A quiet respite from the...
A quiet respite from the bustle of Hiroshima, Shukkeien Garden is a peaceful place to spend several hours. Modeled after Lake X1 Hu in China, the garden is constructred to appear much larger than it actually is. Plum trees, azaleas, cherry trees and various other flora guarantee an ever blooming landscape regardless of the season.
The Atomic Bomb Dome
The Atomic Bomb Dome is one of the few buildings around the explosion's epicenter that partially survived the blast, and the city's only remaining bomb damaged building. The former Industrial Promotion Hall is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For shopping and food options, Hondori Street is a lively spot. It is a pedestrian arcade closed to traffic. It is fun to watch people going in and out of the arcade. You can find many shops and restaurants as well as some department stores nearby.
Hiroshima: Geneva Convention not valid for the US?
"A walk in the park - dangerous for optimists ??"
The Peace Memorial Park was built to commemorate the dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and to promote a peaceful world. It is located in the area around the atomic explosion's epicenter, and houses the Peace Memorial Museum and many other A-bomb related monuments.
President Truman had made the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. His intention in ordering the bombings was to create a quick resolution of the war by causing massive destruction, and instilling fear of further destruction, that was sufficient to make Japan surrender.Whether this decision was ethically responsible and historically true, is still heavily discussed.
The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki , roughly half on the days of the bombings. Since then, thousands more have died from injuries or illness attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs. In both cities, the overwhelming majority of the dead were civilians, mostly women,children and old men.
MIYAJIMA ISLAND - HIROSHIMA
One of Japan's 3 Most Beautiful Spots, History and Tradition, Blue Sea, Verdure and Mountains....
Since ancient times, Miyajima has been regarded as one of the "Three Most Beautiful Spots" of Japan, and as a part of the Seto Inland Sea National Park, it has received several distinctions, such as a place of extraordinary scenic beauty, exceptional history, a scenic zone, and a natural monument. The virgin forests neighboring Mt. Misen are representative of the lush greenery and abundance of nature which still covers the entire island even now. Take a stroll in town, and the sights of the souvenir shops, and ryokan (Japanese-style inns) will remind you of the liveliness and prosperity of a port town lined up with stores and houses.
Miyajima Island (belonging to Hiroshima prefecture, Saeki county, Miyajima town), separated from the mainland by the 500m wide Onoseto strait, is one of the many islands in the Hiroshima Bay. The island is roughly rectangular, with a length of 5.6mi(9km) and width of 3.7mi(6km). Mt. Misen, Mt. Komagabayashi, and Mt. Iwafune are located on Miyajima, and all three rise and tower over the shoreline of this mountainous island. Along the mountain range, large granite boulders are exposed on the surface adding a change of character to the scenery.
First built in the latter half of the Sixth Century, Itsukushima Shrine was remodeled into the present beautiful structure by Taira-no-Kiyomori in 1168.
Standing in the sea, it is widely known for its grand and unique construction, and sublime and gorgeous appearance which displays the artistic beauty of the Shinden style of architecture.
About 200 meters in front of the main shrine and standing in the sea is the vermilion colored O-Torii (Grand Gate) which should be called the symbol of Miyajima Itsukushima Shrine was officially designated in December 1996 as a precious asset of world heritage.
The cypress bark-roofed five-storied pagoda, approximately 28 meters high, shows a splendid structural beauty that skillfully combines Japanese and Chinese styles.
On the interior of the pagoda, which was designed entirely in Chinese style, there are auspicious patterns such as a dragon, grape vine arabesque, colored clouds, birds of paradise, and a phoenix, painted in full color and are well preserved.
The pillars are painted with red lacquer, and decorated with gold at the top. On the walls, Buddha and other sacred images are painted.
As one of the structural features, the central pillar of the pagoda, which usually is suspended from the top and extends down to the base in most five-storied pagodas, reaches down only to the second story. Other than the upper and the lower supporting points, nothing is attached to the central pillar, so you can move the central pillar by pushing it at the third or fourth floor of the pagoda. This is one of the reasons why the pagoda is highly resistant against strong winds. After the prohibition of the syncretic religion of Shintoism and Buddhism, the Buddhist images enshrined in the pagoda were transferred to Daiganji Temple, and the pagoda was put under control of Itsukushima Shrine.
"Giant Rice Scoop"
The wooden rice scoop is one of the most popular souvenirs of Miyajima. The method for making it was conceived by a Buddhist priest named Seishin during the Edo period. The rice scoop is made in the shape of a Biwa, a lute-like musical instrument related to Benzaiten who is one of the Seven Deities of Good Luck. The characteristics of the wooden rice scoop are that the scent of the wood dose not become transferred to the rice and it is resistant against heat. The rice scoop comes in various sizes: from 1.8-2.1 meters to 15-18 centimeters. The large scoops are used for decorations with pictures and words engraved or drawn on them. Such scoops are also used as a good-luck talisman for storekeepers, households, politicians and professional sport teams. The small ones are used daily to serve rice, but they could also be used as postcards, with words directry written on it, as a good memory of one's visit to Miyajima.