Hiroshima is mostly known as a small city in Japan where the first two atomic bombs were dropped. Truth be told, it’s so much more than that. Filled with a vibrant culture, endless history, festivals, bars and museums, it’s clear that this beautiful city has since recovered from its tragic past. Here is a quick guide to Hiroshima, Japan.
Fast Five Facts
Population: approximately 1,143,841
Climate: warm and temperate
Location: south west on the island of Honshu, Japan
Time Zone: UTC + 9
Local Currency: Japanese Yen
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
If you plan on travelling to many cities or at least landing in Tokyo and then visiting Hiroshima, purchase a Japan Rail Pass. With this travel pass you will be able to easily travel between cities around Japan. While the initial cost of the JR Pass may seem high, it will help you save in the long run as the price of a one way ticket to certain cities can very easily equal if not exceed the price of a JR Pass. These can only be purchased outside of Japan for tourists so be sure to order and receive yours before arriving.
WHEN TO VISIT HIROSHIMA
The great thing about Japan is that it has very distinct weather pattern. Hiroshima however is known to have much more warmer days throughout the year as when compared to other Japanese cities like Tokyo. Depending on what you’d like to see and do, Hiroshima is great all year round.
January, February and March: these are the winter months with lows sometimes below 10 C, so be sure to pack some warm gear if you’re visiting during this time. January is usually the coldest month of the year. The great part about visiting during winter is that it might just snow!
April, May and June: these really are the best months to visit Hiroshima as temperatures start to warm up and cherry blossoms are in full bloom from early April. Temperatures reach highs within the twenties however it does start to rain in June so pack an umbrella.
July, August September: these are the summery months with highs sometimes exceeding 35 C. It’s also pretty rainy during July but still hot and humid as well. Towards the end of September, nights become a little chilly.
October, November and December: Autumn months are really beautiful in and around Hiroshima with red and yellow leaves falling everywhere. December however is the beginning of Winter and can have some low temperatures that fall below 10 C.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN HIROSHIMA
Visit the Atomic Bomb Dome
You can’t visit Hiroshima without having some form of reminder that this really was the place where destruction descended upon Japan during World War II. The Atomic Bomb Dome was built by a Czech architect in 1915. It’s a little eerie walking around the vicinity and seeing the shell-like structure still standing. Some say you can even see shadows of the people who were standing inside outlined on the blackened walls.
Wander around the city
Hiroshima is a beautiful city and while it’s easy to only remember it history, it’s so much more than that too. wander around the city and through the quiet streets and alleyways to get a better picture of everyday life in the rejuvenated city.
A 10 minute ferry ride outside of Hiroshima will bring to Miyajima Island. This is one of the best places to see the autumn leaves, the massive floating Torri gate and of course many tame deer wandering around.
Okonomiyaki is one of the local delicacies of Hiroshima and after tasting it, it’s easy to see why. Imagine a somewhat savory pancake-like base filled with a variety of ingredients like udon noodles, egg, cabbage, cheese, delicious Japanese sauces and so much more… all layered and cooked in front of you! Delicious!
Read more: Tasting okonomiyaki and Visiting Nagata-Ya
Explore the Peace Memorial Park
This beautiful park was designed and built as a symbol to the world, reminding us that all forms of war need to end. Walk around and find the ever burning flame, the Peace Bell and a statue of Sadako Sasaki, a little Japanese girl who was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped. She miraculously survived.
EASY PHRASES TO REMEMBER
Konichiwa – Hello (kohn — nee-chee-wah)
Sumimasen – Excuse me / Sorry (sue-me-mah-sen)
Arigatou – Thank you (ah-ree-gah-toeoo)
Hai – I’m satisfied/Yes (h ye)
Oishi – Delicious (oh-ee-sheee)