I always wanted to visit Hiroshima, its not on many peoples’ must do list due to distance, but it is worth a side trip from Kyoto – and possibly an overnight stay. Its quite a lively town and obviously all quite modern.
The site of the first atomic bomb used in anger, Hiroshima has some lessons for us all in today’s world. The Atomic Bomb Dome (as its now known) was one of the few buildings to survive the explosion, and left as it was on the day, it is now at the centre of a riverside park, where there are other monuments and museums displaying the effects of the bomb.
Hiroshima was singled out for this activity some time prior to the actual bombing, in order that the full effects could be measured the city was not bombed with conventional weapons prior to the attack.
One of the images below shows a scale model of the damage, the red ball indicates the site of the explosion some 500m high. Some 80,000 were killed instantly and a further 70,000 over the following months.
The castle is a short walk from the Atomic Bomb Dome and despite being a reconstruction is worth a visit, not only for the castle and grounds themselves, but also the views across Hiroshima from the highest floor.
If you have a Japan Rail Pass, the same company operate ‘hop on, hop off’ sightseeing busses in Hiroshima, 2 routes and free with your pass.