Itsukushima, or Miyajima Island, is one of the main landmarks of Hiroshima and is located in the northwestern part of Hiroshima Bay. Miyajima is famous for the large number of temples and shrines on the island, as well as its main attraction, namely the giant Torii Gate, which floods at high tide and appears to float on the water. In addition to the Torii Gate, Izukushima Castle is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and according to records, it was founded by Empress Suiko in the 15th century. Furthermore, the island of Itsukushima and the waters surrounding it are part of Seto Naikai National Park.
2. Shukkeien Garden
Historic Japanese garden in the city of Hiroshima. The Shukkeien Garden was created in 1620 by Ueda Soko, a famous master of the tea ceremony, as a kind of garden for Asano Nagaktra, the lord of Hiroshima. The name of the garden literally means contact with beauty, which. It is considered one of the best Japanese-style gardens.
3. Hiroshima Castle
The history of the old Hiroshima Castle goes back to 1591, but it was completely destroyed by atomic bombing on August 22, 1945. In 1958 the castle was partially reconstructed from the old plans. The castle is also called Carp Castle, because a large number of carp swim in the surrounding bodies of water. The castle is next to the Shukkeiin Garden and one of Hiroshima’s main attractions, Peace Park.
4. Hiroshima Museum of Art
The Hiroshima Museum of Art is just one of a number of world-class art galleries in Hiroshima that are worth visiting. Highlights include a collection of paintings by European masters such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, Maillot and Picasso, representing major movements such as Romanticism and Impressionism, along with leading Japanese artists.
Official website: www.hiroshima-moca.jp/main_e/index.html
5. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is located on the site where the American atomic bomb exploded in 1945 in the destroyed Nakajima District. The main attractions of the park are the Peace Memorial Museum, the ritual bell of Ikenotaph and many other monuments, the most famous one being the monument to Sadako Sasaki, a little Japanese girl whose home was only 1500 meters from the epicenter of the explosion.
6. Memorial Cathedral for World Peace
One of the largest Catholic churches in Asia, the huge gray Memorial Cathedral for World Peace was built in 1954 by a Jesuit priest named Hugo Lassalle, a survivor of the atomic bombing. Designed by the leading Japanese architect Murano Tongo, the building was built largely with contributions made by many countries and people from around the world. The main attractions of the Cathedral are the four bells in the 46-meter tower, the organ from Cologne, the bronze doors from Dusseldorf and the altar from Belgium.
Hondori is the main shopping street in Hiroshima. The pedestrian street stretches for almost a kilometer. Hondori, literally means main street. It has been the main shopping street of the city since the early 1900s, especially after electric lights were installed.
8. Shukkei-en Garden
This is a quiet garden surrounded by greenery and located in the center of Hiroshima City. It was originally built in 1620 as part of the Asano daimyo’s residence.
Plum trees and later cherry trees bloom in early spring, water lilies in summer, and all four seasons this garden welcomes visitors with flowers. Formal tea ceremonies are often held on weekends, including outdoor parties (for a fee). On the left side of the gate is Sensui Tei, where you can pick up a martia tea set (sweets for 500 yen).
If you find yourself at Hiroshima Station, be sure to visit this garden, it’s not a long walk away.
9. Japan Self-Defense Forces Museum (JMSDF Kure Museum)
The Japan Self-Defense Forces Museum, also known as the Iron Whale Museum, is home to the original submarine Akishio. It is 76.2 meters long, almost as long as a passenger plane. Tourists can look inside the submarine, go up to the captain’s bridge and see the cabins. Many combine a visit here with the nearby Yamato Museum.
10. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum collects and displays personal belongings from the victims and survivors, photographs, and other materials that convey the horror of the event, complete with exhibits that describe Hiroshima before and after the bombing.
The 10 most popular tourist attractions in Hiroshima
On the inland sea in western Honshu, Hiroshima will forever have its name associated with the dropping of the first atomic bomb on August 6, 1945. Yet despite this devastating event–a tragedy that destroyed much of the city, killing an estimated 260,000 people and injuring more than 160,000–Hiroshima and its resilient people bounced back, and this remarkable city, which many believed would have been uninhabitable for decades, had doubled its prewar population by 1974. Today, Hiroshima is considered the peace capital of the world and is home to such famous landmarks as the Hiroshima Peace Institute and a number of important structures that survived the bombing, if only as ruins, and which provide a sobering reminder of that fateful day. Despite this association, the city remains a vibrant, exciting tourist destination, home to great museums, galleries, and gardens, as well as important cultural events such as the Hiroshima Flower Festival, which has been held every May since 1977 and attracts a million visitors.
See also: Where to Stay in Hiroshima
1 Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Created to symbolize the need for eternal peace, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (Hiroshima Heiwa Keenan Khen) commemorates the victims of the perennial nuclear attack of August 1945. Located at the epicenter of the explosion, in what was once a vibrant part of the city, the park includes many important monuments, memorials, and museums related to the events of that fateful day and its aftermath. It attracts more than a million visitors each year. In addition to the grounds and gardens with their cherry blossoms, highlights include the Peace Memorial Museum , the Memorial Cenotaph, and the Peace Flame , and perhaps the site’s most famous landmark, the Atomic Bomb Dome including the ruins of the old Chamber of Commerce that lay in the midst of the explosion. Also of interest are the Children’s World Monument with its sculptures of a young girl holding a paper bird and the Monument to the Victims of the Atomic Bomb , a concrete archway through which you can see the Atom Dome.
Address: 1 Nakajima Cho, Naka Ward, Hiroshima Prefecture 730-0811
2 Izukushima Shrine Island
Izukushima Shrine Island
Miyajima , Temple Island, is one of the most important (and most visited) areas of Japan. Covering about 30 square kilometers of Hiroshima Bay, the island is famous for its Itsukushima Shrine, dedicated to the princesses Ichikishihime, Tagorihime, and Tagitsu-hime, the daughter of the Shintai wind deity Susanoo. First mentioned in A.D. 811, the temple buildings emerge from the waters of a small bay adjacent to the piles and appear to float on the water at high tide, presenting a picturesque and colorful spectacle with their red wooden frame and white walls (the buildings are connected by covered passageways). Highlights include Honden (Main Hall); Hall of Prizes (Hayden); Hall of Prayer (Hayden); Hall of a Thousand Mats (Senyokaku); and at the far end, the stage (Takabutai) used for cult dances (Bugaku, Kagura) and surrounded by two music pavilions (dances performed at festivals). Be sure to spend time exploring the island, known for its exquisite gardens and wild but friendly deer.
Map of Itsukushima Temple
3 Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
A must-see when visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is the Peace Memorial Museum with its many frightening performances on the atomic bombing of the city as well as the many exhibits dealing with world peace. The museum brings together two fairly modern buildings with numerous graphic exhibits that convey the stark reality of the atomic bombing. The eastern building tells the story of Hiroshima before and after the bombing, while the western building concentrates on the events of that fateful August day. One of Hiroshima’s most popular tourist attractions, the Peace Memorial Museum reaches over a million visits a year from those wishing to learn about the destruction of the city, the causes of the war and its results.
Address: 1-2 Nakajima-cho, Naku-ku, Hiroshima, Chugoku 7300811
Official website: www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/top_e.html
4 Hiroshima Castle
Also known as Karpa Castle, Hiroshima Castle (Rijō) was built in 1593 as the residence of the local nobleman Fukushima Masanori and then came into the possession of the famous samurai Asano Nagaakira in 1619. The castle’s beautiful five-story main tower, which was completely reconstructed in 1958, contains an information museum devoted to the history of the city as well as the castle itself, as well as a wonderful view of Hiroshima, the harbor and Miyakojima Island from its top floor. Of interest on the castle grounds are three trees that survived the atomic bombing perfectly – willow, holly, and eucalyptus – as well as a particular bunker used for radio transmissions after the bombing.
Address: 21-1 Motomachi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 730-0011
5 Shukkei-an Garden.
On the banks of the Ita River is the beautiful Shukei an Garden, an oasis of peace and tranquility beautifully laid out by Asano Nagaakira of Kyoto in 1620 in imitation of the famous West Lake landscape garden of the old South China Song Dynasty capital of Hangzhou. Once home to Emperor Meiji, the gardens opened to the public after being donated to the city in 1940, and despite extensive damage from the 1945 nuclear attack, the gardens reopened in all their former glory in 1951. many garden trails and crossing bridges, enjoying the abundance of pools and streams that draw their water from Ōta.
Address: 2-11 Kaminoboricho, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 730-0014
6 Peace Memorial Cathedral
Peace Memorial Cathedral
One of the largest Roman Catholic churches in Asia, the huge gray Peace Memorial Cathedral was built in 1954 on the initiative of a German Jesuit priest named Hugo Lassalle, who first tested the atomic bomb. The project, created by leading Japanese architect Murano Togo, was largely paid for by contributions from many nations and is a testament to the ability of nations to work together when needed. Highlights include the cathedral’s four bells in a 46-meter-tall tower, represented by the German city of Bochum; the magnificent organ provided by the city of Cologne; the bronze doors of Düsseldorf; and the altar, represented by Belgium.
Address: 4-42 Nobori-cho, Hiroshima
7 Mitaki-Dera and Fudoin Temples
Mitaki-Dera and Fudoin Temples
Of Hiroshima’s many beautiful historic temples, one of the most attractive is the Mitaki-dera. Originally built in A.D. 809 and reconstructed after the war, it is famous for its magnificent temple as it blooms into an array of vivid reds and golds as the maples change color in the fall. Also known as the Three Falls Temple, located at the foot of Mount Mitaki, the temple is notable for its red-lacquered pagoda, Tahoto and nearby waterfalls. Also worth visiting is Fudoin Temple, a fine example of Muromachi period architecture between the 14th and 16th centuries and notable for its Main Hall, containing a carved statue that is designated a national treasure.
Address: 411 Mitakiyama, Nishi Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 733-0805
8 Hiroshima Museum of Art and Other Galleries
Hiroshima Museum of Art and Other Galleries Rog01 / photo modified
Consisting of eight galleries, the Hiroshima Art Museum is just one of the many world-class art galleries worth visiting. Highlights include a collection of paintings by European masters such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, Maillot and Picasso, representing key movements such as Romanticism and Impressionism, along with leading Japanese artists such as Ryohei Koiso and Yuzo Saeki. Be sure to also visit the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum (Hiroshima Kenritsu Bijutsukan), which opened in 1968 and is dedicated to the work of local artists, including collections of art related to the atomic bombing, as well as a children’s gallery. The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (Hiroshima-shi Gendai Bijutsukan) also stands with its many permanent and temporary exhibits.
Address: 1-1 Hijama Koen, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 732-0815
Official website: www.hiroshima-moca.jp/main_e/index.html
9 Hiroshima Transportation Museum and Other Museums
In addition to its many fine museums devoted to war and peace, Hiroshima boasts many other such attractions. One of the most popular is the Hiroshima City Transportation Museum (Hiroshima Shi Kōtsū Kagakukan) with its collection of old streetcars and streetcars, including the famous “Streetcar Bomb,” which survived the devastation of 1945. For children, a visit to the Hiroshima Children’s Museum (Hiroshima-shi Kodomo Bunka Kagakukan) will entertain for hours with its hands-on interactive science exhibits and exhibits, as well as an excellent planetarium. Also worth checking out is the Hiroshima City Ebayama Museum of Meteorology (Hiroshima-shi Ebayama Kishkan), an interesting place to study the weather and its effects, and the Hiroshima City Museum of History and Traditional Crafts with its displays related to local industry and agriculture.
10 Hiroshima City Zoo
Hiroshima City Asa Zoological Park Spiegel / photo modified
Owned and operated by the city since it opened in 1971, the Hiroshima City Asa Zoo is a fun (and certainly less intense) drain on the many sometimes bleak but vital museums and monuments in the area. The approximately 124-acre zoo is home to 170 animal species, including native species such as baby pandas and Japanese giant salamanders, as well as African animals including lions, giraffes and rhinoceroses. A fun children’s zoo is also on site. Located on the outskirts of town, the zoo is easily accessible from the city center by public transportation. Hot tip : If possible, take advantage of the special evening safaris that take place throughout the summer.
Address: Asacho Oaza Dobutsuen, Asakita Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 731-3355
Where to stay in Hiroshima for sightseeing
We recommend these convenient hotels near Hiroshima attractions, such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park:
Sheraton Grand Hotel Hiroshima: luxury high-rise hotel, great location, large rooms, indoor pool, fitness center.