If you’re a DIY type of traveller who likes to explore on foot, Hiroshima is fairly compact and flat and easy to walk around (or tram around), which is the best way to interact with the friendly residents who seem the very embodiment of peace and positivity.
With original flattened by the A-bomb, this is a modest reconstruction but it offers great views of the city from the top floor, a museum, a nice garden and 3 trees that miraculously escaped the bombing.
Japan’s regions are generally food-famous for one speciality or another and it's a treat to discover that oysters, okonomiyaki, sake and sweet maple sponge cake are at the top of the list at Hiroshima. Head here for one great guide to local dining delights.
The name Hiroshima can send a chill down your spine and the Peace Memorial Museum is not for the faint-hearted but the Peace Park is simply lovely and once you’ve been there (and met the locals) it will invoke nothing but positive vibes and an eagerness to return.
The A-Bomb Dome (Genbaku Dōmu) is a reminder of a horrific past but, when there, you can really feel it as it is intended to be - a call to peace and symbol of hope. The building itself is awesome in the most confronting way - you may find yourself drawn to it over and over.
This is simply one of best ground-shaking, chest-pounding, culturally-astounding experiences in Japan. Book tickets well in advance to the Grand Tournament in Tokyo in Jan (or Osaka in March) or special events such as the Retirement ceremony in Feb. Great for the whole family, especially in a box seat (yes, it's totally worth it).
Miyajima, near Hiroshima, is worth spending at least a day and night and with a history spanning 160 years, Iwaso Ryokan is the best place to do so. Nestled between Itsukushima Shrine and Momijidani Park, its easy to soak up the tranquil atmosphere of the area.
Miyajima is a small island in Hiroshima Bay known for its forests, temples and giant orange Grand Torii Gate that is partially submerged at high tide. Considered the most spectacular way to view the gate, treat yourself to a night cruise with the gate all lit up.
The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, sitting atop Hijiyama Park above the city, is the first in Japan devoted exclusively to contemporary art. While the building itself is bold and brilliant, it can be hit and miss depending on exhibitions and personal preference.
Created in 1620, these gardens are a wonderful way to wind down in nature. If you’re lucky enough to time your visit with one of their regular tea ceremonies, its highly recommended as the gardens were designed by a renowned tea master.
This understated, exquisite architectural masterpiece is one not to miss (make sure you find it). It offers an artistic beauty and depth you wouldn’t expect to find amongst the memorials of Hiroshima and provides a gravitas and level of respect true to the Japanese spirit.