If you are a person who loves history, you may find Hiroshima familiar. That’s right. This is the city where the first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. The destructive power of the bomb was tremendous and obliterated nearly everything within a 2 km radius. It has been more than 70 years since the tragedy happened. Today, Hiroshima has transformed into a beautiful city that advocates peace and love. I hope that through this Hiroshima travel guide, you’ll get to love this city and the peaceful world more.
Hiroshima Travel Guide – Where Is It?
Hiroshima Prefecture is located in the southwestern part of the Japanese islands. It is rich in the natural beauty of the Inland Sea and the Chugoku Mountains, with mountains, sea, rivers, valleys, plains, basins that characterize Japan’s landscape.
Hiroshima Travel Guide – the Painful History
Behind every city, there is a story. And Hiroshima has a truly sad story that you and I ought to know. On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped its first atomic bomb on the city. According to Atomic Heritage, The bomb was known as “Little Boy”, a uranium gun-type bomb that exploded with about thirteen kilotons of force. At the time of the bombing, Hiroshima was home to 280,000-290,000 civilians as well as 43,000 soldiers. Between 90,000 and 166,000 people are believed to have died from the bomb in the four-month period following the explosion.
After the war, great efforts were taken to rebuild the city. It’s a magic that the city has reborn from ashes and achieved such development within just decades. In the center of the city, a large park was built and given a name that would reflect the aspirations of the re-born city: Peace Memorial Park.
Hiroshima Travel Guide – Lovely Attractions
Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park (平和記念公園, Heiwa Kinen Kōen) is one of the most prominent features of the city. Before the bomb, the area was the political and commercial heart of the city. For this reason, it was chosen as the pilot’s target. Four years to the day after the bomb was dropped, it was decided that the area would not be redeveloped but instead devoted to peace memorial facilities.
Inside the park lies the Peace Memorial Museum, where you’ll be able travel back in time and witness the catastrophe effect of the nuclear bomb. I need to warn you, the human suffering was immense. The information and illustrations displayed are upsetting, but they serve to remind us the beauty of peace and we should never take it for granted.
Inside the park, you’ll also find a building relic, which is called the A-Bomb Dome. It’s actually the remains of the former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. When the bomb exploded, it was one of the few buildings to remain standing, and remains so today. Recognising its importance, it has been listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hiroshima Castle (広島城, Hiroshimajō) is another must visit attractions in the city. Built in 1589 by the powerful feudal lord Mori Terumoto. Sadly, Hiroshima Castle was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945. So what you see today is actually a close reconstruction of the past.
PC: Japan Guide
Inside the castle, you’ll find an informative museum on Hiroshima’s and the castle’s history. When you get to the top, a panoramic views of the surrounding city is awaiting!
PC: Japan Guide
Are you a fan of Mazda cars? Then you should totally check out the museum. The Mazda Motor Corporation, founded in Hiroshima in 1920, still retains its corporate headquarters in the city of its origins. Like Toyota to Nagoya, Mazda plays a large role in Hiroshima’s economy.
PC: Japan Guide
To visit the Mazda Museum, reservations must be made by phone or e-mail beforehand, as the facilities can only be seen on a guided tour. Tours for individual travelers are offered once per day in English and Japanese. Reservations can be made up to a year in advance.
Are you in love with Hiroshima already? You’ll fall in love with it even more when I introduce its surrounding Miyajima (宮島) during the next post. Stay tuned and get ready to be amazed!