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