On my most recent Japan trip, I hopped around a few cities over a week so I’m going to write little guides for each. First up was Hiroshima!
This was my first time there and it’s quite a way away from Tokyo. Luckily the Shinkansen is so quick that I was there by early afternoon so still had plenty time left to go out and see the sights. Here’s my highlights.
Peace Memorial Park
This should be everyone’s first stop. Hiroshima is famous of course as the target of the first atomic bomb and now the city and park is dedicated to peace. The most unsettling sight is the A-Bomb Dome, one of the few buildings in this area to survive the blast and left as a stark reminder of that day. The park is huge and there are sculptures and memorials placed all around it so save some time to explore. [more information]
Peace Memorial Museum
Another must-see though it’s not a pleasant experience. It’s full of personal items and stories from the victims and survivors that make for difficult viewing but it’s all so important to make sure it never happens again. The museum is currently being redeveloped so only half is open and it’s very crowded. Go early if you can. [website]
A covered shopping street that starts near the Peace Park and continues towards the city centre. There are lots of discount stores and fun little shops to look at, plus a mall with cafes, restaurants and more shops. I spent a while in a massive Daiso and also spotted a cute cat-themed shop.
Tokyu Hands & Cafe
If this branch of Tokyu Hands hadn’t been right around the corner from my hotel, I might not have bothered to visit, since there are plenty in Tokyo, but I’m really glad I did! It might be my favourite branch, partly because it had lots of really good gashapon but mainly because of the cafe, which was quiet and cosy with nice views. I tried taco rice for the first time and really liked it. I wanted to have it again in Tokyo but the Shibuya branch is much busier.
I was only in Hiroshima overnight so didn’t get to explore much but will definitely go back some day. If you have more time, there’s a big Pokemon Center and a Parco department store worth visiting. Food-wise, look out for Floresta Nature Donuts and a big sit-in Andersen Bakery.
The next day I took a trip to nearby Miyajima so look out for a post about that next.
How to get around
The main form of public transport in the city centre is trams, some of which are delightfully old! Sadly I was so thrilled by the whole experience that I forgot to take any photos. You can look up stations and fares on Hyperdia and you just pay as you leave.