Exploring Hiroshima

Past, present, and future

By Rey Waters    - 3 min read

When you think of Hiroshima attractions your first thought will be its Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome, second will be Miyajima Island with the World Heritage Itsukushima Shrine.

On my most recent trip to Hiroshima I did revisit these sites. However, there are many other excellent places to see and experience.

Arriving at Hiroshima station in the early morning I met my friend Julius and we set about exploring attractions within easy walking distance.

Just 900 meters from Hiroshima station is Shukkeien Garden, constructed in 1620. It is unique in that the central focus of the garden is a large pond with 10 inlets and several bridges that crisscross a meandering pathway, making the garden appear larger than it really is. Even with a crowd, it is a nice peaceful walk with some beautiful scenery around every bend. I was able to visit it twice during this trip and both times were very enjoyable.

A short walk from the garden brings you to Hiroshima Castle. Make sure you take a tour inside and learn about the castle’s history as well as climbing the stairs to the observation platform for a panoramic view of the city and surrounding area. Once back outside, walk the grounds around the castle for some historic ruins, plus some trees that survived the atomic bombing.

Not far from the castle is Peace Park; the Atomic Dome is currently under repairs. We did manage to visit the Hall of Remembrance. This is a very sobering experience as there are pictures and names of almost all of the 140,000 victims from the atomic bomb.

Head back to the station and walk north a few blocks to the Futabanosato Walking Trail. Within 10 kilometers there are 16 historic Shrines and Temples, some dating back 1000 years. If you can’t walk that long of a distance, fear not, as the Seven Gods of Good Fortune are all close to Hiroshima station. Many were damaged during the war, but have been rebuilt and are worth the effort to visit.

Hiroshima has an excellent street car system that can take you to each one of these sites for only 180 yen per stop.

This is a great city that needs to be added to your must visit list. The people are some of the friendliest in Japan. Hiroshima is bright, attractive, and forward thinking. Not to mention that there are English language brochures and markers at all the sites I visited.

Getting there

From Hiroshima station you can walk to most of these sites. There is a tram that is also available.

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Rey Waters

Rey Waters @rey.waters

Born in the U.S.A. - Worked 30 years in executive management high tech Industry, owned a management consulting firm and a wildlife art publishing company.  In 2012 completed the Ultimate Travel Writer’s course and published my first article Tower Hopping in Japan with Travel Post Monthly.  Since then I have published travel related articles and books in the U.S., Japan, and Costa Rica. As of 2018 I have traveled all 8 regions in Japan.   My objective in writing articles is to expose prospective tourists to areas of Japan outside the Tokyo - Kyoto corridor.   I enjoy writing about the outdoors, festivals, crafts, museums, local food, history, and the wonderful people I have met along the way. Residing in Yokohama for over seven years, I have explored the entire city by foot and have written about my experiences.   There is so much to see in Japan.

Join the discussion

Kim a month ago
Great photos! Love what you said about the city being bright, attractive, and forward thinking.
Elizabeth S a month ago
It's such a beautiful city. I enjoyed the streetcar rides when I was there. Are cars 651 and 652 still in service? The two cars were damaged but repaired and put back in service. I rode one of them on a visit many years ago.
Rey Waters Author a month ago
I walked everywhere (30,000 steps on the first day) I saw many street cars, but didn't pay attention to their numbers.