One of the most moving day trips you can take in Japan is to Hiroshima. Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu – the largest island of Japan. In Japanese, Hiroshima means “Broad Island”.
Hiroshima was proclaimed a City of Peace by the Japanese parliament in 1949, at the initiative of its mayor, Shinzo Hamai (1905–1968). As a result, the city of Hiroshima received more international attention as a desirable location for holding international conferences on peace as well as social issues.
On May 27, 2016, Barack Obama visited Hiroshima, being the first sitting president of the United States to visit since the drop of the atomic bomb. (New York Times)
Hiroshima has a humid subtropical climate characterized by cool to mild winters and hot humid summers. Like much of the rest of Japan, Hiroshima experiences a seasonal temperature lag in summer, with August rather than July being the warmest month of the year. Precipitation occurs year-round, although winter is the driest season. Rainfall peaks in June and July, with August experiencing sunnier and drier conditions.
Hiroshima is situated on the Ōta River delta, on Hiroshima Bay, facing the Seto Inland Sea on its south side. The river’s six channels divide Hiroshima into several islets.
There are many museums in Hiroshima, such as:
- The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
- The Hiroshima Museum of Art, which has a large collection of French renaissance art, opened in 1978.
- The Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum opened in 1968, and is located near Shukkei-en gardens.
- The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, which opened in 1989, is located near Hijiyama Park.
There are also some festivals in Hiroshima, include Hiroshima Flower Festival and Hiroshima International Animation Festival.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which includes the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, draws many visitors from around the world, especially for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, an annual commemoration held on the date of the atomic bombing. The park also contains a large collection of monuments, including the Children’s Peace Monument, the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and many others.
The city will forever be synonymous with the tragedy of war and the atomic bomb that was dropped on the city at the close of World War II in 1945. A visit to Hiroshima focuses on Peak Memorial Park, and the enigmatic shell of the ruined A-Bomb Dome. A cenotaph contains the names of the bomb’s known victims, lit by the Flame of Peace.
Learn more about the tragic history of Hiroshima at the nearby A-Bomb Museum. Famed architect Tange Kenzo’s Peace Memorial Hall houses more poignant memorials and memoirs. The Children’s Peace Memorial is a sea of color thanks to the thousands of folded paper origami cranes, a symbol of longevity and happiness.