By Ana M., 6-time traveler from Olympia, WA
Hiroshima ... what can I say? This post-trip extension was the best part of my trip! It's just as busy and crowded as all other cities we visited during the Japan's Cultural Treasures adventure, however, from the minute we arrived, I felt a sense of peace. Starting with the Peace Memorial Park and Museum and ending with the Kosanji Temple and Museum, everything about Hiroshima promotes everlasting peace for tourists and local citizens alike. We got to meet with Ms. Kono, who is one of the few survivors from the A-Bomb devastation. She was the only one in her family who survived and she shared with us the struggles of looking for survivors and feelings of loss. She has an illustrated book, which shows from her drawings the emotions she felt after the bombing. Even though the talk was translated by our Trip Leader, we could feel her sentiments through her facial expressions and intonation.
The second day we were lucky enough to spend the day in Miyajima, probably my favorite of all days on the tour. This is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan and northwest of Hiroshima Bay. Long regarded as an Island of Gods, it is very scenic with the Itsukushima Shrine and its giant torii gate, which seems to be floating in the water at high tide and at low tide you can walk to it. Wild deer roam around the entire island, and there are many shops, but the best part was all the street food vendors selling grilled oysters, squid on a stick, conger eel on a stick, and maple-leaf shaped pastries among other delicacies that you can wash down with a Hiroshima cola or—better yet—with a local Miyajima beer.
The final full day of our trip was capped by visiting the Kosanji Temple in the Seto Island Sea, going underground to "Hell" followed by a hike up to the Hill of Hope. The entire temple is very colorful.
And that is my Hiroshima experience. A place I would visit again in all of Japan!
Experience Hiroshima with O.A.T. on an optional post-trip extension of Japan’s Cultural Treasures. You can glimpse the highlights of the itinerary in this video: