that is sure to captivate any traveler. Whether you’re looking to learn about the city’s past, relax in a hot spring, or explore nearby islands, Hiroshima has something exciting and unique to offer. So, pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime.