Atomic Bomb Dome is one of Hiroshima’s most well-known icons
Everything was peaceful and quiet in Hiroshima the morning of August 6, 1945. No one noticed the B-29 bomber which at 9:15 at a height of just under 9.5 kilometers triggered the 4.5-tonne heavy “Little Boy” atomic bomb.
The bomb flew for 45 seconds before exploding at a height of almost 600 meters with a force equal to 12,000 tons of Trotyl.
Seconds later, 80,000 of the city’s total 350,000 inhabitants were dead and 12 km2 of the city center had almost disappeared.
In the weeks and months after the bombing, another 60,000 died of their burns, internal bleeding and organ failure caused by radioactive radiation.
On the inside of the Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, all the names of the victims of the nuclear bomb are written – a total of 290,000 names. New arrivals every year. In the background, Peace Flame and A-Bomb Dome can be seen
As the history books tell, the Japanese surrendered 3 days later after Nagasaki had also been bombed.
However, it’s Hiroshima who, for most people, is the symbol of the nuclear bomb and therefore also the city most tourists choose to visit as part of what is called “Dark Tourism”.
Guide to Hiroshima and the many must see places
The main attractions of Hiroshima are mainly on a curved line from Hiroshima Station and to the Peace Memorial Park 3 km away.
Peace Memorial Park with A-Bomb Dome in the background
Memorial Cathedral for World Peace
10 minutes walk from Hiroshima Station, you will find Memorial Cathedral for World Peace.
The church is the largest Roman Catholic church in Asia and is interesting with its architecture. It was built in 1954 and is the result of donations from many countries.
Thus, the church bells and organ are from Germany, while the altar is a gift from Belgium.
Opening hours: Not known
After a another 10 minutes walk, you reach the Shukkei-en Garden which was founded in 1620 and belonged to Emperor Meiji.
The park is in typical Japanese style with lakes, tea houses and cut trees. After the destruction in 1945, the park reopened in 1951.
Opening hours: 9:00 to 18:00
Admission: 260 Yen
Like all Japanese parks, Shukkei-en Garden is beautiful and relaxing for the soul to walk around in
10 minutes walk from the Shukkei-en Garden, is Hiroshima Castle.
The castle was originally built in 1590, but was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945 which exploded almost just above. The current castle is a (slightly sad) copy of the original castle and is primarily interesting because of its history.
Hiroshima Castle is rebuilt while the granite foundations around the park testify to past settlements
From the top floor of the castle there is a nice view of Hiroshima town. The surrounding park is partly re-established and gives an impression of the greatness of the past.
Opening hours: 9:00 to 18:00
Admission: 370 Yen
From the top floors of the castle there is a nice view of Hiroshima
Hiroshima Museum of Modern Art
Right next to Hiroshima Castle is the Hiroshima Art Museum, featuring Picasso, Monet, Renoir etc. and a number of well-known Japanese artists.
Those of you who have read my other articles know that I dont spend much time on art museums – this also applies to this museum …
Opening hours: 09: 00-17: 00
Entrance: 360 Yen
Atomic Bomb Dome
The Art Museum is a 10-minute walk to the Atomic Bomb Dome, which is probably the most famous and photographed building in Hiroshima.
Despite the fact that the bomb exploded just above the building, it was one of the few buildings in Hiroshima that wasn’t destroyed by the bomb, perhaps because it was built of brick and not wood as the other buildings of the city.
In 1996, A-bomb Dome was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Atomic Bomb Dome is Hiroshima’s most photographed building
The atomic bomb exploded just above the building and it’s believed to be a contributing factor to its survival.
The people in the building were unfortunately not as lucky …
Peace Memorial Park
On the other side of the river, you find Peace Memorial Park, which houses a number of monuments, including the Peace Flame, which has been burning continuously since its launch in 1964.
The park is usually filled with school children coming from all over Japan to learn about this part of the country’s history.
Opening hours: 24/7
Peace Memorial Park is always full of Japanese schoolchildren who need to know about this side of their country’s history
Peace Memorial Museum
The Peace Memorial Museum is definitely worth a visit, but there are always MANY people.
In addition to a large number of effects from the disastrous day, eyewitnesses tell their stories from August 6, 1945 and beyond. Stay a few hours and make sure you experience it all.
Avoid weekends and arrive either early or late to avoid the crowds.
Opening hours: 08: 30-18: 00
Admission: 200 Yen
At the Peace Memorial Museum, you can get a detailed review of the bombing on August 6, 1945 and beyond
In the south of Hiroshima, the Mazda factory is located and here is also a Mazda Museum, featuring both new and old car models as well as story about the company’s history.
The museum is said to be quite interesting, but unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to visit it myself.
Opening hours: Guided tours start at. 10:00.
Online registration is required.
Transportation in Hiroshima
Almost all attractions in Hiroshima can be reached within a walk of 3-4 km. from Hiroshima Station.
But it’s also possible to get around with the “Hiroshima Meipu ru-pu” bus, which is a so-called “Loop bus” that runs in ring from the station and around to the various attractions.
If you have a Japan Rail Pass it’s free and otherwise you can buy a day pass for 400 Yen (25 DKK).
There are so-called Loop buses running on a regular service between the various attractions
Have a great trip!