Getting to Know Hiroshima, Japan
Almost a thousand kilometers from the capital city of Tokyo, Hiroshima will not fail to entertain any tourist and make them feel at home. As the largest island of Japan’s largest island, Hiroshima is located in the southernmost region of the country. It is most popular as the world’s first city to ever suffer from an atomic bomb, but the last seven decades has truly changed the face of Hiroshima. There are a number of popular tourist destinations in Hiroshima which would surely give anyone an experience they will never forget. Here are a few of them: The Hiroshima Castle was built around the 1500s and has marked the official establishment of Hiroshima by one of the Five Elders, Mori Terumoto. It has been in the hands of the shogunate since Mori Terumoto lost in a bloody battle and has flourished for centuries under samurai clans. Although the entire royal complex is not open to public and only one original moat exists, the beauty of the Hiroshima castle is sure to stun any visitor. A symbol of Hiroshima’s rich history and culture, the castle is one of the most popular destinations in the area.
For those people who are more attracted to nature and peace, going to Miyajima and visiting the floating Torii gate of the Itsukushima shrine could be their best bet. The floating Torii has continuously awed locals, travelers, photographers and much more by its regal beauty. As it seems to be floating on water, it would give anyone a feeling of wonder and peace. The Itsukushima shrine was built so near the water that it would look as if it is floating when the tides reach high levels.
Mount Misen in Miyajima is also an incredible tourist destination. This area of Hiroshima is home to its highest peak which is largely visited by hikers and nature lovers. There are trails where wild deer roam freely and give wonderful visits for tourists. The best part, the summit shows a majestic view of the island. For those who love Cherry blossoms, the best place to see it in Hiroshima would be the Hijiyama Park which is home to streets full of its trees. An article from Japan Experience relates the beauty of the cherry blossom to its ability to provide a refreshing breath of life to anyone who sees it. Being located on top of a hill away from the center of the city, visitors could enjoy a simple picnic underneath the trees and enjoy a stroll around the beautiful park.
Let’s Talk about the Lovely Hiroshima Weather
Although Hiroshima is in the Southern part of the Japanese Peninsula, it has been well endowed with a warm, homey subtropical climate. According to a report from their local travel website Visit Hiroshima, the land rarely experiences typhoons and even earthquakes. What is most wonderful in the city, would be the time of year when the beautiful Cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Usually at the last day of March or start of April, families, and friends gather up in picnics underneath Cherry Blossom trees, enjoying the wonder of its beauty. For those who are afraid of whether or not there is still radiation in both cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it would be clear that any trace of radiation would be long gone. Unlike nuclear disasters in Fukushima or Chernobyl perhaps, the nuclear fuel contained within the bomb would not be enough to fully contaminate a wide region for extended periods of time. On top of that, it has done much less damage as it exploded before it reached the ground.
Let’s Talk about the Lovely Hiroshima Weather
Although Hiroshima is in the Southern part of the Japanese Peninsula, it has been well endowed with a warm, homey subtropical climate. According to a report from their local travel website Visit Hiroshima, the land rarely experiences typhoons and even earthquakes. What is most wonderful in the city, would be the time of year when the beautiful Cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Usually at the last day of March or start of April, families, and friends gather up in picnics underneath Cherry Blossom trees, enjoying the wonder of its beauty. For those who are afraid of whether or not there is still radiation in both cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it would be clear that any trace of radiation would be long gone. Unlike nuclear disasters in Fukushima or Chernobyl perhaps, the nuclear fuel contained within the bomb would not be enough to fully contaminate a wide region for extended periods of time. On top of that, it has done much less damage as it exploded before it reached the ground. The intensity of the bomb can equate to hundreds of TNTs simultaneously exploding, that it has destroyed buildings and structures miles away from the center from which it has exploded. Thankfully, the bomb did not detonate on ground level. If it did, both Nagasaki and Hiroshima would have been in much worse condition.
A Brief Guide on How to Get Around Hiroshima City
Hiroshima is roughly 900 kilometers away from Tokyo but getting to the islands would be a breeze. One travel guide reports the different means of traveling from Tokyo to Hiroshima. There is the Shinkansen or the bullet train. The advantage of this is that it is a bit more comfortable than a plane ride. However, it is much more expensive and slower. There is also the other local rail system, which costs much cheaper but would take significantly longer. Those who want to enjoy a long 13-hour ride, there are also bus lines available at a much cheaper rate. The best way still is to ride an airplane to Hiroshima city. There are more than 15 flights every day that could fly anyone from Tokyo to Hiroshima and back in under two hours.
While there, both locals and tourists could enjoy the services of what they call as the Hiroden. The Hiroden is a small street rail system that could transport anyone to a total of eight different routes throughout the day. It has been a popular transport system for the locals for more than a hundred years. It has remained in operation even after the bombing of the city. For those who would want a more private means of transport, there are taxis and buses that go around the city all day. However, being a large island that it is some locals and tourists also enjoy a ferry boat ride around the city. Of course, driving around the city would also be a great way to travel around too. It would take anyone to any point around the region without the hassle of understanding local transport. In many places around the region, there are also certain types of special transportation. For instance, anyone wishing to travel Mount Misen in the Miyajima area could enjoy an exciting cable car ride that will save anyone the exhaustion of hiking up to the summit while enjoying the best and most beautiful view of nature that Hiroshima could offer. Visitors are transported from a station somewhere at the bottom of the mountain and up to the beautiful peak.
The Fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the Second World War
The Second World War was long and horrifying, both the Allied and Axis forces have been exhausted by endless death and terrorism. When the leader of the Western segment of the Axis forces was found dead on April of 1945, it left only the Eastern forces fighting the war. On one fateful day of August 1945, the streets of Hiroshima were shaken by the intensity of the world’s first atomic bomb taking with it the lives of almost a countless number of its local residents. Three days later, it would seem that death has lingered on as another atomic bomb has terrorized the people, this time in Nagasaki. Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki immediately lost hundreds of thousands of lives and almost their entire cities have been totaled by the bombing. Thousands more lost their lives to the life-long side effects of the contamination – respiratory diseases, cancers, and deformations. It is one of the worst nuclear-related disasters ever recorded. For more than 70 years after the war, people have been wondering why the US pushed through with claiming tens of thousands of more lives just as the war is about to end. Contrary to most beliefs, the US, Britain, and China have continuously urged Japan to surrender, but to no avail. Based on a report from History, US President Truman has estimated that an invasion of mainland Japan would lead to much greater losses. He felt that he had to end the war, and made the decision to use their new yet deadly weapon. According to what is known as the Potsdam Declaration, Allied force nations have come into an agreement to provide the terms for which Japan should surrender. Signatories include the US President Truman, British Prime Minister Churchill and Chinese Nationalist government’s Chairman Chiang Kai Shek. As it has been stated on the document, Japan shall face ‘utter destruction' if it fails to surrender according to the terms which have been set. However, New York Times has indicated that the declaration did not detail what kind of ‘destruction’ Japan would have. Thus, the country was unwarned and unprepared for the devastation.
A Quick Glimpse at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
One of the most iconic places in Hiroshima would be the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a UNESCO accredited national heritage of Japan. The place has been developed and preserves not only as a reminder of the awful effects of war and human destruction but also a bittersweet reminder of the country's hope for peace. The A-dome, the center of the tourist destination, was a building built in the early 1900s and has survived the intensity of the bombing. In fact, UNESCO reports that it is the only structure that remained standing in the area. Since the government’s decision to preserve it in the 1960s, the A-dome has played a vital role in giving locals and tourists a glimpse of the city’s very historical past.
The complex also has museums which house the relics which were donated by locals; these may include memoirs, personal items and even pieces of their old home. These have shown the prosperity of life of Hiroshima – a gentle reminder for the locals that life must go on but they must never forget their past. Even if the effects of the atomic bomb changed the face of both Nagasaki and Hiroshima forever, the Japanese people have used this as a guide and strength for their full transformation. They have embraced their agony and desolation and turned these into sources of motivation to become the nation that they are today.
Hiroshima Today and in the Future
At the time, nobody knew the possible intensity an atomic bomb could have. In hindsight, nobody was even confident that it would be successfully deployed, let alone explode once it reaches the ground. The lasting consequences of the bombing have surprised everyone, even the US. The devastation in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki has pushed for the development of the United Nations. But it is without a doubt that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombing will forever change the world. From 1945 until about 1952, the United States has helped Japan rebuild their country. The war has significantly influenced the modernization of Japan and the US has helped in re-developing their political and economic systems. According to an article from Columbia University, the US has tried their best to reform Japan and introduce to them the power and idea of democracy. Although the reforms were strongly opposed by many Japanese people especially after the US left, it is without a doubt that Japan has changed and still continues to transform to this day. The reactions from the people are mixed when asked how they look at the side-effects of the bombing. Some believed that the act was unforgivable while others think that it was an unavoidable consequence of war. Sadly, based on a report by a local media company called NHK, the painful memory is fading from the minds of the younger generations. No one can really say if the Japanese hate America for what it has done to their people, however, Japan has kept their honor intact by making sure that the terror they have caused has been repaid. They have issued public apologies to their victims through the years. They have monetarily paid damages to the victims, and their governments, caused by the destruction of the war. The good thing is that the war has influenced Japan and its people to be more peace-loving even if it will forever scar the minds of the Japanese about the true threats of any nuclear arsenal. Hiroshima Japan is one of the most iconic places in the world, particularly because of its fate during the Second World War. Despite their devastation and the lives of people which have been lost, the city never lost hope in rebuilding their homes and their lives.