Hiroshima City is located on the South coast of Honshu, Japan’s largest island and has a population of approximately 1.2 million. Surrounded on three sides by lush green mountains, and the Seto Inland Sea on the other, the city has been shaped by more than 400 years of history since it’s foundation in 1589 when construction of Hiroshima Castle was begun by Terumoto Mori.
Hiroshima City is perhaps best known as the first place to fall victim to an atomic bomb. Although over sixty-five years ago, the effect that the atomic bomb had on the citizens of Hiroshima remains deeply rooted in the minds and actions of the people. Today, Hiroshima is proud to call itself an International City of Peace and strives to promote world peace and the abolishment of nuclear weapons. On August sixth, each year, tens of thousands of people gather in Peace Park, close to the Atomic Bomb Dome, one of the few structures to survive the atomic blast, which is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At 8:15 am, a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the atomic bomb is held during which the Mayor of Hiroshima delivers a Peace Declaration ensuring Hiroshima’s continued commitment to peace.
Hiroshima City attracts visitors from Japan and abroad. Baseball fans recognize Hiroshima as the home of Hiroshima Toyo Carp Baseball Team, while soccer fans have the opportunity to watch Hiroshima’s J. League team, Sanfrecce, which won the 2012 J. League Championship. Itsukushima Shrine, located on Miyajima Island, also proves popular with visitors who take the opportunity to photograph the famous red Torii gate, also protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Japan. Hiroshima, however, has much more to offer, museums, temples, shopping, all year round sports, beautiful landscape, but in particular, eating out in the city is a delightful experience. Not only can one sample a wide variety of fresh fish, courtesy of the Seto Inland Sea, but also one of Hiroshima’s specialties, fresh oysters. However, one of the most famous dishes is Hiroshima’s own style of okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is best described as a crepe piled with vegetables and bacon, topped off with an egg, all coated in a special sauce, prepared on a hot plate right before your eyes. Every Okonomiyaki shop offers a special assortment of additional ingredients you can have added in, everything from cheese to Korean kimchee, to make your own individualized delicious treat.
Hiroshima is a warm, vibrant, culture-rich city which eagerly welcomes visitors safe in the knowledge that they will have an unforgettable time.