In ninth grade, I had to do a video project for history (or maybe it was geography). I chose to do the project on the city of Hiroshima. Specifically, what happened after the atomic bomb hit. I remember seeing horrific photos of the giant mushroom cloud, the city demolished, and people who had been affected. Back then, I thought of it as this distant place that I would never visit.
I certainly didn’t think it would be such a fun, thriving city to visit.
Hiroshima has beautiful views of the surrounding hills, a lively night scene, tons of delicious food, and it doesn’t shy away from preserving and teaching its history.
Our first stop in Hiroshima was the Peace Memorial Park. Here you can find a plethora of information about Hiroshima’s history – including a museum, a memorial, cenotaph, children’s monument, and the A-Bomb Dome. Most of the park is free to visit, with the exception of the museum. Which was actually under construction when we visited. I love that the park doesn’t only focus on history but also teaches and promotes world peace.
Of course, many people around the world have seen photos of the destroyed A-Bomb Dome standing alone amongst the rubble. It’s quite a sight to see now surrounded by new modern buildings. The area that touched my heart the most though was the Children’s Monument. I remember reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes when I was younger and making origami cranes. If you’ve never heard the story, it’s about a young girl who survived the bombing only to be diagnosed with leukemia. She believed if she made 1,000 cranes, she would be granted one wish – to live. In the story, she died before finishing the cranes. Around the monument, you can see origami cranes sent from people around the world who were touched by Sadako’s story.
Like I said earlier, Hiroshima has a lot to offer in the way of food, nightlife, and more. We visited the Pokémon Center, of course! We all came home with our favorite stuffed Pokémon. The Hiroshima Castle is beautiful and has a great 360° view of the city. It is, of course, a replica since it was destroyed in WWII. Then there’s the amazing food. We were with our friend, Jeremy, who can speak a little Japanese and had visited Hiroshima before. He took us to try some really great food. To name a few… The spiciest noodles I’ve ever had. I got the lowest level of spice and struggled the rest of the night. Okonomiyaki (savory pancake with meats and veggies), which we tried last year in Osaka and definitely weren’t huge fans of. Hiroshima has a whole building dedicated to okonomiyaki with dozens of stalls of different vendors. They must make it differently, because it was SO good! We ate gyoza (fried dumpling) at a restaurant where the catch phrase was “no gyoza, no life.” Of course, we now live our life accordingly. We tried sukiyaki, which is a hot pot full of meat and veggies that cooks at your table. Yum! Finally, we drank a ton of lemon highs which are not only my new favorite drink, but pretty dangerous. (Sorry mom, but I definitely had “the flu” after! Lol.)
We also headed to Miyajima Island during our trip. That post will be up in a few days!
A-Bomb Dome by the river.
Children’s Monument. The structures behind the monument are filled with paper cranes sent from all over the world.
360° memorial to those who lost their lives.
Number of days since the first dropping of the A-bomb – 26822. Number of days since the latest nuclear test – 395.
Cenotaph in Peace Park
View of Hiroshima from the castle
Castle grounds entrance
The castle is also known as “Carp Castle.”
Spicy AF noodles
Sake taste test. Side note: Most bars in Japan are very tiny with only enough room for maybe 10 people. In this case there was a table to stand around where I’m taking the picture from and the bar which you can see to the left.
Make sure to check out my last post about our adventure to Sagamiko!