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DISCOVER: Hiroshima, an ANA Mini Guide

Mention Hiroshima and the city’s solemn history instantly springs to mind. But over 70 years since the nuclear strike, Hiroshima is once again a thriving, cosmopolitan city. Welcoming and culturally rich, visitors are discovering there’s far more to Hiroshima than the atomic bomb.

DISCOVER: Hiroshima’s solemn past

Before getting to know Hiroshima today, it’s important to acknowledge its infamous history. Impossible to miss, Peace Memorial Park is a vast open area in the heart of the city where lawns and paths are dotted with memorials dedicated to the events of 1945. The Peace Memorial Museum provides a detailed history of the bombing whilst the nearby arched stone Cenotaph stands as a tribute to those who died. But perhaps the most moving site is the partially destroyed A-bomb Dome. The ruins of the former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall is all that remains of the city centre prior to the attack, and serves as a poignant reminder of the need for peace.

Image via Unsplash

SEE: Carp Castle

After acknowledging Hiroshima’s more recent history, take a dive into its elegant feudal past. Hiroshima Castle, also known as Carp Castle, sits right beside Peace Memorial Park and invites visitors to discover the city’s origins as a focal point for power struggles present throughout Japan’s history. Having been destroyed by the atomic bomb, Hiroshima Castle has been faithfully rebuilt, today housing an informative museum and boasting one of the best views of the city from its rooftop gallery. Visit in spring to admire the castle framed by cherry blossom.

Hiroshima Castle: 21-1 Motomachi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima

Image via Unsplash

DO: Watch The Hiroshima Toyo Carp In Action

From Carp Castle to the Toyo Carp – Hiroshima’s baseball team and some of the best players in Japan. Since its introduction during the Meiji period, Japan’s love of baseball has grown to become an important part of national sporting culture. Cheering on the local team at the Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium is a favourite pastime for the people of Hiroshima, so why not time your trip to join the fans? Keep an eye on Japan Ball for news of upcoming fixtures.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

EAT: Okonomiyaki

If you haven’t yet tried okonomiyaki, be sure to add Japan’s mouth-watering pancakes to your culinary bucket list. Unlike any savoury pancake you’ll have tried before, okonomiyaki is made up of a base mix of grated sweet potato, egg and shredded cabbage, topped with an unlimited variety of meat, fish and vegetables. There are countless restaurants in Hiroshima to order your first okonomiyaki, but if you’re after some direction, Sazanka and Okonomimura both come highly recommended.

Image: Chopstick Chronicles

STAY: The Night in Miyajima

A local line from Hiroshima Station will drop you at Miyajima-guchi, 25 minutes south of the city centre. From here, a short ferry trip will take you to neighbouring Miyajima island. Peaceful Miyajima is home to the iconic vermillion torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine, perched in the shallows of the Seto Inland Sea, as well as visitor-friendly miniature deer and some of Japan’s most delicious oysters. The perfect place to stop for the night, we recommend a stay in a traditional ryokan, and if your budget allows then you won’t find better than Iwaso.

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