A day in Hiroshima, Japan
The city of Hiroshima is located in the south western part of Honshu. It is a large city that is rich with natural beauty where there are mountains, sea, rivers, valleys, plains and basins that characterize Japan’s landscape. The main draw to Hiroshima was to visit the Peace Memorial Park. It was a very emotional and moving place to visit. We took some time to reflect on the history of the nuclear bombing of the city in 1945 during WW2. We were so moved to learn more about this tragedy and how relevant the issue of nuclear weapons still is to this day that we took some time out and sat along the Ōta River to reflect.
Air BnB – There are many hotels to stay in the city but we opted for a more local experience and stayed in an Air BnB located 5 minutes walk from the Memorial Peace Park.
Eat & Drink
Lopez Okonomiyaki – The best local and traditional Okonomiyaki in town! The restaurant is owned and run by Lopez and his wife. He trained under the famous master of Okonomiyaki, Hassho. The restaurant was buzzing with a U shaped counter full of hungry diners sitting elbow to elbow around the large hot grill where Lopez himself expertly cooks the pancakes to order. Lopez spoke passionately about the food and conversed with guests slipping between fluent Japanese and English.
Eat the traditional Okonomiyaki with fun toppings like jalapeño peppers and his famous double yoked eggs. Teppanyaki side dishes are served on the side and cold draught beers and wines are available.
Location – 1-7-13, Kusunoki-cho, Nishi-ku, Hiroshima-shi
More Eat & Drink
We picked up a local magazine ‘Get Hiroshima’ that had a section celebrating ‘2016 Best of Hiroshima Awards.’ See below restaurant highlights and recommendations:
Best Okonomiyaki – Lopez Okonomiyaki. Also there is a special mention for the restaurant Nagata-ya.
Location – Shigeishi bldg 1F, 1-7-19, Otemachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima
Best Japanese Restaurant – Ayur. A small restaurant serving traditional Japanese home-style dishes, a La Carte as well as an Omakase style menu.
Location – 1F 18-5 Higashi Hakushima-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi
Best Fancy Restaurant – Hiroto. A Michelin starred Omakase only restaurant with classic French influenced dishes.
Location – 4-17 Fujimicho Naka-ku Hiroshima Hiroshima
Best Cafe – Cinnamon Shokudo. This cafe perfectly balances old kissaten (Japanese coffee shop) charm with satisfying food plates of American-style salads, soups and desserts. The cafe also specialises in locally micro brewed beers, ales and ciders.
Location – 3-4 Dobashi-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi
Best Live Music Bar – Organza. This eclectic bar is home to Hiroshima’s bustling underground music and arts scene. Catch a variety of entertainment from singer-songwriter live lounge sets to avant-garde Burlesque shows. Eat a mix of Japanese bar food and fusion dishes. Drink hot and cold teas, chai, Vietnamese style and fair trade coffees, plus a good selection of alcoholic drinks.
Location – 1-4-32 Tokaichi, Naka-kum Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken
Memorial Cenotaph – Located between the Peace Memorial Museum and the A-bomb Dome is the Memorial Cenotaph. The saddle shaped concrete structure represents a shelter for the souls of the victims of the bomb. A list of all those who died as a result of the bombing is contained within a stone chest. To this day names are still being added to the list as people pass away from diseases that may have been caused by the radiation from the explosion. At The Peace Memorial Park the features have been arranged in a perfect line so when you look through the Memorial Cenotaph you can perfectly see the Flame of Peace and through to the A-bomb Dome.
Location – Nakajima-cho Naka-ku Hiroshima City , Zip code 730-0811
A-bomb Dome – The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was established as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. This is the only structure left standing near the hypocenter of the first atomic bomb to be used during war was dropped over Hiroshima. The force of the bomb destroyed the city of Hiroshima killing 70,000 people instantly and affecting over 70,000 people more from radiation and injury. The dome now stands as a monument of hope and for world peace, demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Location – 1-10 Otemachi Naka-ku Hiroshima City , Zip code 730-0051
Children’s Peace Monument – Located in the memorial park this monument was erected in memory of Sadako Sasaki and the thousands of children killed by the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima. Sadako Sasaki was a young girl who died from leukemia as a result of radiation from the blast and the figure on the monument shows her to be holding a wire crane above her head.
Shortly before Sadako died she had a vision to create a thousand cranes. In Japanese tradition is states that if one creates a thousand cranes they will be granted one wish. Sadako wished to have a world without nuclear weapons. She achieved her goal and continued to fold more paper cranes before passing away. Today thousands of origami cranes are offered to the monument and serve as a sign that the children who make them and those who visit the statue desire a world without nuclear war.