Hiroshima is located in the west of Japan, a city with a population of around 1 million people. This is one of the my favourite cities in Japan. There is so much to see and do and the food is fantastic. Hiroshima really deserves a visit of atleast a few days to take in all the tourist attractions.
Check out the most popular tourist attractions in Hiroshima:
Atomic Dome Hiroshima
One of the main images associated with Hiroshima is the gloomy Atomic Dome, the building that survived the nuclear blast at the end of World War II that devastated the city of Hiroshima which back then had a population of several hundred thousand people. It was 8.15am 6th August 1945 when the blast occurred about 600 meters above the ground, around 160 meters away from this building, the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. Most of the walls and the iron ore dome at the top of the building survived and has been left as a reminder of this tragic event. This building became known as the A-Bomb Dome.
Hypercentre – Ground Zero Atomic Blast
The hypercentre is the exact spot that the nuclear blast occurred over Hiroshima. Located around 160 meters away from the Atomic Dome, the spot is located in the back streets of Hiroshima. At the hypercentre is just a small memorial with a plaque on it describing the events. On top of the memorial is a small bouquet of flowers.
This is the spot that the first atomic bomb used in war by mankind. The explosion happened around 600 meters above this spot and the ground was hit by heat rays of between 3000 to 4000 degrees Celcius. Most people in this area were killed instantly and majority of buildings were completed destroyed.
Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park
Just on the other side of the Motoyasu River is the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park which was built in memory of the victims of the Atomic Blast (over 140,000 people). There are various monuments and statues within the Memorial Peace park. Every year on 6th August a ceremony is held in the park. Also within the Memorial Peace Park is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum which is open March – July 8.30am – 6pm, August 8.30pm – 7pm. Setember to November 8.30am – 6pm and December to February 8.30am – 5pm.
Hiroshima Castle dates back to 1591 when it was built by Terumoto Mori, a feudal lord. The entire castle was completed destroyed by the Atomic Blast and was rebuilt 1958. The entire site has been declared a national historic site. Entry into the Hiroshima Castle grounds is free.
Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine
Located within the grounds of Hiroshima Castle is one of the most important Shinto Shrines in Hiroshima called Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine. The shrine was constructed in 1868 to enshrine people who had died during the Boshin War which was a Japanese civil war fought between 1868 to 1869. This shrine was also destroyed during the Atomic blast and reconstructed in 1956.
Hiroshima Art Museum
Located a few hundred meters away from the Hiroshima Castle is the Hiroshima Art Museum which contains a collection of modern European Paintings and modern Japanese Paintings. The Hiroshima Art Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 9am – 5pm. Closed on Monday. Check out the Hiroshima Art Museum website for more information.
This is the place to come to eat the best Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima. This 5 story building has lots of small stalls that only cook Okonomiyaki (Japanese omelette). Running for other 50 years it has become a tourist attraction as well as still very popular with locals. Read more about Okonomi-mura.
Toshogu Shrine dates back to 1646 built by Mitsuakira Asano, lord of Hiroshima. The shrine was another victim of the Atomic blast, burning down ignited from the explosion. The shrine was rebuilt in the same architecture design common for the Edo Period 17th Century.
Miyajima Island is a must visit place in Japan. Located in the Hiroshima Bay, Miyajima Island is around 45 minutes by boat. You can get the boat to Hiroshima Island from the Motoyasu River, right next to the Atomic Dome Building, across from the Memorial Peace Park. On Miyajima Island is the famous Torii Gates in the sea, the Shinto gates infront of the Itsukushima Shrine.
Getting to Hiroshima
You can get the Shinkansen Bullet train to Hiroshima from Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka or from Fukuoka, The bullet train from Tokyo to Hiroshima takes just over 5 hours.
You can fly to Hiroshima direct from Tokyo Haneda or Narita airport. The flight time is around 1.5 hours from Tokyo to Hiroshima.
Airlines that fly from Tokyo to Hiroshima include: