Hiroshima (広島) is an industrial city of wide boulevards and criss-crossing rivers, located along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea. Although many only know it for the horrific split second on August 6, 1945, when it became the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack, it is now a modern, cosmopolitan city with excellent cuisine and a bustling nightlife. …WikiTravel
Most of the memorials related to the atomic bomb are in and around the Peace Memorial Park (平和公園 Heiwa-kōen), reachable by tram line 2 or 6 to Genbaku Dome-mae. Coming from JR Hiroshima Station, you’ll see the Peace Park on your left just before crossing the T-shaped Aioi Bridge, which was the target of the bomb.
Once part of the busy Nakajima merchant district, this area was destroyed almost in its entirety by the bomb. Today, there are more than fifty memorials, statues, and other structures in the Park.
Hiroshima Castle (広島城 Hiroshima-jō), 21-1 Moto-machi, Naka-ku (Genbaku dome-mae tram stop), ☎ +81 082-221-7512. Mar-Nov 9AM-6PM, Dec-Feb 9AM-5PM. The original Carp (Rijo) Castle was built in the 1590s by Hideyoshi’s warlord Terumoto Mōri, predating the city itself. It was destroyed by the atomic bomb, by which time it was serving as a military headquarters, and reconstructed in 1958. Some of the original concrete foundations can still be seen. Today, the castle grounds are a nice place for a walk, and definitely Hiroshima’s favorite place for hanami (cherry blossom parties), with more than 350 sakura trees. The five-story castle museum is an attractive reconstruction of the 16th century donjon, with interesting relics and armor to see (and try on), as well as some informative displays about the history of the castle and the city. The view from the top is worth the entrance fee all by itself. ¥360 adults, ¥180 children.
Gokoku Shrine (護国神社 Gokoku-jinja), 2-21 Motomachi, Naka-ku (Genbaku dome-mae tram stop), ☎ +81 082-221-5590, . Located on the castle grounds, this concrete shrine has great significance to locals, having been rebuilt after the atomic blast and now the center for most annual Shinto traditions in the city. But other than a historical marker, there’s not much to see for travelers, other than festivals (especially New Year’s Eve).
Chuo Park (中央公園), Naka-ku (Genbaku dome-mae tram stop). A big, sprawling green space in the middle of the city. Broadly defined, the park grounds include many of the attractions below, including the castle and the Carp’s old baseball stadium (scheduled for demolition). But Chuo Park is worthy of note in its own right, with nice, long walking paths and athletic fields – there are quite a lot of open-invitation soccer, football, and ultimate frisbee games that are regularly held here, so don’t be shy about showing up with athletic shoes and seeing if anyone needs an extra. …WikiTravel
Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko started their three-day tour of Hokkaido on Friday, which will probably be their last visit to the northernmost Japan prefecture before the Emperor’s abdication in late April next year. (Jiji)
Vegetable prices have spiked as much as 65 percent amid a grueling two-week long heat wave that drove temperatures Wednesday to records in some regions, including areas where recovery and cleanup efforts are underway after devastating floods and landslides. (Japan Times)
ANA Holdings Inc. said Monday it will cancel 176 domestic flights between Friday and July 22 to inspect Rolls-Royce engines on Boeing 787 aircraft, after calling off 113 domestic flights for July for the same reason. (Kyodo)
It was a sad day when the Evangelion Shinkansen made its last journey on the rails on 13 May. But where one door closes, another one opens, and that’s exactly what happened this week, as West Japan Railway finally let us all peek inside their new Hello Kitty Shinkansen, which is set to make its debut next month. (soranews24.com)
An escaped inmate managed to elude a massive manhunt conducted by police for over three weeks on an island in Hiroshima Prefecture by hiding in the attic of a vacation home, investigative sources said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
The whereabouts of a 27-year-old prison escapee remained unknown on Sunday, with a weeklong search involving some 6,600 police officers on a small forested western Japan island failing to nab the convicted thief. (Japan Today)