Obviously the two main sights to see when in Hiroshima are the Peace Memorial Park & Museum and Miyajima but having done them both on each of my previous two visits in 2005 and 2013 I was wondering what else we could do this time. Luckily my girlfriend’s father was born and raised in the area and knows many places and so the plan was to go to Gokurakujiyama which roughly translates as heaven temple mountain.
Following a few navigation problems we made it to Gokurakujiyama and was impressed by the tranquility and peacefulness of the area with hardly a soul in sight as we walked around the serene lake. Our poor sense of direction continued as we ended up taking the wrong path resulting in us missing the peak we were aiming for!
Thankfully we decided to turn back and ascend the steps taking us to the temple at the top which offered some impressive views of the city not that the photos really do it too much justice!
Once we were back in the city we stopped off to visit Shukkei-en Garden (below) which is actually right next to Hiroshima-jo castle where we went last May. Entry is only 250 yen and the place actually dates from 1620 but was severely damaged by the atomic bomb in 1945.
This was a nice little place to have a quick walk around although we were a little too early to see the much celebrated cherry blossoms. It’s bridge is one of the most appealing features with its reflected gaze making it appear like its a 360 degree hole or something thats round!
Across the road from the Peace Memorial Park & Museum are the Gates of Peace (below) which I was unaware of from previous visits so we made a quick photo stop there before heading back to the apartment. Each nine metre high gate is covered with the word “peace” in 49 different languages.
We spent three nights in total in Hiroshima and for the one in the middle my girlfriends parents treated us to a night in the rentable room on the top floor of their apartment block. Terrific views from the 28th floor (below) and a sauna and jacuzzi thrown into the bargain too. My first experience of both for the first time since I was a kid!
To round off the day we had the dish which Hiroshima is most famous for and thats okonomiyaki (above right) and kaki (oysters). We had both at a local restaurant and the former was huge in size but not a problem for me to finish off and washed down with a couple of ice cold beers this was dining at its simple and most effective.