HOME > Welcome to Hiroshima
Welcome to Hiroshima
With six beautiful rivers flowing through it, Hiroshima is called the City of Water. The origins of the City date back to 1589 when Mori Terumoto, a feudal lord, built Hiroshima Castle (also referred to as Rijo, or Carp Castle) at the large delta of the Ota-gawa River. (The current castle was reconstructed after the original was destroyed by an atomic bomb during the war.)
Because the delta resembled a large island, the area was called "Hiroshima," or 'wide island' in Japanese. The town was the seat of the Mori and Fukushima families, and later of the Asano, who laid the foundations of Hiroshima's further development as the most lively castle town in western Japan.
Shukkeien Garden, located in the center of Hiroshima and a designated official National Place of Scenic Beauty, was built during the Edo Period by Asano Nagaakira, then castle lord, as a villa garden. It is popular among Hiroshima residents for its style, typical of the gardens of that time.
Delta of the Ota-gawa River
On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb in history was dropped on Hiroshima, killing some 140,000 people. Since then, however, the City has achieved a remarkable recovery from that devastation and has pursued everlasting peace for mankind.
Some 1.2 million people visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum annually; there is also an endless flow of people who come to offer a silent prayer and flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, and to the many other peace monuments in Peace Memorial Park. In 1996, the Atomic Bomb Dome was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It reminds visitors from all over the world of the preciousness of peace.
The city of Hiroshima, now the largest city in the Chugoku Shikoku region, is also referred to as the "City of Water." River cruise boats in and open-air cafes alongside the six rivers offer relaxing moments for tourists. MAZDA Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima, completed as a new symbol of the city in March 2009, spectators can enjoy not only watching games in different styles with various types seats, such as field seats and party floor-style seats, but also tasting a variety of delicious foods at stands lined side by side along the concourse.
Come and see Hiroshima, the "City of Water."
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Always Something to See Everywhere
There are three art museums with different features in the City. Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, located in hilly Hijiyama Park, collects and exhibits a wide variety of contemporary Japanese and overseas artworks, including those by Andy Warhol, Henry Moore and Yoshitomo Nara. Hiroshima Museum of Art collects and exhibits works by Impressionists and modern Western style paintings by Japanese artists, including the anecdotal Daubigny's Garden by Vincent Van Gogh. Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum holds a collection of works by artists related to Hiroshima, including Genso Okuda and Ikuo Hirayama. Visitors can also enjoy a view of Shukkeien Garden from inside the museum building.
The Kondo (main hall) of Fudoin Temple is the only heritage in Hiroshima City designated a national treasure that has survived the atomic bomb blast. Its structure and design reminds visitors of the advanced skills and delicate aesthetic of master workmen of that time.
Memorial Cathedral for World Peace was constructed after the World War II with financial and spiritual support from various individuals around the world, including the Pope. It has been designated a nationally important cultural asset.
Miyajima Itsukushima Shrine, with its celestial grandeur and 1300 years of history, is one of the beauties of Japan. The shrine was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The Island offers many other tourist attractions as well, including Senjokaku hall and five-story pagoda, and is only about 50 minutes from Peace Memorial Park by streetcar, or 55 minutes via World Heritage Sea Route, which connects Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima Island via cruise boat.
Kintaikyo Bridge, one of the Three Great Bridges of Japan, is a beautiful wooden bridge over the clear stream of the Nishiki River, which runs through Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. When seen from below, visitors are overwhelmed by the bridge's structural beauty, with elaborate and creative arches, created by the art and skill of an accomplished bridge architect. When crossing the bridge, visitors can appreciate beautiful scenery in every season. The bridge can be accessed from Miyajima in approximately one hour by connecting from the ferry to JR train and bus.
Eager to relax in a hot spring? Then go to the mountainous outskirts of Hiroshima to visit Yuki & Yunoyama Hot Springs. These hot springs offer visitors not only skin-beautifying radium springs and local cuisine but also an outdoor learning experience at the crystal clear stream running through a gorge. The hot springs are also equipped with various lodging facilities such as National Youth Hostel Yuki Lodge that features a large public bath where visitors can enjoy soaking in a bath while appreciating nature.
- During cherry blossom season, such spots as Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Castle and Mt. Ogon-zan, as well as Hijiyama Park, are crowded with people who come to enjoy cherry blossom viewing. At "Hana-no-mawari-michi (corridors of flowers)," the annual mid-April cherry blossom festival on the grounds of the Japan Mint, visitors can view various kinds of cherry blossoms.
The Hiroshima Flower Festival, held annually from May 3 to May 5 for world peace, highlights the City during this season. Each year more than 1.6 million visitors come to enjoy the festival, watch the parades and take in the performances on dedicated stages and event booths, all along a Peace Boulevard decorated with flowers and greenery amidst a festive mood and music.
The Hiroshima Flower Festival
- The Tokasan, or Yukata-de-kinsai (Come, clad in summer kimono) Festival, held in June, marks the beginning of summer in Hiroshima. The town is filled with people wearing Yukata, or summer kimono.
Hiroshima Port Fireworks is held in July at Hiroshima Port. Featuring some 10,000 fireworks, the event includes bottle rockets and Hiroshima's unique picture-drawing fireworks (fireworks that depict the shapes of a maple leaves and other objects), and is a Hiroshima summer tradition.
The Peace Memorial Ceremony is held on August 6 each year, to comfort the spirits of the many who were killed by the atomic bomb and to pray for lasting world peace. At Peace Message Lantern Floating, a lantern floating ceremony on that night, some 10,000 colorful lanterns bearing prayerful words for peace are released upon the rivers in the city.
Fireworks Display at Hiroshima Port
- There is a great variety of delicious foods from the sea and the mountains during the autumn outing season. The Hiroshima Food Festival features local cuisines and their ingredients.
Also, at the Hiroshima Castle Chrysanthemum Exhibition, held in mid-October some 2,000 pots of chrysanthemum flowers of different colors and blossom types are on display, including those planted in a special flowerbed 10 meters in diameter, coloring all the surroundings of Hiroshima Castle. Also in November, autumn leaves paint Miyajima Island and Hiroshima City a beautiful shade of red, delighting the eyes of visitors.
Hiroshima Castle Chrysanthemum Exhibition
- From mid-November through early January, Hiroshima Dreamination surrounds the winter nights of Hiroshima with warm illumination. More than 1.2 million bulbs used in the illuminations transform the city center into a fairytale world.
During Hiroshima Ebisu Festival from November 18, Hiroshima's city center is crowded with people holding good luck talismans in their hands, who also out to enjoy the sales that surrounding shops hold to coincide with the festival.
Hiroshima has yet another tourist attraction-- the ski resorts of the Chugoku Mountain range.
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Touring, Eating and Enjoying
- One of the best ways to spend time in Hiroshima is to cruise the rivers in the City of Water. Why not enjoy view of the City from the water, on board a cruise boat? We also recommend that you take a water taxi. The streetcar is another convenient means of transportation to so many parts of Hiroshima that one can hardly do without it when visiting any tourist spot in town! With rare streetcars from Kyoto and Dortmund, Germany, Hiroshima is also referred to as a living transportation museum.
Riverside open-air cafes also offer excellent places for busy visitors to take a welcome break. Watching the river flow by is relaxing, and one can enjoy a different atmosphere in the evening.
Nagarekawa and Yagenbori District is one of the largest nightlife districts in the country, with the bright illuminations of restaurants, bars and clubs.
- Surrounded by sea and mountains, Hiroshima offers a variety of delicious foods, including oysters and other seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, which is rich in nutrients. Enjoy Hiroshima's delicacies of the season.
Be sure not to miss Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki when you come to Hiroshima. The tasty sauce is nice, but the art of cooking it is something you just have to see.
Another popular food is tsukemen, or dipping noodles. Eaten with a pile of vegetables dipped in a spicy sauce, this noodle delight is so good it can become an addiction.
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- Want to find more favorites by walking through a shopping district?
One of the most popular souvenirs from Hiroshima is the Momiji manju, a maple-leaf-shaped cake. In addition to the orthodox mashed sweet bean paste, the wide variety of fillings include cheese-flavored custard cream, chocolate cream and custard cream. Hiroshima is also famous for the locally brewed sake known as Onna-zake (feminine sake) among drinkers. Hiroshima-na-zuke, or pickled Hiroshima leaves, is one of the Japan's three most famous leaf pickles.
Kumano brushes are highly appreciated for their quality. A wide variety of brush items are available, including calligraphy brushes and paintbrushes, as well as make-up brushes, which have become favorites among professional make-up artists.
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