I’ve traveled to more than 40 countries and went to all the continents except Antarctica. If I pick one single travel destination that is the most memorable and worth visiting for everyone, it’s Hiroshima. Hiroshima has all the elements to attract tourists, as the food is great, it is historical, and most notably, as the first city targeted by a nuclear weapon, the city still conveys powerful and significant messages across generations.
Hiroshima is facing to Seto Inland Sea, and famous for diversified fishery products. Oyster is especially well-known. If you visit in the right season, you’ll be able to taste the finest oysters in the world.
My favorite historical location in Hiroshima is Miya-Jima, which is a tiny but beautiful island. For quite a long time, Gods were believed to live in the island, and the whole island was worshiped. As a result, a lot of historical heritage such as shrine and nature are still well preserved.
3. Hiroshima Peace Memorial
More than 70 years after the nuclear bomb attack, Hiroshima-city is now fully reconstructed and thrives. Hiroshima Peace Memorial, which was built in honor of the atomic bomb victims, is one of a few places that remind you of the tragedy.
When I visited Hiroshima, I was already aware of the historical facts and statistics. The fact is: Under Manhattan Project, a uranium atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima-city on August 6, 1945, and about 140,000 civilians lost their lives and many got seriously injured.
I knew that with my head, but it was only after I visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial that I understood what happened there from my heart. I learned how a war can deprive of innocent citizen’s lives, families, and everything they have. I also became deeply aware how precious the peace is. Comparing what the city used to be 70 years ago to what it is now, I’m deeply impressed and inspired by the people in Hiroshima who went through all the adversities.
My visit to the memorial deeply impacted me. I started to seriously think of what I can do to the society, and became more proactive about the role that I can take, believing that everyone in the society can do something for a better society.
Yet, there are some controversies about Hiroshima. Some argue that the atomic bomb dropping was the only way to make the world war end. Also, a significant number of victims were actually Koreans who had been brought to Japan, and unfortunately they were not fully recognized or compensated.
But, whatever views one might have, the truth is that so many civilians were victimized in a moment. Once you go to Hiroshima Peace Memorial, you’ll see what it really means, and realize how this can be justified at all.
In conclusion, Hiroshima is an amazing and eye-opening travel destination, and gives you beautiful memories and life-changing experiences that will last forever. I cannot wait to bring my children to Hiroshima once they get mature enough to understand its significance.
Some facts about Hiroshima:
Hiroshima is 680km (420miles) away from Tokyo, and conveniently accessible from Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train (about 4 hours) or planes (about 1.5 hours).
The headquarter of Mazda, a multinational automaker, has been based in Aki, Hiroshima since it was founded in 1920. It is truly inspirational that this company overcame the adversities after the atomic bombing and became one of the largest car manufactures in the world.
Mr. Barack Obama and Mr. John Kerry visited Hiroshima as the first sitting US President and US Secretary of State, respectively, in 2016. Mr. Kerry described his visit to Hiroshima a gut-wrenching reminder of the need to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons, and said “Everyone should visit Hiroshima, and everyone means everyone.”
Visit Hiroshima, an official website, provides more information on traveling to Hiroshima.