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Hiroshima

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in hiroshima

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Kannon statue draped with origami cranes, Peace Memorial ParkKannon statue draped with origami cranes, Peace Memorial Park
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Kannon statue draped with origami cranes, Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima (??) is an industrial city in the western Chugoku region of Japan that would rank low on most visitors' agenda if not for a horrific split second on August 6, 1945, when it became the site of the world's first nuclear bomb attack.

hiroshima Travel Guide :

Hiroshima

Understand

Hiroshima

Orientation

Downtown Hiroshima is pretty compact and the trams are reliable and frequent. Hiroshima Station itself is outside the city center so you'll have to take the tram into the city if you arrive by train. Hiroshima Bus Center (????????), however, is right in the center of the city inside the Sogo department store. Hondori, a long covered shopping street, is a good landmark to use to orient yourself, and most sites are withing walking distance.

Hiroshima

Get in

Hiroshima

By plane

Hiroshima Airport (http://www.hij.airport.jp/english/) (HIJ) connects to domestic destinations in Japan. Both ANA and JAL offer flights from Tokyo Haneda and Sapporo Chitose airports. ANA also offers flights from Tokyo Narita, Sendai and Okinawa. There are also international flights to and from Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and Taipei.

Buses connect the airport to Hiroshima station (50 minutes, ¥1300).

Hiroshima

By train

Hiroshima is a major station on the San'yo Shinkansen line. It is 40 minutes away from Okayama and 90 minutes from Osaka. With cheap but slow local trains it takes 7 hours from/to Osaka. From Tokyo it is four hours via Nozomi; five hours via Hikari (change trains once). There is no charge to use Hikari services with the Japan Rail Pass.

Cheaper but slower local services radiate out to other cities in the region.

The Hayabusa overnight sleeper train leaves Tokyo daily at 6 PM, arriving in Hiroshima at around 5:20 the next morning. A later alternative from Tokyo is to take the 10 PM Sunrise Izumo/Seto train to Okayama, then take the San'yo Shinkansen to Hiroshima, arriving around 7:30 the next day.

Hiroshima

By bus

The New Breeze overnight bus runs from Tokyo to Hiroshima. There are two nightly departures in each direction: From Tokyo, departing at 20:00 and 21:00, with both buses arriving in Hiroshima at 8:00 the next day. From Hiroshima, departing at 19:00 and 20:00, with both buses arriving in Tokyo at 7:00 the next day. The trip costs ¥11600 one way, ¥21200 round trip.

Daytime express buses run from Osaka to Hiroshima. There are five departures daily, and the travel time is five hours each way. It costs ¥5000 one way, ¥9000 round trip.

There are also overnight buses from Osaka: The Sanyo Dream Hiroshima from Osaka Station and the Venus from the Namba bus terminal. Both buses take between 6 and 7 1/2 hours to make their journeys, and cost ¥5700 one way, ¥11000 round trip.

There are also two daily buses, and one overnight bus, from Kyoto. The daytime buses take 5 1/2 hours (¥5500 one way, ¥10000 round trip) and the overnight bus takes 6 hours (¥6300 one way, ¥11400 round trip).

Daytime buses also run from cities such as Okayama, FukuyamaFukuyama, Takamatsu and Fukuoka.

Hiroshima

Get around

Hiroshima city tramHiroshima city tram
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Hiroshima city tram
Hiroshima

By tram

Hiroshima is the last major city in Japan with an extensive tram network known as Hiroden (http://www.hiroden.co.jp/) (??), an excellent way of getting around. Most trams converge on JR Hiroshima Station. Trips within the city are a flat ¥150, while trundling out all the way to Miyajima will set you back ¥270.

Hiroshima

By metro

The modern if strangely named Astram (http://www.h7.dion.ne.jp/~astram/) links western Hiroshima to its northern suburbs, but is unlikely to be of use for most visitors.

Hiroshima

See

Those expecting to step off the Shinkansen into a pile of smouldering rubble may be in for a surprise, as modern Hiroshima is a Japanese city like any other.

Hiroshima

Atomic bombing

A-Bomb DomeA-Bomb Dome
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A-Bomb Dome

The following memorials related to the bombing are all clustered in or near Peace Memorial Park (???? Heiwa-k?en), reachable by tram line 2 or 6 to Genbaku Domu-mae.

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Better known as the A-Bomb Dome (????? Genbaku D?mu) is Hiroshima's best-known symbol. Formerly the Prefectural Industrial Promotional Hall, the building was only meters away from ground zero and its skeletal remains were among the very few buildings left standing.
  • Peace Memorial Museum (??????? Heiwa Kinen Shiry?kan). This heart-wrenching museum documents the bomb and its aftermath, complete with scale models of "before" and "after", melted children's tricycles and a harrowing recreation of a post-blast Hiroshima street. After numerous complaints, the museum now even describes the events leading up to the bomb in some detail. Entry costs a token ¥50. Be warned: a visit here, while by all means worthwhile, will ruin your day.
  • Statue of the A-Bomb Children. Perennially draped in thousands and thousands of origami paper cranes, folded by schoolchildren across Japan in memory of bomb victim Sadako Sasaki. Dying of leukemia in 1954, she was told an old folk tale according to which anybody who folds over 1000 cranes will have her wish come true; she managed 642 before her death in 1955 at the age of twelve.
Hiroshima

Gardens and castles

Bridges in ShukkeienBridges in Shukkeien
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Bridges in Shukkeien
  • Shukkeien (???). While not officially one of Japan's Top 3, this is a compact and beautifully landscaped Japanese garden well worth a visit. Despite the occasional high-rise peeping over the trees, it feels like an entirely different world, little paths crossing ponds on bridges and winding their way around graceful teahouses and waterfalls. Open daily 9 AM to 6 PM, entry ¥250. Get there on tram line 9, stop Shukkeien-mae.
  • Hiroshima Castle (??? Hiroshima-j?). A ferroconcrete reconstruction of a 16th-century castle originally built by the Mori clan. Although much prettier outside, the inside has some interesting bilingual exhibits on the history of Hiroshima and, upstairs, some beautiful Japanese swords. The view from the top is nice, but there are better views to be had in the city.
    • The castle grounds also house a monument to Chinese workers killed by the atomic bomb, which was not allowed into the Memorial Park for political reasons.
Hiroshima

Other

  • Mazda Museum, Mukainada-cho Shinchi 3-1 (Sanyo line two stops east to JR Mukainada, two blocks south, turn right and cross), tel. 082-252-5050, 1 (http://www.mazda.com/museum/). Mazda's company headquarters a short distance outside of Hiroshima. They offer free tours every weekday at 9:30am and 1:00pm in Japanese, and 1:00pm in English. The tour is a must for any automobile fan. Space is limited, and they ask that you call first to make a reservation. If you have any serious technical questions then you should go on the Japanese tour and bring along your own interpreter. The English tour guides are not very knowledgable. The tour will begin with a historical view of the Mazda company from its early days making three-wheeled trucks and cork, to the present day Renesis Wankel Rotary Engine. Highlights include the Mazda Cosmos (the worlds first Rotary Engine car) and the 4-Rotor Mazda 787B which is the only Japanese car to win at Le Mans. From there you will be taken to see how the design and build process works at their Ujima plant, and you will be taken onto the actual assembly line to see the latest Mazda vehicles being made. The tour concludes with a view of Mazda's attempts at making Hydrogen fueled cars and some of their concept vehicles.
Hiroshima

Do

Hiroshima

Learn

  • Hiroshima International Center. Tel. 082-541-3777. In the Crystal Plaza building on the corner of Heiwa Dori (Peace Boulevard) opposite the Hokke Club Hotel. You can get free Japanese language and culture lessons here.
Hiroshima

Work

A good job to have in Hiroshima is to be a JET. The JET (Japanese Exchange Teaching) Programme offers people a chance to teach English in Japanese junior and senior high schools. It is a great way to learn the culture, interact with the people, and share your culture where ever you are from

Hiroshima

Buy

Hiroshima

Eat

Hiroshima is famous for its okonomiyaki (?????), literally "cook it as you like it". Often (and somewhat misleadingly) called "Japanese pizza", this is essentially a type of savoury pancake made with wheat and cabbage, topped with egg and your choice of topping, grilled on a hot plate and slathered liberally with sauce, mayonnaise, pickled ginger and seaweed. It sounds and looks like a mess, but can be very tasty if done well. Cheaper places will hand you the (premixed) ingredients in a bowl and let you do the work, but will usually be glad to assist if you need help.

Hiroshima also has lots of of international restaurants, so you'll be able to find pretty much any kind of food you want!

Hiroshima

Budget

  • Grazie Gardens (??????????). A cheap and tasty Italian on Hondori near Parco department store. It's above a shop called Ships.
Hiroshima

Mid-range

  • Okonomi-mura (????). 3-3 Nakamachi, Naka-ku. A two-story building packed with no less than 27 okonomiyaki shops. Figure on ¥1000 for a meal.
Hiroshima

Splurge

  • Nono Budo, in the Pasela building. An organic Japanese restaurant offering a ¥2300 all you can eat and all you can drink deal; no alcohol though, just a great selection of juices, teas, and coffees. If you want nomih?dai (all you can drink) for alcohol, add on another 1900 yen. The menu offers a wide selection of curries, tempura, and other Japanese dishes made with organic products. Your stay is limited up to two hours.
Hiroshima

Drink

Hiroshima

Sleep

Hiroshima

Budget

  • Capsule Inn Hiroshima (????????), Yagenbori 4-6, tel. 082-248-0101. In the Shintechi Entertainment District, halfway between JR Hiroshima station and the Peace Memorial Park; on Aioi-dori, after T6 Kanayama-cho tram stop, turn left at the corner with a post office. Enter the fourth small street on the left. (There are actually two hotels on the both sides of the street). The capsule hotel charges ¥2300/night but available only for male visitors. Has a decent sento (hot bath) for free and advantage of being in the city centre.
Hiroshima

Mid-range

  • Comfort Hotel Hiroshima (???????????), 3-17 Komachi. Conveniently located near the Peace Park and opposite the Chuden-mae tram stop.
Hiroshima

Splurge

Hiroshima

Contact

Hiroshima

Stay safe

Hiroshima has quite a rough reputation compared to other Japanese cities, but it's much safer than any large Western city. The nightlife district (Nagarekawa) gets quite disturbing at night, since it's full of prostitutes and sex clubs. Although there are streets to avoid, you'll be fine as long as you don't do anything stupid. Radiation is not an issue.

Hiroshima

Cope

Hiroshima is a very modern, cosmopolitan and clean city. It's also safe and friendly, so travellers should have no problems.

Hiroshima

Get out

  • Miyajima, a short tram and ferry trip away, has one of Japan's most beautiful shrines on a scenic island.
  • Onomichi, a hillside town of temples and Japanese novelists, 75 minutes away by train
Hiroshima

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