More to Hiroshima

More to Hiroshima

There is more to Hiroshima than its tragic war history.

With seven rivers, there are many riverside walks and bridges to discover. We also enjoy walking through the neighborhood alleys and observing the daily activities of the local people. For us, it is not just the attractions but also the slice of life (for example, grocery shopping in a neighborhood green grocer or eating in a small mom-and-pop cafe where we are often the only foreign visitors) that leaves lasting memories of our visit. 

We did two other major attractions:

> Hiroshima Castle: sometimes known as Carp Castle. The original was built in 1590s but was destroyed by the bomb. Rebuilt in 1958 as a replica (it’s amazing in Japan that they have kept detailed construction drawings from centuries ago and if needed, that helps in rebuilding a temple or shrine or castle or garden). Three trees survived the bombing (about 740m and 935m from the hypocenter) and located within is a bunker where the first radio broadcast out of Hiroshima after the bombing. 
> Shukkeien Garden (translated “the Shrunken-Scenery Garden”): a daimyo (feudal lord)’s scenic garden with over 400 years of history (origin: 1620), resembling miniaturized valleys, mountains, and forests throughout Japan. It is inspired by the Chinese West Lake in Hangzhou. Though it was heavily damaged by the bombing, it has been completely renovated based on original drawings of the garden.

View of the bullet train and mountains from our hotel cafe on the 20th floor where we have our daily buffet breakfast.
One of the alleys near the train tracks where one finds small cafes and restaurants.
Hiroshima Hiroden tram cars (started in 1910), the longest and most used streetcar network (35.1 km) in Japan. Two antique streetcars that survived the atomic bombing still run on the network.
Hiroshima Hondori Street: pedestrian arcade street (shotengai). One finds similar covered shopping street all over Japan, sheltered from the rain and sun. Some run a number of blocks or connected to a number of other covered streets.
Looking out of our hotel window: what struck us was the vehicles—how orderly they are including spaces between them
Entering Shukkeien Garden: one immediately notices the arrival of the cherry blossoms which started early this year
In Japan, young and old tend to dress up wherever they go, even to a garden or out for a walk. Here is a young lady working on a painting.
Hiroshima Castle
One of the views from the top of Hiroshima Castle: the dome-shaped roof is the Hiroshima Prefectural Sports Centre with Miyajima Island (mountain) behind it.
Part of the reconstructed ninomaru
The volunteers in samurai clothing greeted us as we leave the castle. The ladies in kimonos seem to be part of a group outing.

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