Hiroshima, Japan is known worldwide because of its tragic fate when the United States dropped an atomic bomb onto this embayment of the Inland Sea during World War II.
Some may have second thoughts about visiting this beautiful city because of its dark history. But, its harrowing past made Hiroshima what it is today – a symbol of peace, resilience, and hope.
In this article, let’s talk about the 5 reasons why you should visit Hiroshima to determine if it is worthy to be added to your Japan itinerary.
Is Hiroshima worth your time?
Hiroshima was originally a fishing village that has grown into a multi-billion dollar sprawling metropolitan with many things to offer to different types of travelers.
Today’s Hiroshima has an extraordinary blend of natural beauty, history, and culture that beckons local and international tourists from all over the world.
Here you can find luxurious hotels, delectable cuisine, remarkable tourist destinations, historical and charming Japanese architecture, and exquisite parks. You can even take part in various festivals or visit hot springs while in Hiroshima.
5 reasons why Hiroshima is worth visiting
If you are one of the few unsure if you should visit Hiroshima during your trip to Japan, here are 5 good reasons why you should visit this historical city that not only survived but thrived after its great destruction.
1. Luxurious Hotels
Luxury is often associated with the words pricey and costly. But in Hiroshima, luxurious hotels are actually affordable, like AirBnb. What’s more, these hotels are also near tourist attractions sites.
While in Hiroshima, you can stay the night in style at a high-end hotel being pampered to your heart’s content – and delight might I add – paying only a fraction of what other big hotels in different parts of Japan normally charge.
If you’ve never been, check out Hotel Intergate Hiroshima, Hiroshima Washington Hotel, and Hotel Granvia Hiroshima. These luxury hotels offer great value for the great accommodation and magnificent service.
2. Historical Hiroshima Castle
Hiroshima Castle was built during the feudal era in the 1590s and was constructed on the delta of the Otagawa River. It was created to be the residence of the daimyo or feudal lord of the surrounding domain.
When the feudal system was abolished, it was then used through the years as home to different lords and powerful personalities governing the region at the time.
During World War II, the castle was used as a military base for Japanese soldiers.
Unfortunately, this national treasure collapsed during the bombing of Hiroshima in World War II. Years after, the castle was reconstructed to its former glory, and with it now stands a eucalyptus and a willow tree that survived the atomic bomb.
3. Food for the Gods
If you are a foodie, Hiroshima is a must-visit. This place birthed the world-famous okonomiyaki.
It is a type of savory pancake made with batter, cabbage, tenkasu, cheese, noodles, and pork strips, drenched in mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce then topped with dried bonito flakes and dried seaweed.
Besides okonomiyaki, Hiroshima is also popular for its fresh seafood and heavenly Momiji manju filled with thick red bean paste, cheese, chocolate, and even tea-flavored anko.
Don’t forget the flavorful but less fatty variety of eel called Anago that is served at Anagomeshi Ueno, a restaurant right beside the ferry boarding area. It is a delicacy that is much loved by locals of Hiroshima.
4. Floating Gate and Temples
You can find torii gates all over Japan, but the Itsukushima Shrine’s “floating” torii gate in Miyajima outshines them all.
This dramatic “floating” Torii gate is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a picturesque sunset that features the splendid sea and the majestic peaks of Mount Misen surrounded by verdant forests.
Add to that the grandeur of the twelfth-century-style architecture called Shinden-zukuri which is characterized by the “floating” torii gate, which Japan has tried to preserve and you’ll know this is worth visiting over any other torii gates.
Besides Itsukushima Shrine’s “floating” torii, there are also other cultural and historical temples you can visit while in Hiroshima.
You can join a tour of the Abuto-Kannon Temple, Koriyakushi Temple, Jinguji Temple, and Tenneiji Temple just to name a few. There are more temples you can check out if you enjoy viewing pieces and places that will take you back in time.
5. Stunning Parks
Have you seen Japanese movies that feature scenic parks with trees boasting the different colors and hues available in plants and flowers? Well, Hiroshima has those parks!
If you like animals, you should visit Hiroshima City Asa Zoological Park. Here, you can find furry red pandas, giraffes, African elephants, and other animals you can only see in the wild.
Meanwhile, if you want to be mesmerized by the glorious beauty of nature, then make sure to drop by Flower Village Kamu No Sato, Hiroshima Prefectural Mominoki Forest Park, Momijidani Park, and Hill Overlooking History Park.
In these parks, you will be amazed at the amount of flowers carpeting the plateau that dances in tune with the gentle breeze passing through.
If that doesn’t faze you, imagine the trees whose leaves change colors as seasons come and go, and you will be more than inspired to come back and take another walk through their beaten paths and winding roads.
For sure, Hiroshima is not your last stop. Why not make Nikko or Hakone your next stop?