Fast-forward 70 plus years and Hiroshima, in my opinion, is one of the most serine and beautiful cities in Japan with an incredible back story about resilience and rising above that's sure to tug at your heart strings.
Hiroshima's main transport is by Streetcar which is similar to a tram. Right near Hiroshima Station you can grab a map and pay a flat fair of ¥180 for inner city travel or if you have one you can swipe your Suica Card on the tram.
There are 9 Streetcars in total with a colour coded map to make it easy to work out what cars can be caught from where and how far they travel. They frequently come by so you'll never have to wait long no matter where you are!
Things To See...
Hiroshima Peace Park: Start with a sobering walk through the Peace Park. If you start from the Aioi-bashi Bridge just near the Atomic Bomb Dome (Genbaku Dome) you'll get a full view of the Peace Park and Dome itself. From here keep heading past the Dome to the next bridge (Motoyasu-bashi Bridge) and as you walk across you will find the information center. Here you can get a map that will show you the location of almost 60 important sights throughout the park with number 1 being right next door, the Children's Peace Monument. Cost: Free
Side View of Genbaku Dome
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: This Museum is incredible but a very confronting and overwhelming experience so keep this in mind (and maybe keep some tissues handy), especially if you have younger travelers with you. Waking through the variety of displays you can see things like stories of people caught up in the blast, items such as children's lunchboxes that had partly melted and even tattered bits of school and work uniforms. Once I had finished walking through I found I needed a moment to sit and have some quiet time before moving onto anything else. Cost: Around ¥200 per person.
Hiroshima Castle: Another of the many buildings demolished by the atomic bomb was Hiroshima Castle, which had to be rebuild in 1958 but was done so in a way that made it basically identical to the original.TheCastle is now a museum where you can take the time to read up on the history of Japan or just Hiroshima Castle itself. Within the Castle there's also a shrine and ruins to explore as well as a beautiful view from the top. Cost: ¥370 per person
Hondori Arcade: Located in downtown Hiroshima is another one of Japans awesome shopping streets. A pedestrian only street lined with clothing, food and anime stores which are sure to help you spend some of your yen! Starting close to the Peace Park it goes for around half a kilometer.Towards the end is even a Starbucks, because who doesn't want to have a Starbucks pit stop during a shopping spree? Cost: That's up to you!
Food To Try...
Okonomiyaki: Okonomi-Mura also called the “food theme park” in Japan, is located just near Hondori Arcade. It has over 20 different Okonomiyaki stalls all offering different styles of the delicious savory pancake. Made using layers of batter, cabbage, your choice of meat, vegetables and toppings, the Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima is slightly different to the more traditional styles you'll find throughout Japan. Cost: Varies slightly depending on which stall you choose.
For accommodation in Hiroshima I've got two suggestions. If you prefer a hotel then Hotel Sunroute Hiroshima is perfect. Not only are the rooms spacious compared to some in other cities but the view from the rooms and the breakfast level are amazing. The hotel is located just across the river from the Peace Park on the Memorial Museum side and is roughly $80 AUD a night for a small double room with prices increasing to around $100 AUD if you'd like breakfast included. For a standard size double room it's around $120 AUD breakfast included.
If you're looking for something a little more traditional you can try looking on AirBNB. On my last trip we booked accommodation late as it was a last minute trip so airBNB was basically our only option. We stayed in a small apartment located not far from the Peace Park which was amazing and although it was small for just a couple of nights it suited us just fine. This cost us roughly $130 AUD a night which we decided was pretty pricey for the accommodation style but was justified by the proximity to major sights.
In the end it's definitively up to the traveler themselves on which accommodation style is best. Personally I like to do a mix of hotel and airBNB as I find them to be a lot more homey and give a small insight into how some Japanese people would be living.