Hiroshima: atomic bomb and Miyajima Island

When arriving in Hiroshima, I was surprised how the town looked: build up with towers, highways, green parks and it didn’t look as modern as I thought. Hiroshima was totally obliterated in 1945 during World War 2 when a atomic bomb hit the town and destroyed most of it.

The first place of call was the movingly simple Peace Memorial Museum, which documents with charts, models, photographs, videos, everyday objects transformed by the unimaginable heat of the blast and a life-sized diorama portraying horribly burnt victims. This Museum is well worth the visit, costing next to nothing (¥50).

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Outside, we strolled around the large park, which has several memorials including the Cenotaph (contains the names of all the casualties), a huge bronze peace bell and the incredible lone structure preserved since 1945: the former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall (now known as the ‘A-bomb dome’).

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After we visited the beautiful Hiroshima Castle.

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Next on the agenda was Miyajima Island, which is just south of Hiroshima. After a calm ferry journey to the Island (10 minutes), we explored the area. Once we had walked off the port, we noticed that there were wild deer wondering around (not as many as Nara), looking for food.

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The island was full of tourists but they were leaving and I could see why. Everything on Miyajima closes at 6 even though the last ferry is at 20:15 so be aware if you ever go. People come here to see the Itsukushima Shine, which is on the waterfront, in the middle of the ocean. It is a beautiful sight of the red camphor wood arch. Unfortunately, we didn’t see much more of the Island.

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