Hiroshima was the last city I visited during my Japan Travels and unfortunately, it was also the shortest visits due a Typhoon. I only spend half a day in Hiroshima, arriving at around 2 pm and leaving the next day at 8 am. I wished I could spend more time in this beautiful city.
I arrived on August the sixth – which was the day of the atomic bombing 72 years ago. As you can imagine, it was very emotional to travel to Hiroshima around this time, since there were a lot of events about the tragic and brutal event and a lot of survivors speaking about their experiences.
When I arrived, I still had some time before checking in my hostel, a very nice one super close to the main train station! So I went to a Restaurant and had my first Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki with Oysters. It was super delicious and very filling. I was sitting next to a couple from New York City and it happened that the lady was a doctor. So we shared our experiences and exchanged stories and informations about the Medical Education System in Europe vs. the United States!
After lunch and saying goodbye to the American couple, I went to my Hostel and checked in and immediately left to explore the city afterwards. Hiroshima offers sight seeing buses which take you to the main attractions and the good thing was that I didn’t had to pay any extras because it was included in the JR pass.
My first destination had to be the peace memorial park.
There were a lot of local people in the park, speaking about the atomic bombing day and their families and friends, who suffered from the consequences of the radiation. It was very moving to hear their stories and see the pictures they prepared. Everybody was preparing something for a event in the evening, where the local people and everybody else could make some lanterns in order to let them flow on the river.
A very moving story I heard the first time was the story of Sadako Sasaki, a girl who was only 2 years old when the bombing happened and who survived the attacks but suffered from leukemia. While she was staying at the hospital, she made over 1000 origami cranes and prayed for her healing. Unfortunately, she died and after her death she became a huge symbol of freedom and her cranes the symbol of Hiroshima.
I decided to leave the Memorial Park for a few hours until it got darker in order to fully see the lantern ceremony and went to the Hiroshima jo, the castle which was destroyed by the atomic bombing.
Back to the memorial Park, I decided to sit down next to the river and watch the lanterns ceremony.
I had a beautiful day in Hiroshima and although I coudn’t see everything on my list, it is still one of my favourite places I visited!