Fun things to do in Hiroshima

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Hiroshima

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    Peace Boulevard

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 21, 2014

    Peace Boulevard, or Heiwa Odori in Japanese, is a large tree-lined avenue that stretches about 3.5 kilometers through the middle of Hiroshima, including a stretch just south of Peace Memorial Park next to the Peace Museum. The plans for the road were solidified by the Hirroshima Peace Memorial City Reconstruction Law of 1949. The 100-meter wide boulevard was majestic, but barren of trees until 1957-58 when trees where donated from across Japan and planted.

    Gingko Tree on the Peace Boulevard

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    The Hypocenter

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 21, 2014

    A hypocenter is defined as the point directly below the center of the explosion of an atomic bomb, but it is also used to refer to the point in the earth where an earthquake occurs. In Hiroshima, the hypocenter of the atomic bombing of 6 August 1945 is marked by a small plaque 580 feet below the point of the airborne explosion. The plaque stands near a Daily Yamazaki convenience store at a Y intersection just across the Motoyasu Bridge from the Peace Memorial Park.

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    Motoyasu River

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 21, 2014

    The Motoyasu River runs through downtown Hiroshima past the A-Bomb Dome, one of Japan's most poignant reminders of the devastation of war. Each year on August 6th people release lanterns into this river. Also, in April every year, the cherry blossoms along the Motoyasu draw thousands of visitors and photographers.

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    Atomic Bomb Dome

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 19, 2014

    The Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall was designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel and completed in 1915. The steel-framed brick and stone building was three stories high, except for the central atrium which reached five stories and was capped by a dome. The facility was used to display collections of local products as a way to promote local industry, and it contained a number of offices on the ground floor. By 1944, the building's main use transitioned to offices for public agencies and local trade unions.

    The atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima on August 6th 1945 detonated just 160 meters southeast of the exhibition hall. Despite the blast that killed everyone inside the building, the central parts of the structure remained standing after the bombing and the end of the war. After the bombing, the remains of the building were left intact and donated to Hiroshima City in 1953. In 1966, the city decided to preserve the A-Bomb Dome, and donations came from around the world. The A-Bomb Dome was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

    We visited the A-Bomb Dome several times during our visit to Hiroshima, at sunset, at night, and in the late morning. The skeletal structure strewn with rubble demonstrates the devastation caused by the bomb, but the feral cats living in the building, and the plants coming up through the debris demonstrate how life perseveres.

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    Sumiyoshi Shrine

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 13, 2014

    Sumiyoshi Shrine is a riverfront Shinto Shrine in Hiroshima, not far from the epicenter of the atomic bomb explosion in 1945. To date, two pine trees that survived the blast remain next to the shrine. When the shrine was rebuilt in 1995, the trees were moved, but they survived.

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    Hondori Shopping District

    by Ewingjr98 Written Dec 12, 2014

    Hondori is the main shopping street in Hiroshima. This covered, pedestrian-only street stretches nearly a kilometer. Hondori, literally meaning main street, has been the main shopping area of the city since the early 1900s, especially after electric lamps were installed.

    The eastern end of Hondori marks the hypocenter of the atomic bomb blast of 1945, and most of the area was destroyed. One of the few building to partially survive the bombing was the Teikoku Bank Building, which was restored in 1950 and is now the home of the Andersen Bakery.

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    Hiroshima

    by globetrott Written Nov 22, 2014

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    Hiroshima

    Nowadays Hiroshima is Nr11 of the largest cities of Japan with a total of 1.100.000 inhabitants in 2014. Hiroshima was founded on the river delta coastline of the Seto Inland Sea in 1589 and had gained the status of a town in 1889.
    In WW II the city was an important Army Marine Headquarter and it had large depots of military supplies. Maybe this was one of the reasons, why the US Army had dropped the atomic bomb there on August 6th, 1945 at 08.15am. 80.000 people were killed directely and by the end of the year another 50.000 people had died because of the radiation.More than 70% of all buildings in Hiroshima had been destroyed by the bomb.
    For tourists Hiroshima is mainly of interest for the Peace memorial Museum and for the closeby island of Miyajima.

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    The Ota River.

    by IreneMcKay Updated May 10, 2014

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    From Hiroshima Castle we strolled along the banks of the Ota River to Hiroshima's Peace Park. The river was lined with flowering cherry trees during our visit and was very beautiful. It was a hot sunny day and many people were picnicking under the trees. We passed a temple on the riverside and enjoyed lovely river views on our walk.

    The Ota River splits into several other rivers in Hiroshima. At the Peace Memoria it divides to become the Ota River and the Motoyasu River.

    The Ota River. On the banks of the river.
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    Genbaku Dōmu: the Atomic Bomb Dome

    by toonsarah Written Dec 11, 2013

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    There’s nothing like a sucker punch for bringing you up short and reminding you just why a place is as notorious as Hiroshima, and if, like most people, you start your explorations at the Atomic Bomb Dome, a sucker punch is what it delivers. This stark reminder of the impact of the atom bomb will ensure that no one leaves the city without appreciating the devastation that it caused.

    On Monday 6th August 1945, at 8.15 am, an atomic bomb (bizarrely tagged as "Little Boy") was dropped on Hiroshima by an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, directly killing an estimated 80,000 people. I had imagined that the bomb landed and detonated, but in fact it was detonated some distance above the ground. Its target was the Aioi Bridge but it missed this slightly and exploded almost directly above this building, which was at the time an exhibition hall known as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. Because the blast was felt from immediately above, hitting the structure vertically, a surprising amount remained intact even though, of course, everyone inside was killed instantly.

    For some years after the war the skeleton of the building remained as it was. There were some who felt it should be pulled down and the site redeveloped, while others argued for its restoration and yet others for its preservation as a ruin, to stand as a memorial to what had happened and to those who had lost their lives. The latter group won the day, and in 1966 the city council declared that it intended to preserve the building, undertaking only the minimal work necessary to ensuring its stability. In December 1996 the Atomic Bomb Dome was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Its listing was based on its survival from a destructive force, the first use of nuclear weapons on human population, and importantly its representation as a symbol of peace.

    The dome seems to have become a focus for individual local people who are keeping the memory of what happened on that day alive while hoping for the future.

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    Memorial Tower to the Mobilised Students

    by toonsarah Updated Dec 11, 2013

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    The Second World War caused a major labour shortage in Japan, so the government brought in the Student Labour Service Act in August 1944 which required students in middle school and above to work in munitions factories etc. Later that year, in November, the edict was extended to cover the work of tearing down homes and other buildings in order to create fire-breaks to limit the spread of fire in the event of air raids. Many were working on these projects in Hiroshima when the atom bomb was dropped; of the more than 8,000 secondary school students mobilised at building demolition sites, approximately 6,300 died. Many students who were working at various factories around the city were also killed.

    After the war, the government only permitted mobilised students killed in the atomic bombing or in air strikes to be enshrined in Yasukuni Shrine if their names and date of death were known. In response to this, bereaved families began a campaign to create a list of all the dead and donated funds to build this tower in their memory.

    The tower was dedicated in July 1967. Its design incorporates eight doves and a statue of the goddess of peace, arranged on and around the five storeys, which widen towards the top. At the base are plaques with scenes of: 1) working to increase food production; 2) female students sewing; 3) factory work; and 4) Hiroshima’s Lantern Floating Memorial. Behind the monument is a list of 352 schools attended by mobilised students throughout Japan who died during the war, from air raids as well as the atomic bombings. An epitaph reads:
    “Mobilised students working as volunteer labourers for increased production efforts number well over 3 million throughout Japan. Of those students who sacrificed their youth and opportunity for education, more than 10,000 fell in the ravages of war, approximately 6,000 of which were killed in the A-bomb. These mobilized students had high hopes and goals and dreamed of taking flight into their futures, but instead died for their country. This monument was constructed by friends and family members to console the spirits of the deceased students.”

    Near the monument people have laid paper cranes as they do at many of the memorials here. The reason for this will be explained in my separate local custom tip. But now it is time to explore the Peace Memorial Park and its many monuments.

    Memorial Tower Paper cranes at the Memorial Tower Paper cranes at the Memorial Tower Detail of a dove
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    Fukuromachi Elementary School

    by Rabbityama Written Sep 5, 2012

    Fukuromachi Elementary School was located near the epicenter of the atomic bomb. Most of the school was made of wood, so it was all destroyed, but a small part made of concrete survived the blast. Most of the students died, because they were playing in the schoolyard at the time. Only a few students who had been slow to put on their shoes to go outside survived.

    Since the situation in the city was so dire and there were so few buildings left standing, the school was turned into a makeshift hospital to treat victims. They used the chalkboards to write about patients. People also came looking for family members and wrote messages to them in case they (or someone who knows where they are) came and they could reunite. They also wrote death messages so that people would know if their loved ones were dead.

    The building has been converted into a museum. In the basement there are artifacts found in the schoolyard and accounts from the surviving students as well as a video with English subtitles. They have also preserved portions of the wall that still has writing from the atomic bomb (names and messages).

    This museum with the artifacts, information, and video is WELL WORTH it and will enhance any visit to the Peace Museum. Entrance is free.

    Messages in Fukuromachi Elementary School Fukuromachi Elementary School
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    Honkawa Elementary School

    by Rabbityama Written Aug 26, 2012

    Parts of Honkawa Elementary School withstood the atomic bomb, so it served as the school for local children in the area (including those who had previously attended other schools that no longer existed) from February 13, 1946, just 6 months after the bombing.

    Today, a new school has been built however, they have preserved part of the old school that survived the blast. It is now a museum. Inside there are some artifacts taken from the schoolyard. Although it is a small museum, it is still interesting to be able to enter one of the surviving structures. This school was also featured in the famous atomic bomb comic, "Barefoot Gen".

    Entrance is free.

    Honkawa Elementary School Inside Honkawa Elementary School Honkawa Elementary School Honkawa Elementary School Museum Cranes in Honkawa Elementary School
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    Nobori-Cho Middle School

    by Rabbityama Updated Aug 25, 2012

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    Everyone who travels to Hiroshima goes to Peace Park, and one of the most inspiring monuments is that of Sadako Sasaki, the little girl who folded the paper cranes in hopes of recovering from leukemia, but sadly died.

    For those who are particularly moved by Sadako's story, you may be interested in taking a walk by Nobori-cho Middle School. This is the elementary school that young Sadako attended until she was hospitalized in 1954 with leukemia, never again to return to school, although she received a diploma from her elementary school and was enrolled in junior high. In front of the school, there is a memorial statue of Sadako. Children still attend the school today.

    (the website links to Sadako's life story)

    Statue of Sadako in Front of Her Middle School Sadako Sasaki's Middle School
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    Shopping

    by Toshioohsako Updated Dec 1, 2010

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    Its a good idea to come to this lively shopping street "Hondori Douri" (Hondori Street) especially after visiting the atomic bomb site as normal persons become a little bit sad, depressed and shocked. The street runs from the east of the Peace Memorial (cross the bridge) and runs 2 blocks until Parco Shopping Mall. Its interesting to see so many different items- modern and traditional - are available for buying or just watching.

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    Hondori Street

    by muratkorman Updated Oct 11, 2009

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    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.

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