We caught the Shinkansen bullet train from Kyoto which took 1 1/2 hours to this city of heavy, hearted history.
From Hiroshima Station, take the No 2 or 6 tram line to the Genbaku-Domu Mae station. The ride takes 15 minutes and costs 160 yen. You need to have the exact change for all trams and buses in Japan as no change is given, and you pay on the bus, as you get off.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a memorial in the center of Hiroshima. It is dedicated to the legacy of Hiroshima as the first city to suffer a nuclear attack, and to the memories of the bomb's victims. For me, the most memorable was the UNESCO World Heritage listed site, The A-Bomb Dome. Despite it's melted steel, burnt rubble and exposed dome ribs, it is a beautiful, confronting structure which sobers the soul. It is all that remains of the former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall that served to promote Hiroshima's industries. When the bomb exploded, virtually above it, it was one of the few buildings to remain standing.
We wandered around the various other memorial statues including the heartfelt Children's Peace Memorial constructed true to the wishes of radiation victim, 10 year old Sadako Sasaki, after she died 8 years following her exposure to the bomb's radiation at age 2.
On the way to the Museum is the Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims. The Cenotaph is an arched tomb holding a stone chest, containing a register of over 220,000 victims' names. Perfectly symmetrical and peaceful to reflect on.
Lastly, the Museum within the Park is well worth the minuscule 50 yen entry fee. It displays the radiation damaged clothes and shoes of victims, permanent shadows cast into concrete, melted glass bottles and pottery, scale models of the city before and after the bomb and much more. Time literally stopped for so many that 6 August, 1945 at 8.15am. Below, you can see the A-Bomb dome before and after the attack.
After exploring the city's rich history, we were hungry. We hankered for somewhere off the beaten track so we set off to explore the back streets. Corner of Heiwa ODori and Jizo Dori (on Jizo Dori) Fujimicho district is this gem:
This place is nameless but deliciously memorable. It is a very local joint. Nothing is provided for English speaking folk, or anyone other than Japanese. We ordered from the machine at the door, got our voucher and hoped that what we ordered would be eatable. Well, it was. And it was delectable! Mine was a bowl of firm noodles in a light spiced peanut sauce, and Miles has no idea what flavour his was but his description entails "amazing goodness". It tasted so good that i forgot to take a photo of the dish before chowing down. Everything in Japan is served in such pretty pottery like this...
It was then back to the train station and back to Kyoto on the bullet.
It's important to not go on a Monday to Hiroshima as the museum is closed (this is something to keep in mind for most museums in Japan).