“This is our cry, this is our prayer, peace in the world.”
Hiroshima was a very emotionally humbling experience for us. We arrived on June 18th via Shinkansen. First we took the JR ferry to Itsukushima Island (also known as Miyajima Island) to visit the iconic Floating Shrine. Since we had our JR Pass the ferry was no charge. You will notice after exiting the ferry that there are a lot of deer on the island. They are super friendly but don’t leave them alone with your bags! They will eat anything! There is a Taiyaki shop located directly in front of the JR Ferry entrance/exit. We did not find an English name for it but it was one of the best Taiyaki shops and the most reasonably priced at 180Y a piece.
Then we were able to visit the Atomic Bomb Dome where the first atomic bomb was initially dropped; the Children’s Peace Memorial to commemorate the many children that lost their lives, and the Peace Memorial Museum. All of which were unforgettable and moving. Many people that were just small children when this catastrophic event happened were there speaking to local school children.
As a young child I (Kallsy) remember reading a book titled A Thousand Paper Cranes which told the true story of Sadako and how she believed that if she could make 1,000 paper cranes her wish would come true. Unfortunately, Sadako was not able to fulfill this dream and passed away due to the after effects of the atomic bomb. When you look at our album from Hiroshima, you will see the top of a statue that has the images of children. This was a memorial for Sadako and so many other children that were lost. Seeing the devastation and loss in this perspective was something we could never have imagined. But it was also encouraging to see how only after 70 years a city has overcome every obstacle and rebuilt.
Restaurant: Hassei | Hiroshima is known for it’s excellent okinomayaki, Hassei was terrific with it’s portion size and the ability to customize your own plate.
Accommodations: Mitsui Garden Hotel | Very reasonable price at $48 (US) a night. The room was a great value, considering the room was comfortably sized and very clean.
Transportation: one unique characteristic of Hiroshima’s public transit was the electric streetcar. These above ground trolleys operate very similarly to other public transit in Japan. To utilize the street cars (Hiroshima Dentetsu) first find a streetcar stop/station for your desired car. Utilizing Google Maps can be very beneficial in determining which car you need, what station, and how much it will cost. As similar to buses, enter the streetcar through the “entrance doors”, and pay via cash or transit card when exiting.
While you may not need numerous days while visiting Hiroshima, it is worth the trip simply for the harrowing history, incredible beauty, and difference in culture.
After getting a good nights rest, we packed up and headed to the hot spring town, Kinosaki Onsen.