Japan’s Hiroshima Prefecture has a lot to offer, but since it is a bit far from the more popular travel destinations like Tokyo and Osaka, it is often overlooked. Despite this, it is still a place worth visiting even just for a quick trip. If you want to see as many amazing spots in Hiroshima as you can in a short period of time, here’s a list of must-see places!
Of course, your first destination should be the famous Atomic Bomb Dome! It is the building that survived complete destruction, near the hypocenter of the nuclear bomb dropped by the USA in the Second World War. Looking at this dome will make you feel a bit gloomy as if you can feel the pain of the city, their sufferings will slowly engulf you, and it will make you realize how hard life is when there is war and how lucky you are. Just across the dome is the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound where the ashes of the bombing victims are.
A few steps away is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum where you can find remnants of the past, as well as where you can learn about suffering caused by war, the effect of nuclear weapons, and how peace should be valued.
There are other famous landmarks surrounding the area that you may also want to see such as the Peace Bell which aims to abolish nuclear weapons, the Children’s Peace Monument which was built to commemorate Sadako Sasaki and the thousands of children who died in the bombing, the Flame of Peace, and the Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims (Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace).
What is a place in Japan without a castle? Due to the history of feudalism in the country, every main city has its own castle and its own stories to tell.
Hiroshima Castle is a sight to behold, especially when snow is falling. You can also dress up inside the castle to have a feel of being a samurai.
Reachable by ferry from the main island of Hiroshima is Miyajima where the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Itsukushima Shrine, lies. This shrine looks magnificent with its vermilion color and is almost 800 years old. In the old times, it was believed that the souls of our dead loved ones cross to the other world by boat, which was one of the reasons why the shrine was built.
Facing the shrine is the Great Torii, a popular symbol of Miyajima. It is like a floating gate during high tide, which is believed to be the boundary between the human world and the spirit world. During low tide, you can walk to the foot of this gate. You may also play with deer and feed them on your way.
When you are at Itsukushima Shrine and you face the ocean, you will feel its harmony with nature. Truly amazing!
Also on Miyajima is Mt. Misen where you can find a romantic and peaceful spot called the “Lovers Sanctuary.” You can take the ropeway and hike up towards the observatory deck which will give you a full view of the city. The scenic view will leave you in awe, and if you are traveling with your special someone, you may want to bring a lock and promise your love for each other.
Traveling can be a good escape, however, not everyone can afford to stay in one place for an extended period of time. But when you know where to go and what you need to see and experience to make your travel worthwhile, just like the abovementioned Hiroshima spots, you are bound to have a good time even if it’s just a one-day trip.