Hiroshima – Peace Memorial Park – Shukkeien Garden – Airbnb with Toyo and Taso

Atomic Dome before and after

Hiroshima, famous for being the first city targeted by an atomic bomb, is more than the sum of its parts. Peace Memorial Park and the resilient dome are some of the main attractions here. Most of the area that was destroyed has been turned into a gigantic memorial that advocates for nuclear non-proliferation and peace. While peace is one of the noble recurring themes of the city, its citizens don’t live in the shadow of this tragic event–they exude their own charm and friendliness, welcoming all sorts of visitors. After the solemn visit, we walked a few blocks to the tranquil garden of Shukkeien and enjoyed the well-maintained scenery of trees, small bridges and of course Koi fish ponds.

See & Do

  • Peace Memorial Park: Considered by many to be the main “attraction” of Hiroshima, this park was the epicenter of the nuclear attack by the US during World War II. All the buildings in this district were instantly vaporized when the bomb went off, and rather than rebuilding as it once was, this park was built as a memorial to peace. Walking around and seeing the eternal flame as well as the register of official deaths is quite sobering. The A-bomb dome structure stands as-is as a testament to the horrors of war. Free admission. Rating: 4/5

A-Bomb Dome

Children's Peace Monument (原爆の子の像 Genbaku no ko no zō)

Folded Paper Cranes inside Peace Memorial Park

  • Peace Memorial Museum: Walking around and seeing exhibits on what happened to Hiroshima during this horrific time is quite an experience. Although it was crowded when we went, people still treated all the exhibits with the utmost respect. Seeing the real items actually damaged during the blast is very surreal. Especially touching are the pictures drawn by survivors (hibakusha). Admission is ¥50 per person. Rating: 4/5

Model of Hiroshima after bombing inside Peace Memorial Museum

  • Shukkeien Garden: A pleasant respite from the sobering walk through the park earlier in the morning, this is a very beautiful garden. We unfortunately got here only 30 minutes before closing so we weren’t able to explore the garden fully, but at only ¥250 to enter it was worth the brief and relaxing walk. What was a little weird was the random vending machine among all the trees–seems a little tacky. On the other hand, it was pretty hot, so having easy access to Pocari Sweat was a bit of a blessing. Rating: 5/5

Shukkeien

Koi in Shukkeien

Koi in Shukkeien

 Eat & Drink

  • Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki: Crispy noodles are what mark the Hiroshima okonomiyaki as unique from the Osaka style one. Pretty tasty if not a bit filling. I was a fan of the slight crunchiness of the noodles due to it touching the griddle, but M preferred her noodles to be a bit softer. Around ¥10000 yen for one okonomiyaki depending on the number of toppings you add. Our airbnb hosts recommended adding fried squid and shrimp. You can also ask for a smaller portion. Rating: 4/5
Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki

Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki

Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki

  •  Dinner at Toyo and Taso: Toyo made us Japanese Curry with chicken, Japanese eggplant(nasu), potatoes and carrots. They were scrumptious over a bed of Japanese rice. Side dishes include potato salad with Kewpie Mayonnaise and silken tofu with sesame oil. It was the perfect homemade Japanese dinner. Rating: 5/5

Stay

  •  AirBNB with Toyo and Taso: We decided to spend the night with a local couple that we found on AirBNB rather than book a hotel. We were a bit apprehensive about staying with other people since we’re used to spending the night alone. This was our first experience with AirBNB, and fortunately it turned out to be excellent–great food and great conversation with plenty of drinks until late into the night. We learned so many things about the city and local area that we would not have otherwise. We paid $247 for two nights. Rating: 4/5

Visit Date

  • 08/12/2013

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