Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
Indelibly etched into world history as being the target of the first atomic bomb on the 6th of August 1945 when 200,000 lost their lives, Hiroshima has risen from the ashes to become a vibrant and prosperous city. With a spectacular backdrop being flanked by mountains and sea, dotted with small islands, and a forward thinking approach to planning, the city is a pleasant place to visit.
In the centre of the city is the A-Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park, built on open field created by the explosion, with a moving collection of memorials, sculptures and monuments dedicated to the abolition of nuclear arms and campaign for world peace. The adjoining museum documents life in Hiroshima before, during and after the tragic event, and can be an overwhelming experience.
A few miles from the coast of Hiroshima in the Inland Sea lies Miyajima Island, famous for the huge red torii gate rising from the ocean guarding the entrance to Itsukushima Shrine. Miyajima is a delightful island with a serene atmosphere, with deer and monkeys roaming freely, and a wonderful place to wander around town and in the wooded hills. For those spending more time on the island, there is an excellent 4 hour hike to the summit of the island’s mountain Misen at 530m from where there are spectacular views of the Inland Sea. For a more leisurely walk there is a cable car which takes you to within 20 minutes from the summit, and leaves an hour long descent.
To complement the tranquillity of the island we recommend staying at the Iwaso Ryokan, a charming traditional Japanese guesthouse located in serene woodlands next to a crystal clear stream, and only 10 minutes walk from Itsushima Shrine. All rooms are en suite and there is an onsen (hot spring bath) available for guests.