Sunday, 26 April 2015

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island

Using our JR pass, we caught a super early train to Hiroshima. It was definitely one of the best days weather-wise, with bright blue skies and sun!

Hiroshima is best known as the first city in history to be targeted by a nuclear bomb by the USA on 6th August 1945, directly killing an estimated 80,000 people with approx 70% of its buildings completely destroyed over 4.7 square miles.

Hiroshima's A Bomb Dome is probably its most famous landmark as it is the only building left standing near the bombs hypocentre. It was currently under renovation when we were there, but it's still a sight to see. Local information people were also there in case you had any questions. 


Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See


Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

There are various monuments and sculptures in the Peace Park, but one of the famous ones is the Children's Peace Monument dedicated to the children who died during the attack. The statue of a girl with her arms outstretched was based on a true story of a girl called Sadako Sasaki who died from radiation from the bomb. She believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes that she would be cured, she actually folded over 1,000 but sadly died. 

People from across the world and school children fold paper cranes and send them to Hiroshima to be placed in plastic boxes nearby. It's continuously replenished too!

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

Peace Flame to the left hand side.

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See
The Memorial Centograph in the middle of the park holds all the names of people who died from the nuclear bomb and is aligned to hold the Peace Flame and A-Bomb Dome down the centre. The Peace Flame has burnt since it was lit in 1964 and will continue until all nuclear weapons have been destroyed and the planet is free from nuclear attacks.

We spent most of our time in the museum, which was interesting and draw dropping to see the devastation and results from just one bomb. Because the city was so new, it almost felt like a different and unrealistic world and too fake-like. Bit hard to describe really!

Nearby to Hiroshima is the Miyajima Island, which holds the famous floating red tori gates. It's super easy to get to from Hiroshima, just take a train then a ferry which is all included in the JR pass.

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

The floating tori gate is also known as the Itsukushima Shrine, which is dedicated to the three daughters of Susano-o no Mikoto, Shinto god of seas and storms, and brother of the sun goddess. It was actually a very sacred island and commoners were not allowed to visit in order to protect the purity of it.

Fun Fact: To this day, pregnant women are supposed to retreat to the mainland as the day of delivery approaches, as are the terminally ill or the very elderly whose passing has become imminent.  Burials on the island are also forbidden.

One some days when the tide is out, you can actually walk up to the tori gates, but I think they look more impressive floating!

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

 There's also quite a few sake barrels at various shrines, which hold sake rice wine. All of them are branded with restaurants, shops and sushi bars who use sake.

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

We also saw a few pagodas and shrines, but once you've seen a few, they start to get repetitive!

Japan Photo Diary: Hiroshima and Miyajima Island Photos Where To Go What To See

I hope you liked my Japan Photo Diary of Hirshima and Miyajima Island!

Catch up with Osaka and Nara photo diaries here.

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x



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