Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is an essential destination for all visitors to Hiroshima. It was built on an area that was destroyed by the atomic bomb and is a very large park with ponds, statues, fountains, memorials, and walking paths. The main feature is the Peace Memorial Museum, which offers exhibits on the bombing and the horrors of nuclear warfare, which are educational, upsetting, and hopeful.
One of the most important locations in the park is the Cenotaph for A-Bomb Victims, an arch between the museum and the A-Bomb Dome. Beneath the arch is a register of the 220,000 people who died as a result of the bomb.
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Things to Know Before You Go
There is a small fee to enter the park.
Hiroshima Peace Volunteers offer free guided tours of the park and museum, and a small number of English guides are available.
If you’re crafty and good at origami (Japanese paper folding), bring a folded crane to the Children’s Peace Monument to add to the collection, which commemorates the children affected by the bomb.
How to Get There
The park is in Nakajima, which was the center of Hiroshima at the time of the bombing. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the Hiroshima Bus Center or a 20-minute bus ride from the train station. Catch bus number 24 bound for Yoshijima, and get off at Heiwa Kinen Koen.
When to Get There
The museum is open from morning until evening; exact hours vary by the season. If you happen to be in Hiroshima on August 6th, you can observe the ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the bombing: A minute’s silence takes place at 8:15am, wreaths are laid at the site, and there are a number of speeches.
Day Trip to Miyajima
After visiting the Peace Memorial Park, head to Miyajima, an island just off the coast from Hiroshima. You can get there by ferry and spend some time exploring the beautiful Itsukushima Shrine, with its red torii (gate) that stands in the water. You can also hike or take a cable car up the island’s Mount Misen.