Oct 11, 2017
The best 5 things to do in Hiroshima
One of my favorite cities in Japan is Hiroshima. Hiroshima is on the west side of Japan in the Chugoku area. You can reach it in 4 h by Shinkansen from Tokyo (or in 90 minutes from Osaka). Hiroshima also has a small airport, but flights are not that frequent. Besides the historical background of the city in the Second World War, there are also many cultural places to discover.
1. Mitaki temple
The Mitaki temple is a 15 minute walk away from Mitaki Station. Even many people who live in Hiroshima don´t know this beautiful and quiet hidden place in the mountains. Right next to a graveyard you have to walk up the mountainside where you can find the main temple. On your way through the temple complex you will cross many Buddhist signs and jizo statues with red caps and also some very nice old buildings.
The real charm of this area is the beautiful nature on the way. There are tons of stones fully covered with moss and you can also hear the rippling of a small brook. Especially during the autumn season this is a great spot to enjoy Japanese red maple leaves!
2. Hiroshima castle
Japan has so many old castles, that it is not a big surprise to find one in the center of Hiroshima. Originally built in the 1590s, the castle was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945. The replica built in 1958 serves as a museum for the history of Hiroshima before the Second World War. The castle park is a nice spot for a picnic and gives you a little bit of the feeling of old samurai times.
3. Peace Memorial Park
The Peace Memorial Park is just a few minutes away from Kamiyacho Station. The park was created after the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed the whole area. The aim was to rebuild the district of Nakajima on an island between the rivers Motoyasu-gawa and Honkawa as a recreation area for the city's population.
At the same time, the park should offer the opportunity to mourn the victims and to think about the effects of an atomic bomb, but also as a landmark and memorial for peace. You can also find the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in the park, where you can find all information about the atomic bomb disaster.
The popular island of Miyajima belongs to the three most beautiful landscapes of Japan. You can reach Miyajima by ferry for passengers or for those with the cars. The popular sight on the island is the beautiful Itsukushima Shrine with its huge red gate standing in the water (only at high tide).
The main buildings of the Itsukushima Shrine are on elevated platforms, the piers are floating in the water, that’s why the entire complex seems to float. Also, part of the shrine is the oldest preserved Nō stage in the world.
Many deer live on the island, and they like to get close to humans (and sometimes like to eat your belongings). If you like hiking, you can go up to the Misen mountain on foot or by cable car. The center of the island is completely covered in forest, below the north side of the mountain there is even a jungle.
It is even possible to stay overnight on the island. You can enjoy the view of the lit up shrine and great red gate, but unfortunately most of the stores and restaurants are closed in the evening.
5. Hiroshima tram
Always when I visit Hiroshima the highlight for me is to use the old streetcar. The first tram was running through the center in 1912. Since then many tram lines have been added and also many different trams from different periods. They have very old trams but also some new ones. If you are a tram lover, I recommend to go from Hiroshima station to Miyajimaguchi station. It takes up to 60 minutes but it is absolutely worth it if you are using the oldest tram. To see the charm of the wooden benches and the old bell of the tram is like a little kid's dream.
I´m a german girl living in the center of Tokyo. I love traveling (especially hiking), taking photos and handcraft.