One night in Hiroshima City, Japan! - eNidhi India Travel Blog

One night in Hiroshima City, Japan!

My original plan for Japan was Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. As I was trying to optimize my Japan itinerary, I checked if I can include Hiroshima as well. It was at the other extreme (far west compared to Tokyo- Hiroshima is about 350 kms from Kyoto, 800 kms from Tokyo), but in Japan 400 kms is just 2 hours by bullet train, so no distance is too far. I didn't have the luxury of spending days at Hiroshima but since I had to spend the night somewhere, I decided to cut down one night in Tokyo and spend a night at Hiroshima instead. In that one night I had, I had to explore the town as much as I could.

I arrived in Tokyo at about 6 PM, after leaving from Tokyo in the morning and spending most of the day at Nara park (more about that later). Once out of Hiroshima station, I walked to my capsule hotel which I had carefully selected to be in between the Atomic Bomb Tomb and the Hiroshima station, so that I don't have to walk extra in opposite direction. My capsule hotel was about 1.1 kms away- I could have taken a tram to hotel for 150 YEN, I didn't know that, so just walked my way in.

Once I checked into the hotel, I had no time to rest. I needed to leave the city next morning. So after a quick refresh headed out to visit the Atomic Bomb Dome. It was about 1.3 kms from hotel, so walkable. The Atomic Bomb Dome is an open area accessible 24x7 . (It is not possible to go inside)

Photos of Atomic Bomb Dome monument.

The above building complex was housing several prominent government offices, hence it was chosen as main target for attack.  On the morning of 6th August 1945, around 8.15 AM the US bomber plane B29 Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb directly above this building, detonating few hundred meters above the target, for maximum impact. Everyone inside the building died instantly (Japanese are extremely punctual people. In India no Govt employee reaches office at 8.15 AM). Within short span most of the city was reduced to rubbles, close to 2 lakh people lost their lives in a short span.

United states continues to drop its bombs even to this day at various places under different pretexts. The need and merits of dropping two deadly nuclear bombs on Japan is debated even to this day- some feel it was necessary to end the war and prevent further bloodshed (Japan surrendered few days later, while others feel it was unnecessary to kill lakhs of civilians to achieve a military objective.

Reading about the history event in textbooks and standing in front of the memorial are two different experiences. Almost everyone in Japan has a family member who has been victim of these atomic bombs. Kudos to people of Japan who made their country super power again from a point of near devastation, within few decades, through their sheer hard work and determination. The building today stands still telling the story- the destruction a nuclear war can cause. The building is held it its position through steel reinforcements and other internal supports. Immediate area around the atomic dome is maintained as a park.

I spent a few moments around the campus trying to absorb the destruction. Then I moved on to check the Hiroshima Castle. Of course it was closed during the night, so I could only get few external shots.

Then I walked back to my capsule hotel. There were a few shopping/dining streets which I was too tired to explore

Went back to my capsule and slept for the day. Planning a separate post on Capsule hotel experience. 

Next morning went to Atomic Dome one more time for day time view, walked back to hotel, checked out at 6.20 AM, took tram to station, to catch 6.58 AM Hakura bullet train to Himeji. There's a memorial/museum but it opens only at 9 AM. Waiting that far would have left me no time to explore Himeji Castle or Osaka, so I decided to skip the Hiroshima castle and museum.

There are also few islands off the coast of Hiroshima to which tourists do day visits. I had to miss them as well.

Overall it was a memorable 13 hours in Hiroshima- from 6 PM till 7 AM. I walked about 6 kms on the evening I arrived, another 2.6 next morning. Didn't find any proper veg restaurants- managed with banana, coffee and such stuff from Family Mart.

If you've not done already, check this post for 12 unique Japan experiences and this one for Japan budget tips * All other Japan posts can be read here
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