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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in hiroshima
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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.
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 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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gardens and castles
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 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 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 is a very modern, cosmopolitan and clean city. It's also safe and friendly, so travellers should have no problems.