Roots of Japan

Hiroshima

Hiroshima faces the Seto Inland Sea.It is an area of Japan left with a tragic history after an atomic bomb was dropped on the city on August 6th, 1945.Even today, places remain that are a grim reminder of that history.Areas such as Miyajima and Onomichi attract many tourists each year.Hiroshima is easily accessible by Shinkansen (bullet train) or by air.
Let us now guide you around Hiroshima, which has plenty of things to see and do.

Hiroshima has an approximate area of 8,479㎢ and an estimated population of 2.82 million people.It is a region with a thriving industrial and commercial sector but it is also blessed with a beautiful natural environment, including ocean and mountains. It also has flourishing agricultural and fishing industries.Due to such diversity, it's often said that Hiroshima is like Japan in miniature.Northern Hiroshima has a Sea of Japan climate and the rest of the prefecture is categorized as having a relatively mild Seto Inland Sea climate.In summer, the inland basin and coastal areas experiences days of intense heat.In winter, the northern Chugoku Mountains get plenty of snow, whereas the coastal areas of the Bingo Province enjoy long spells of fine weather.As the climate changes depending on the area, it is a good idea to check the weather forecast beforehand for each area you plan to visit.

Let’s now take a look at what kind of tourist attractions Hiroshima has to offer.From places that teach us about the history of the war, to spots that families with small children can enjoy.Later on, we will also talk about Miyajima, so we'll leave it off the list for now.
1/ Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park
2/ A-Bomb Dome
3/ TOHO BEADS STYLE (Glass Village)
4/ Hiroshima Castle
5/ Yamato Museum
6/ Ōkunoshima (rabbit island)
7/ Sankeien Garden
8/ Fukuyama Castle
9/ Setoda Sunset Beach
10/ Kagura Monzen Toji Village

You will no doubt want to include a visit to Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome.How vital it is that we learn about the tragic history of the war and the atomic bombing in Hiroshima!At times we may feel like looking away, but instead, through our own eyes, let’s learn about a time in history that should never be repeated.
We also want to highlight Kagura Monzen Toji Village (10) in Akitakata city.Step into Kagura Monzen Toji Village and the nostalgic scenery will make you feel like you have stepped back in time!As well as natural hot springs, there are rows of restaurants, tea houses and toji (hot spring cure) lodging facilities.It's just the place to enjoy a relaxing soak in a hot spring and a stroll along streets set in nostalgic scenery.
Let’s now take a look at some of Miyajima’s best tourist spots that you'll definitely want to check out.The giant torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine is probably what first comes to mind for many peopleBut that’s not all there is to Miyajima! Have a look at this list and make sure to check out the places that catch your attention.

1/ Itsukushima Shrine
2/ Hokoku Shrine
3/ Miyajima Aquarium
4/ Daiganji Temple
5/ Kiyomori Shrine
6/ Miyajima Museum of History and Folklore
7/ Omoto Park
8/ Miyajima Tsutsumigaura Nature Park
9/ Miyajima Omotesando shopping street
10/ Miyajima Ropeway

Miyajima Aquarium (3) is a great choice if you are traveling with children.You can meet the penguins!There is also a Sea Lion Show and of course the hugely popular and adorable otters are an absolute must-see!Kiyomori Shrine enshrines General Taira-no-Kiyomori who was devout believer in the gods of Itsukushima Shrine.The Kiyomori Festival is held on March 20th, the anniversary of his death.Perhaps you could aim to visit on this special day in Miyajima.Take a boat tour from Miyajima and enjoy beautiful views of Itsukushima Shrine and the giant torii gate from the sea.Night cruises offer you the chance to see the mysterious great torii gate lit up at night!

Here is a list of the top 5 places to see cherry blossoms and the top 5 places for autumn colors in Hiroshima.They are all well worth checking out!
1/ Mt. Hiji Park
2/ Hiroshima Botanical Garden
3/ Hiroshima Branch of the Japan Mint / Hana no Mawari-Michi
4/ Senkoji Temple
5/ Mt. Fudekage

Besides the five on this list, there are many other locations that offer stunning views of cherry blossoms.Senkoji Temple (4) is one of "Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots".Visitors will enjoy the sight of 1,500 cherry trees blossoming against the background of the Seto Inland Sea.Hana no Mawari-michi is a popular cherry blossom viewing event where the Hiroshima Branch of the Japan Mint opens its grounds to the public in mid-April each year.
The blossoms are lit up at night, making it a perfect spot for a date.

Next, let's look at the top 5 spots to see autumn colors.
Leaves will slowly start to change color, usually beginning in late October. By November you will find many places displaying beautiful autumn foliage at their best.
1/ Buttsuji Temple
2/ Momijidani Park
3/ Sankeien Garden
4/ Sandankyo Gorge
5/ Hiroshima Prefecture Tree Planting Center

Momijidani Park, or Maple Valley Park, is a popular location to enjoy views of autumn foliage, just as the name suggests.Many tourists visit with their cameras in order to capture the spectacular sight of colorful autumn leaves surrounding Momijidani Bridge.

Let’s now take a look at Hiroshima’s food culture.Hiroshima has so much delicious food to try!
There is, of course, the famous Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, but we also can’t forget about oysters and eel from Miyajima.
1/ Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki (savory pancake)
2/ Anago meshi (conger eel on top of rice)
3/ Kakino dotenabe (miso and oyster hot pot)
4/ Iwakuni Sushi (layered sushi)
5/ Onomichi Ramen

Do you know the difference between regular Okonomiyaki and Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki?The main difference is that Hiroshima-style includes yakisoba noodles and thinly fried egg.With the addition of cooked yakisoba noodles, it is a very satisfying and filling meal!Iwakuni Sushi is made from locally harvested vegetables such as lotus root and freshly caught fish. It is then made into sushi, a method used to preserve food.It is a popular dish often eaten at festivals.Satisfy your curiosity by trying out all the food that Hiroshima has to offer!

Here are some sweets that would be perfect to take home as a souvenir from Hiroshima.
From the classic, to something a bit unique.You will probably want to buy some for yourself too!
1/ Momiji Manju (maple-leaf-shaped cake filled with sweet bean paste)
2/ Nama Momiji
3/ Hassaku Orange Jelly
4/ Kawadori Mochi (rice cake with walnut inside)
5/ Kaki Senbei (oyster crackers)

A classic Miyajima souvenir would be Momiji Manju (1).Check out the wide variety of different flavors and find your favorite!Momiji Manju is made from a castella-like dough, but Nama Momiji (2) is made using mochi (sticky rice) flour and regular rice flour.Enjoy comparing the difference in texture!

Hiroshima has a sad history with many places where we can reflect on and learn from that history today. It is also packed with places where we can enjoy stunning scenery and activities with children.And while you are out and about exploring, don’t forget to enjoy Hiroshima’s unique cuisine!

It is my opinion and summary. Please acknowledge that there are various opinions.