Hiroshima, Japan

Our next stop was Hiroshima. This city is most well known as the site where the US dropped the first atomic bomb in World War II. The Peace Memorial Museum is a must-see, my other recommendation is taking a day trip to Miyajima Island.

Accommodation

We had very basic accommodations for the two nights we stayed in Hiroshima. We stayed at the Ikawa Ryokan and it was my least favorite ryokan of the trip. The rooms were tiny with very few amenities. They had tatami-matted floors and one shelf for storage. What I did like is that we had a private bathroom so we didn’t have to share again.

Shopping district

We got in late on our first night in Hiroshima so we headed straight to the dining/shopping district for dinner.

They have entire stores here with just claw machines and capsule machines.
Cat claw machine

Peace Memorial Museum

We started day two with a visit to the Peace Memorial Museum. This is a must-see when visiting Hiroshima. The A-bomb dome is a remnant of a building that remained standing after the bomb was dropped. It stands as a memorial to the 140,000 people that were killed by the atomic bomb at the end of World War II.

A-bomb dome. This is the center-right below where the bomb was dropped. I didn’t know this but learned the bomb exploded in the air, not on land.
Some very confronting photos of the burns people sustained from the radiation.
Peace Memorial Park
Flame of Peace. This is part of the Peace Memorial Park. The flame was lit in 1964 and it will remain lit until nuclear weapons have disappeared from the earth.

Miyajima Island

I knew very little about Miyajima island before visiting and I was very pleasantly surprised by our day trip here! It turned out to be my favorite place in Hiroshima. You take a 45 min tram ride from the city center followed by a 15-minute ferry ride to get to the island. The island has wild deer that roam around freely and they are not afraid of people at all.

It also has the famous Itsukushima shrine that floats in the water at high tide. They have been doing construction on the shrine for a couple of years now so there was scaffolding surrounding the shrine at the time we visited. It didn’t make for the greatest photo opportunity but it did present a unique opportunity to walk around the shrine which you wouldn’t normally get to do.

Itsukushima shrine

The friendly deer on the island

Daisho-in Buddhist temple

Located on Miyajima island, this Buddhist temple was founded in 806 and has many different buildings, gates, and statues. It’s one of the most unique temples I’ve ever seen so I highly recommend taking some time on the island to visit this temple.

Under his temple is a pitch-black passage that we walked into and it is said to cleanse your sins when you go from the darkness to the light on the other side. It was seriously scary. You couldn’t see anything and just had to hold onto the walls and keep walking. Occasionally you would come across a dimly lit buddha image to keep you going.
Joe praying at the shrine. You bow twice, ring the bell and then make a wish/prayer when you hear the echo.

Hundreds of statues of baby buddhas
Looking so cute and playful
I mean does it get any more photogenic than this? 🙂

More beautiful fall leaves

What I ate in Hiroshima

Okonomiyaki is a popular street food in this area of Japan. It’s essentially a savory Japanese pancake made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage, noodles, and your choice of protein topped with a variety of condiments. Mine had a fried egg and green onions on top with the special sauce. It was so good!

Okonomiyaki
They make the okonomiyaki right in front of you and you eat it with a spatula off the grill.
Had my first beer of the trip.
The group at dinner
Tempura fried vegetables
Tempura purple sweet potato
Edamame beans
This is funny. I tried to order a salad one night and this is what I got. Raw vegetables on ice! I’m struggling here.
Pikachu donut
Matcha green tea soft serve ice cream with a torii gate and maple leaf cookie

Himeji Castle

On our way to Kyoto from Hiroshima, we made a pit stop to see Himeji Castle the largest castle in Japan. This castle was used as a fortress and was guarded by samurai so the inside was kinda bland, but the view from the top was really beautiful. We had to climb up 7 sets of steep stairs to get there. We are definitely getting our steps in this trip.

Next up: Kyoto

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