Humbled in Hiroshima

Hiroshima was destroyed when the first atomic bomb was dropped over the city in August 1945, during the Second World War. The devastating force of the impact obliterated virtually everything within a two-kilometre radius, but despite being known primarily across the globe for this destruction, Hiroshima emerged and rebuilt itself to stand strong and become symbolic as a beacon of hope and peace for the rest of the world.

The city’s historical Shukkeien Garden and the Hiroshima Castle have been rebuilt and are both well worth visiting. Shukkeien Garden holds tea ceremonies throughout the year and is a peaceful retreat from the city centre, where you can wander around Japanese Maples brightly coloured in deep reds, greens and purples. The castle, which was originally constructed in the 1590s and then rebuilt in 1958, is a replica of the original and now houses a museum that tells of the history of Hiroshima prior to World War II.

In the centre of the city is Peace Memorial Park, which is dedicated to the Hiroshima’s unfortunate legacy of being the world’s first city to experience a nuclear attack. Despite its tragic past however, Hiroshima is a city full of hope and strong in its aspirations. There are over one million inhabitants who don’t spend their days thinking about its tragic history, but instead enjoy the rebirth of a busy but peaceful tree-lined, river-edged city.

Highlights

  • Visit Hiroshima castle; rebuilt as a museum after the 1945 atomic bombing

  • Wander and reflect at the Peace Memorial Park

David
Travel Designer
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I love Japan for its striking contrasts of cities and national parks, and living and teaching in Tokyo was the chance to perfect my Japanese. I’ve now been a Japan travel specialist for 10 years and have explored it top to toe. My next challenge is to cycle the entire island of Shikoku, with its pilgrimage trail of 88 temples!

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