Friday, August 13, 2010

Trip to Japan, Day 6 (Hiroshima)

On day 6, we had originally planned to go to Nara to attend their 1300th Anniversary of Nara’s Heijo-kyo Capital celebration but decided to visit Hiroshima instead to see the historical sites of where the atomic bomb had landed and also go to Miyajima Island to check out the Itsukushima Shrine and it's Torii gate.

It took us less than two hours to get from Osaka to Hiroshima via Japan Rail. Once we had arrived at Hiroshima, we caught the local Hiroshima Electric Railway aka streetcar (don’t get confused with the company StreetCar in London) from the train station to Miyajima where we then had to catch the ferry across to Miyajima Island. The train from Hiroshima to Miyajima was approximately 45mins and then the ferry ride to Miyajima Island was about 30mins. You will want to be either standing or sitting or standing by the port or starboard side when you’re heading to the island. That is where you’ll get great views of the Torii Gate of Itsukushima Shrine.

Itsukushima Shrine and the Torii gate @ Miyajima Island

Once docked and exit the ferry terminal, the first thing you will notice is that there are plenty of deer on this island and they all roam freely. There are plenty of food options on Miyajima Island. There are just endless stalls selling oysters (Miyajima Island delicacy) and most are cooked over a makeshift barbeque grill. Super delicious! It would have been a short 10-15mins walk from the ferry terminal to get to the Itsukushima Shrine if we didn’t stop at all the food stalls. :)

Deer all over Miyajima Island

Grilled Miyajima Oysters

Food & Craft stores @ Miyajima Island

We didn’t take the cable car or any attempt to hike up to Mount Misen but was told that you get a great view of Hiroshima from up there. Oh well. I think we were more tempted by the food than anything else so we went back for more. LOL!

The Mayajima Maru docking @ Miyajima Island

After this we took the ferry back to Miyajima then back to Hiroshima to the atomic bomb site, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The original Genbaku Dome aka A-Bomb Dome is still there and is left in the same post atomic bombing condition to serve as a memorial to the people who were killed. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The A-Bomb Dome @ Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

The condition of the park is surprisingly well kept. There were loads of locals having picnics in the riverside park and all sorts of activities were going on. Surprisingly when walking around the riverside park and reading the memorial plaques there were no mention of the Japanese being at fault of the war. Anyway history is history. If you have the chance to visit Hiroshima and are able to make it to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park then you definitely have to see the A-Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Museum, Eternal Flame, Children’s Peace monument and the Gate of Peace. All of which are within few minutes of each other.

Eternal Flame @ Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

As the day started getting late we headed back to Hiroshima Station to catch the train back to Osaka. All in all it was a good day trip.

For pictures taken in Hiroshima and Miyajima Island, click on the Hiroshima link by the Snapshots area on the right.

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