After our visit to Miyajima, we returned to Hiroshima Station, picked up our bags from the locker and headed to our hotel. We stayed at ANA Crowne Plaza Hiroshima, which was a short walk away from Hiroshima's major sites.
I was looking forward to our Hiroshima visit, because I would finally be putting my history textbook to life! Hiroshima was reduced to rubble on August 6th, 1945 when the US Air Force dropped its first atomic bomb. 30% of its population was wiped out and many were affected. (for those of you who didn't pay attention to your history teacher!)
Not too far from our hotel, was the Peace Memorial Park. We walked through beautiful cherry trees which was once a pile of ash all the way to the Atomic Dome. This dome is probably the only thing that partially survived the bomb. It is now a protected site and serves as a memorial to all those affected by the bomb.
There's a little cafe next to the atomic bomb dome called Cafe Ponte which makes an amazing orange juice!
We also visited the Childrens Peace Memorial Monument, a tower dedicated to the child victims of war and the Cenotaph, an arch shaped structure which proudly declares Hiroshima as a city of peace.
The Peace Memorial Park consists of a Peace Memorial Museum and Peace Memorial Hall. By the time we reached the Peace Memorial Museum, it was closed. This is probably the first place you should visit when you're around the Peace Memorial Area, as it closes around 6pm. It contains details of the event that happened nearly 71 years ago. Such a shame we missed seeing this!
However, we visited the Peace Memorial Hall. A good thing is that all of this is free to enter (except the museum which we missed). Here, we saw names and pictures of people who perished on that fateful day as well as stories from survivors. Its amazing to see a city which was once reduced to ground zero transform into the Hiroshima it is today. The entire visit was just too emotional for me.
Later that evening, we walked around Hiroshima exploring its shopping and dining scene. In Hiroshima, they make they're own kinda Okonomiyaki called the "Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki". Okonomimura - a street named after this Japanese dish is probably the best place to try it out. We kinda went on an eating spree! Seafood in Japan is so much cheaper than Abu Dhabi!
For shopaholics, there's an indoor shopping arcade on Hondori Street from where I managed to snag some cute Japanese toe socks.
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