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Japan

Hiroshima Holidays

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Hiroshima? No Hassle

A holiday to Hiroshima might surprise you. Since 6th August 1945, it’s been a byword for nuclear war, after it was devastated in the world’s first ever atomic-bomb attack. But the city that exists today is unexpectedly vibrant, boasting cosmopolitan credentials while still retaining a charming, olde-worlde feel.

Of course, the main reason most people book a Hiroshima holiday is to learn about its haunting history and to pay their respects to the victims of the bombing. The best way to do that is by taking a trip to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, where you’ll also find the iconic A-Bomb Dome. But Hiroshima’s story didn’t start with World War Two – it’s worth journeying even further back into history with a visit to Hiroshima Castle, or to the beautiful Shukkei-en garden, which dates all the way back to the Edo era. Literally translated as ‘shrunken-scenery garden,’ it displays many features of traditional Japanese gardens and includes valleys, mountains, and forests all represented in miniature.

But your entire Hiroshima holiday needn’t be confined to the city itself. This is also the gateway to the lovely island of Mayajima, famous for its Itsukushima-jinja shrine with its red gate which appears to float on water. Spend a few hours – or a few days – on the island before making your way back to Hiroshima to explore the city’s more modern attractions. As well as its excellent art galleries, its okonomiyaki restaurants should feature high on your to-do list. Known as ‘Japanese pizza’ or ‘Japanese pancake’, okonomiyaki is popular throughout the country, but it’s a particular speciality in Hiroshima. Oysters are another delicacy here. Hiroshima accounts for two-thirds of the country’s oyster production, so you’ll find no end of places serving them fried, steamed, grilled or raw.

Things to do

Peace Memorial Park

Mayajima

Best time to go

Things to do in Hiroshima

While much of your time on a Hiroshima holiday will no doubt be spent learning about the events of 6th August 1945 through visits to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, there’s plenty more to discover in this city. At the Hiroshima Museum of Art, for instance, you can check out works by contemporary Japanese artists as well as modern European painters. Or you could visit Hiroshima Castle, also known as Carp Castle. Although the original building, constructed in the 1590s, was destroyed by the atomic bomb, its main keep was rebuilt and now houses a fascinating museum.

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Plus, you can enjoy excellent city views from the top floor. Meanwhile, over in quaint Onomichi, you can spend anywhere between half an hour and an entire day doing the Temple Walk – a two-and-a-half kilometre walking route which connects an impressive 25 temples. Then, of course, there’s the lively downtown area, centred around Hondori Street – a pedestrian arcade filled with shops and restaurants. It’s a great place to pick up some souvenirs and chow down on Hiroshima’s delicious cuisine.

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Peace Memorial Park

The Peace Memorial Park is likely to be top of your Hiroshima holiday itinerary. Spread across 120,000 square meters in the centre of the city, chances are you’ll stumble across it even if you’re not looking for it. Once a bustling political and commercial district, this part of the city was turned into an open field after the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped here. Four years later, a decision was made not to redevelop the area but to preserve it as a tranquil spot, dedicated to the memories of the bomb’s direct and indirect victims.

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Show Less

A large, leafy space, hugged by rivers on either side and criss-crossed by walkways, the park contains memorials and monuments, museums, and lecture halls. At the northern end of the park stands the A-Bomb Dome – the skeletal ruins of the former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. This was the closest building to the hypocenter of the nuclear bomb that remained at least partially standing, and it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The park’s other main attractions include the Peace Memorial Museum and the Flame of Peace, which is set to burn until all the world's nuclear weapons have been destroyed.

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Show Less

Mayajima

This small island in Hiroshima Bay is one of Japan’s most popular tourist spots. Officially called Itsukushima – meaning ‘island of worship’ – it’s home to about 2,000 people and is believed to be the place where God dwells. Its most popular attraction is the much-photographed Itsukushima-jinja shrine – an absolute must-see on any Hiroshima holiday. Originally built in the sixth century, the vermillion torii – or shrine gates – stand just offshore and, at high tide, appear to be floating on top of the water.

Show More
Show Less

Once you’ve visited the shrine, and got the customary shot of the gates, spend some time exploring the nearby temples, lazing on the beaches or hiking on Mount Misen. Trek all the way to the summit and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views across the Inland Sea. While the top attractions can easily be ticked off with a half-day trip from Hiroshima, consider booking into a ryokan and spending the night on Mayajima. Things here become far more peaceful in the evening, once most visitors have left, and you’re left with just the local deer for company.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit Hiroshima

As with many places in Japan, the best time for a Hiroshima holiday is spring or autumn. That’s because it enjoys a humid subtropical climate, so the summer months are hot and muggy while winter is cold – although not unbearably so. However, April-May and October-November generally have the most pleasant weather. At these times of year, highs are usually in the high teens to low twenties, while evening temperatures rarely drop much below 10°C.

Show More
Show Less

Whichever month you choose to travel, you’ll likely experience some rain on a holiday to Hiroshima – so it’s always wise to pack an umbrella. There tend to be between seven and 12 wet days a month, with winter being the driest season and rainfall peaking in June and July. And if you’re keen to see Japan’s famous cherry blossoms, you’ll need to book your Hiroshima holiday for late March or early April.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Hiroshima

While much of your time on a Hiroshima holiday will no doubt be spent learning about the events of 6th August 1945 through visits to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, there’s plenty more to discover in this city. At the Hiroshima Museum of Art, for instance, you can check out works by contemporary Japanese artists as well as modern European painters. Or you could visit Hiroshima Castle, also known as Carp Castle. Although the original building, constructed in the 1590s, was destroyed by the atomic bomb, its main keep was rebuilt and now houses a fascinating museum.

Show More
Show Less

Plus, you can enjoy excellent city views from the top floor. Meanwhile, over in quaint Onomichi, you can spend anywhere between half an hour and an entire day doing the Temple Walk – a two-and-a-half kilometre walking route which connects an impressive 25 temples. Then, of course, there’s the lively downtown area, centred around Hondori Street – a pedestrian arcade filled with shops and restaurants. It’s a great place to pick up some souvenirs and chow down on Hiroshima’s delicious cuisine.

Show More
Show Less

Peace Memorial Park

Peace Memorial Park

The Peace Memorial Park is likely to be top of your Hiroshima holiday itinerary. Spread across 120,000 square meters in the centre of the city, chances are you’ll stumble across it even if you’re not looking for it. Once a bustling political and commercial district, this part of the city was turned into an open field after the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped here. Four years later, a decision was made not to redevelop the area but to preserve it as a tranquil spot, dedicated to the memories of the bomb’s direct and indirect victims.

Show More
Show Less

A large, leafy space, hugged by rivers on either side and criss-crossed by walkways, the park contains memorials and monuments, museums, and lecture halls. At the northern end of the park stands the A-Bomb Dome – the skeletal ruins of the former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. This was the closest building to the hypocenter of the nuclear bomb that remained at least partially standing, and it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The park’s other main attractions include the Peace Memorial Museum and the Flame of Peace, which is set to burn until all the world's nuclear weapons have been destroyed.

Show More
Show Less

Mayajima

Mayajima

This small island in Hiroshima Bay is one of Japan’s most popular tourist spots. Officially called Itsukushima – meaning ‘island of worship’ – it’s home to about 2,000 people and is believed to be the place where God dwells. Its most popular attraction is the much-photographed Itsukushima-jinja shrine – an absolute must-see on any Hiroshima holiday. Originally built in the sixth century, the vermillion torii – or shrine gates – stand just offshore and, at high tide, appear to be floating on top of the water.

Show More
Show Less

Once you’ve visited the shrine, and got the customary shot of the gates, spend some time exploring the nearby temples, lazing on the beaches or hiking on Mount Misen. Trek all the way to the summit and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views across the Inland Sea. While the top attractions can easily be ticked off with a half-day trip from Hiroshima, consider booking into a ryokan and spending the night on Mayajima. Things here become far more peaceful in the evening, once most visitors have left, and you’re left with just the local deer for company.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Hiroshima

As with many places in Japan, the best time for a Hiroshima holiday is spring or autumn. That’s because it enjoys a humid subtropical climate, so the summer months are hot and muggy while winter is cold – although not unbearably so. However, April-May and October-November generally have the most pleasant weather. At these times of year, highs are usually in the high teens to low twenties, while evening temperatures rarely drop much below 10°C.

Show More
Show Less

Whichever month you choose to travel, you’ll likely experience some rain on a holiday to Hiroshima – so it’s always wise to pack an umbrella. There tend to be between seven and 12 wet days a month, with winter being the driest season and rainfall peaking in June and July. And if you’re keen to see Japan’s famous cherry blossoms, you’ll need to book your Hiroshima holiday for late March or early April.

Show More
Show Less

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

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Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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