Sightseeing in Hiroshima is where we would see a flashback of the dark past.
At 8:15 a.m, August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was used as a weapon for the first time in human history.
With a blinding flash, the bomb detonated approximately 600 meters above the city center. The heat rays and blast burned and crushed nearly all buildings within 2 kilometers of the hypocenter, taking thousands of lives.
Those who managed to survive, their burned and bloodied clothes hanging in tatters, clambered over the rubble to flee the city.
Japan as one of the friendliest country for traveler – especially solo traveler. Tourist information is easy to get and without planning you can still manage to gather all kinds of information such as places to stay, food, best spot to see, even transportation time to the minute.
Before arriving in Japan I highly recommended to buy Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass). It’s a pass that lets you use train, ferry, Shinkansen, and bus operated by JR line in Japan for unlimited time – depends on the limit day you buy. To buy JR Pass it has to be from a travel agent in your country or outside Japan.
Below the price for the JR Pass in Indonesia*:
- 7 days/adult: Rp 3,200,000 (ordinary) / Rp 4,270,000 (green)
- 14 days/adult: Rp 5,100,000 (ordinary) / Rp 6,900,000 (green)
- 21 days/adult: Rp 6,500,000 (ordinary) / Rp 9,000,000 (green)
Using JR Pass let you ride Shinkansen operated by JR line for free! This is a good deal, as 1 ride from Tokyo to Kyoto can cost around Yen 13,000 and if you miss your ride there’s no refund. Whilst using JR Pass you can easily book for the next schedule. This happened to me when I missed my Shinkansen to Hiroshima because I overslept (haha).
Shinkansen Tip: If you prefer buying Shinkansen ticket one time (without JR Pass) remember that the seat selection divides into 2; reserved & non – reserved seat. Choose the non reserved one as the price considerably cheaper yet with the same quality and journey time. Non-reserved mean you need to pick your own seat instead of already have a selected one for you.
Visiting museum or shrine in Japan would cost an extra fee. Don’t forget to bring Yen 100 to Yen 1000 to purchase ticket
How to get to Hiroshima..
- Shinkansen: Use JR Tokaido / Sanyo Shinkansen. Pick the Nozomi train (4 hours from Tokyo) or Hikari. For Sakura type its 5 hours ride with a transfer in Shin – Osaka station
- Overnight bus: +/- 12 hours – Yen 11,900
- Airline: JAL or ANA – approximately 90 minutes
- Local train: 15 hours with transferring 6 times. Price +/- 11,600
- Shinkansen: 2 hours. Yen 9,700 (non reserved seat/one-way) or Yen 10,200 (reserved seat/one-way)
- Overnight bus: 6 hours – Yen 6000
- Local train: 6 hours with 2 – 3 times transfer; Yen 5,600
- Shinkansen: 95 minutes; using the regular train at price of Yen 10,570 (non-reserved / one-way) or Yen 11,500 (reserved/one-way)
- Overnight bus: 7 – 9 jam; Yen 3500 – Yen 5650 one-way
- Local train: 6 -7 jam; 2-3 times station transfer.
Upon arriving in Hiroshima, use the Sightseeing Loop Bus (“Hiroshima Meipuru-pu”) to explore the city. JR Pass holder can use the bus for free. Others can pay Yen 200/ride or buy a one-day ticket Yen 400. Starting route from Hiroshima Station.
Set a minimum 3 to 4 hours to explore Hiroshima if you want to do a side trip to Miyajima.
Things To Do In Hiroshima
The purpose of this 1 day trip is to learn about the dark history of Hiroshima. Hence, the 3 most important destination are Peace Memorial Park, Atomic Bomb Dome, and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Sightseeing to these 3 places would need 3 – 4 hours. You must allocate another 1 – 2 hours to visit other site.
Peace Memorial Park
Huge park with several monument to realize world peace.
Atomic Bomb Dome
This dome is a declaration of peace symbol to stop the use of nuclear as a weapon. This dome is the last building survived the effect of the bombing in 1945. In 1996, the dome is in UNESCO list of World Heritage. For 10 minutes of walk from the dome you can see the Peace Memorial Park where visitor could see a monument dedicated to Sadako Sasaki whom when at the age of 2 was one of the casualty and 10 years later has leukemia due to the radiation.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Be prepare to visit this museum. The museum revealed all the detail and effect of the bombing. There’s diorama, video, and loved ones remains displayed as a reminder to all visitor that the use of atomic bomb as a weapon has to be forever stop. If you agree, you can sign the anti-nuclear petition.
It breaks my heart seeing it all, I literally want to cry inside the museum.
Ticket price: Yen 50 (adult) or free for children
Other site to see where you need to allocate 2 – 3 hours more in Hiroshima are:
- Shukkeien – Huge park with several monument to realize world peace.
- Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum
- Hiroshima Museum of Art
- Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
A Side Trip to Torii Gate in Miyajima Island
Upon researching I see that a side trip to Miyajima Island from Hiroshima – if you stay in Osaka – is possible. Why not do it right? To do this you have to start your journey early and use the Shinkansen from Osaka to Hiroshima. Then after 3 to 4 hours in sightseeing in Hiroshima continue to Miyajima island. Famous for the red Torii Gate or Itsukushima Shrine that greet visitor before visit Shinto Shrine. Standing tall since 1168, the Torii gate going under reconstruction in 1875. This is the Torii Gate we see today. Its unique location – in the middle of the sea – 16.6 meter tall and weighs about 60 ton, this gate can withstand earthquake, heavy wind, and waves.
Best Time To Visit:
- High tide: From afar you can see the gate floating in the middle of the sea
- Low tide: walk to the gate to find shells nearby the gate
- Sunset: capture the red and golden sky near the gate that mix with various lantern lights from the shrine.
- Use the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi station; 25 minute; Yen 410 (free for JR Pass holder) or use tram; 40 minutes; Yen 260
- Next, continue to ferry harbor. Use the JR ferry or Matsudai; 10 minutes journey; Yen 260 or free for JR pass holder
What To See In Miyajima Island
- Senjokaku Hall
- Gunung Misen
- Daisho-in Temple
What to Eat In Miyajima Island
- Grilled oyster for snack. Yen 400 / portion
- Local Japanese snack and ice cream.
This Indonesian version article has been published before in Getaway Magazine, Indonesia October 2015 issue.
Data as of October 2015