Monday, 11 April 2016

Visiting Hiroshima: Hiroshima city, Hiroshima Castle and the Genbaku dome


Marcus and I went travelling a little over the long spring holiday, and the first place we went to was Hiroshima. I had such a great time there! It's a really fun town, with a really nice vibe.

My first impression of Hiroshima was, "It really is wide though" (the city's name mean's 'wide island' 広島). It's got loads of rivers running through it, and the roads are big and wide in the city centre. They also had trams! For some reason this instantly impressed me. We didn't have long in Hiroshima itself, as we went on day trips to Miyajima and Iwakuni (which I'll be posting about soon enough), but for our day in Hiroshima, as well as going to the Genbaku dome, we managed to have some time just to chill in town for a bit. We went shopping, had a really tasty crepe, and there was even a Lush- Hiroshima is really nice for shopping. I'm thinking of doing a big 'spring Jfashion haul' post soon, so stay tuned for that.



We also swang by Hiroshima castle (which is a reconstruction, like many Japanese castles. The exception of course being that this one was destroyed by a nuclear bomb) and we didn't go in, but it was a pretty castle in a nice park. The shrine next door- 護国神社 was also worth taking a peek at. The plum blossom in the castle grounds were just starting to bloom too.

Another place that had to be visited was the Genbaku dome, peace park and museum.
The 'Genbaku dome' was close to the centre of the blast in 1945, and it has been preserved as a reminder of the event. The area used to be a lively business area, but now the whole section has been turned into a 'peace park' filled with memorials and monuments, along with the museum and a mass grave. The 1945 atomic bombs were such an important event in world history, and even if it's tough to go to places like this, we can't let it be forgotten. We went to have a look at the dome on the first evening, and then came again to look at the park and the museum another day. When we went to the park, there was a volunteer guide who was lovely and informative, with great English (Although Marcus and I can speak Japanese fairly well, it must be good for other tourists). Both the museum and the dome were really sad, the museum has very personal items in it, like school children's clothes and individual cases. There were some pretty gory things too- sculptures of people with melting skin, and actual preserved bits of people's skin... I cried. Inside the museum everything was written in English and Japanese, and it was only 50 yen to enter.

The Genbaku dome is an impressive and certainly moving experience. But one of the nicest bits for me was to see it sort of meld into the background of the city. Locals were jogging, walking or cycling past it without a second thought, and although the people of Hiroshima, and Japan, clearly haven't forgotten the past, they have channelled their memories into striving for peace and disarmament instead. 
Hiroshima castle





Hiroshima Peace Park

Genbaku dome
Thanks for reading guys! Sorry it got a bit deep, but it was a really moving experience. Next time I'll write about my visit to Miyajima, so look forward to pretty scenery and deer pictures (^O^)/
-Amy xoxo
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