How to Spend 1 Day in Hiroshima
Although most people associate Hiroshima with the atomic bombing that it suffered at the end of World War II, there’s much more to the modern city than its sobering history. You can experience many of Hiroshima’s layers in one day, from the bomb-related sites to the medieval castle and the city’s vibrant dining scene. Here’s how.
Morning: Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Start your day at Peace Memorial Park, which commemorates the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and educates travelers about World War II. Wander around the park’s many areas, from museums and memorials to the distinctive Atomic Bomb Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was located almost directly beneath the bomb’s hypocenter. The building’s shell survived, including the wire supports of the building’s dome. Most half-day Hiroshima walking and cycling tours include a visit to Peace Memorial Park.
Afternoon: Explore Hiroshima Castle
After lunch, make your way to Hiroshima Castle. Built in the 1590s, the castle was an important center of power in Western Japan. Later destroyed by the atomic bomb, the castle was rebuilt in the 1950s. Check out the history museum inside, and the views of Hiroshima from the top floor. In the spring, the castle is surrounded by cherry blossoms. If you have time afterward, head over to the nearby Hiroshima Museum of Art.
Night: Sample the Local Food
An ideal night out in Hiroshima involves sampling the local delicacies. Hiroshima is famous for its oysters—and then there’s okonomiyaki, fried savory pancakes with various toppings. The Kansai-versus-Hiroshima okonomiyaki rivalry is to Japan what the New-York-versus-Chicago pizza rivalry is to the United States. Hiroshima okonomiyaki typically includes noodles, and is layered rather than mixed together in a batter. Hiroshima has thousands of restaurants and stalls selling okonomiyaki, so no need to look far for a tasty dinner. Nighttime food and bar-hopping tours are a fun way to discover the locals’ favorite spots.