Atomic Bomb Dome or Peace Memorial:
Built in 1915 by a Czech architect, this monument was formerly known as Hiroshima Prefecture Commercial hall. Atomic Bomb was dropped on August 6th, 1945 within the radius of 200m and 600m above. The structure of the building changed drastically but the metal framework prevented it from collapsing. After a long controversy on whether to preserve the building as a memorial or demolish it, in 1996, it was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also known as Genbaku Dome.
The dome is now surrounded by peace memorial park which lies in tranquility in the midst of two rivers. The memorial park was built in 1954 and has structures like the Peace Bell, the Children’s Peace Monument, and Flame of Peace that promotes world peace and fraternity. The Peace memorial museum that display the horrors of atomic bomb is an extremely heart rending experience but a must for every tourist to visit. National Peace Memorial Hall, a visit I recommend to make after the museum, acknowledges victims of the bomb. The silence in the hall is still burdened with the suffering of the victims. There are various memoirs of the survivors and the structure at the centre displays 8:15, the time of detonation.
Visit the following link for more information about the Peace Memorial: http://visithiroshima.net/world_heritage/20th/a_bomb_dome/
Hiroshima Castle was built by Mori Terumoto in 1589 right in the centre of the city. It is surrounded by Moat and is a five storied building. The castle was reconstructed in 1958 after the destruction caused by the atomic bomb and now serves as a museum.
Take a look at the following link to learn about the history of the castle: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3402.html
Literally translating to shrunken scenery, Shukkei-en garden replicates China’s famous West Lake. The garden has various miniature landscapes and its natural scenery and one can enjoy the Cherry blossom season with utmost pleasure, but this garden is popular for different blooms for every season and can be visited any time of the year.
Hiroshima and Osaka are popular for their Japanese style savory pancakes called okonomiyaki. Both of them have their own way of making it and compete against each other. Hiroshima-Yaki (Hiroshima’s Okonomiyaki) is made with noodles. Micchan Shorten in Hatchobori and Hassho in Kanayamacho, are the two locally renowned restaurants for Okonomiyaki. The restaurants usually have waiting so I recommend to go a little early.
Miyajima Island is a completely different experience in itself. While Peace memorial takes you in the tragic history of Hiroshima, Miyajima allows you to celebrate nature and religions of Japan. Visit the shrines of Itsukushima and Araebisu, check out the aquarium and Daisyoin Temple, enjoy the beautiful parks like Momijidani and Omoto, and take a ropeway up to mount Misen.
Miyajima island has many attractions in itself and I have decided to suggest a complete itinerary in my next article of How to go about Miyajima,keep a watch out for it.