Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Hiroshima Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Hiroshima

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Hiroshima is an industrial city with vast boulevards and crisscrossing rivers on the Seto Inland Sea’s shore. Although many people only remember it for the horrifying half second on August 6, 1945, when it became the site of the world’s first atomic bomb explosion, it is today a contemporary cosmopolitan metropolis with superb food and a thriving nightlife.

Those expecting to get off the Shinkansen into a pile of blazing ruins will be disappointed, since Hiroshima has all the ferroconcrete and flashing neon of any contemporary Japanese metropolis. Teenagers pour in and out of the station, where McDonald’s and the newest keitai (mobile phones) await; unfortunate salarymen scurry along Aioi-dori to their next meeting, throwing a bloodshot stare toward Nagarekawa’s filthy pubs as they pass. At first appearance, it may be difficult to believe that anything out of the usual has ever occurred here.

Hiroshima was established in 1589 on the delta produced by the Ota River as it flows out to the Seto Inland Sea. Mori Terumoto erected a fortress there, only to lose it eleven years later to Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Battle of Sekigahara, which launched the Tokugawa shogunate. The Asano clan of samurai took control of the territory and governed without incident for the following two and a half centuries. Their successors welcomed the Meiji period’s fast industrialization, and Hiroshima became the region’s seat of government, a major industrial city, and a bustling port.

By World War II, Hiroshima had grown to be one of Japan’s largest cities, as well as a natural communications and supply hub for the military. Thousands of forced workers from Korea and China were transported in, and local kids also spent part of their days working in weapons factories. Residents of Hiroshima must have felt strangely blessed for the first few years of the war, as the city was largely spared by American bombing campaigns; this was done, however, to ensure a more accurate measurement of the atomic bomb’s effect on the candidate cities, which had been narrowed down to Hiroshima, Kokura, Kyoto, Nagasaki, and Niigata.

On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 a.m., the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay detonated an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, nicknamed “Little Boy.” At least 70,000 people were killed in the explosion and its immediate aftermath, according to estimates. The majority of the city was constructed of wood, and flames raced uncontrollably over roughly five square miles, leaving a scorched plain with a few scattered concrete houses. Medical care was essentially non-existent, since most of the city’s medical facilities had been placed near the hypocenter, and the few physicians who remained had no clue what struck them. Radioactive elements in the atmosphere caused a toxic “black rain” to fall that evening.

Many survivors started to get unusual diseases, such as skin sores, hair loss, and exhaustion, in the days that followed. Radiation-related illnesses would ultimately kill between 70,000 and 140,000 individuals. The survivors, known as hibakusha, faced tremendous persecution from other Japanese, but have since been in the vanguard of Japan’s postwar pacifism and fight against the use of nuclear weapons.

Given the magnitude of the damage, recovery was delayed, and underground markets flourished in the first several years following the war. However, Hiroshima’s rehabilitation became an emblem of Japan’s postwar pacifism. Hiroshima now has a population of over 1.1 million people. Mazda’s corporate offices are nearby, hence automobiles are a key local business. There are three superb art museums in the city center, some of Japan’s most ardent sports fans, and a broad selection of gastronomic pleasures, most notably Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, the city’s towering contribution to bar food.

Although many tourists, particularly Americans, may be wary about visiting Hiroshima, it is a pleasant, inviting city that is as interested in Western culture as any other city in Japan. Tourists are welcome, and exhibitions about the atomic bomb do not focus on blame or accusations. Keep in mind, however, that many hibakusha still reside in the city, and that the majority of Hiroshima’s young people have family members who survived the bombing. As a result, the ordinary Hiroshima resident is unlikely to like discussing it, but you shouldn’t be afraid to bring it up if one of the talkative men about the Peace Park does.

Hiroshima – Info Card

POPULATION :1,173,980
FOUNDED :  
TIME ZONE : Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
LANGUAGE : Japanese
RELIGION : observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
AREA : 905.01 km2 (349.43 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 
COORDINATES : 34°23′7″N 132°27′19″E
SEX RATIO : Male: 48.60%
 Female: 51.40%
ETHNIC : Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6%
AREA CODE : 82
POSTAL CODE : 
DIALING CODE : +81 82
WEBSITE :Official Website

Tourism in Hiroshima

Hiroshima is an industrial city with vast boulevards and crisscrossing rivers on the Seto Inland Sea’s shore. Although many people only remember it for the horrifying half second on August 6, 1945, when it became the site of the world’s first atomic bomb explosion, it is today a contemporary cosmopolitan metropolis with superb food and a thriving nightlife.

Those expecting to get off the Shinkansen into a pile of blazing ruins will be disappointed, since Hiroshima has all the ferroconcrete and flashing neon of any contemporary Japanese metropolis. Teenagers pour in and out of the station, where McDonald’s and the newest keitai (mobile phones) await; unfortunate salarymen scurry along Aioi-dori to their next meeting, throwing a bloodshot stare toward Nagarekawa’s filthy pubs as they pass. At first appearance, it may be difficult to believe that anything out of the usual has ever occurred here.

Although many tourists, particularly Americans, may be wary about visiting Hiroshima, it is a pleasant, inviting city that is as interested in Western culture as any other city in Japan. Tourists are welcome, and exhibitions about the atomic bomb do not focus on blame or accusations. Keep in mind, however, that many hibakusha still reside in the city, and that the majority of Hiroshima’s young people have family members who survived the bombing. As a result, the ordinary Hiroshima resident is unlikely to like discussing it, but you shouldn’t be afraid to bring it up if one of the talkative men about the Peace Park does.

Climate of Hiroshima

Unfortunately, most visitors to Hiroshima visit during the worst months of the year, July and August, when days of heavy rain give way to harsh, oppressive heat. If you want to travel during the summer, avoid booking hotels without air conditioning. Also, in the later part of September, sunny and beautiful days are alternated by typhoons severe enough to demolish structures (such as the one that almost destroyed Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima in 2004) and keep people confined to their hotels.

October and November are good months since there is less rain and the temperatures are pleasant and refreshing. Winter is a good time to visit since the weather is dry, with no rain or snow, and the temperatures are seldom chilly enough to keep you inside. However, like in the rest of Japan, a number of museums are closed from December 29 to January 1. (or 3 Jan).

April and May are also pleasant months. The cherry blossoms bloom in early April, and the grounds around Hiroshima Castle become a hanami party mecca.

Geography of Hiroshima

Hiroshima is located on the ta River delta, on Hiroshima Bay, and faces the Seto Inland Sea to the south. Hiroshima is divided among many islands by the river’s six channels.

Internet, Comunication in Hiroshima

  • Aprecio (アプレシオ), 10-3 Matsubara-cho,  +81 82-506-1323. 24 hours. An exquisite cyber café with a broad selection of complimentary beverages, ice cream, and hot soup included in the entry charge. There’s even a dartboard and a pool table (and private showers towards the back). It’s on the fifth floor of the building adjacent to Fukuya and just across the street from the post office, on the opposite side of the street from the south exit of JR Hiroshima Station. ¥300 for membership; 180 for the first 30 minutes, and ¥70 for 10 minutes after that.
  • [email protected] (フタバ@アットカフェ), 2-22 Matsubara-cho (Right next to JR Hiroshima Station — on the sixth floor of the GIGA/Futaba Building immediately to your left as you walk out of the station (south exit).),  +81 82-568-4792. 24 hours. The fee includes free refreshments and soft-serve ice cream. Simply request a “net open seat” (or a “game open seat” to include a PlayStation). ¥105 for membership; ¥405 for the first 60 minutes, then ¥94 for 15 minutes after that.
  • [email protected] (Kamiya-cho), 2-2-33 Kamiya-cho (Kamiya-cho highashi tram stop),  +81 82-542-5455. 24 hours. The same bargain as above, but closer to the Peace Park (on Hon-dori) on the first floor of the Futaba Tosho Building.
  • Global Lounge (グローバルラウンジ), 1-5-17 Kamiya-cho, Naka-ku(Kamiya-cho highashi tram stop),  +81 82-244-8145. M-Th noon-9PM, F-Sa to 11PM. Part of a jumble of foreigner-focused enterprises — Outsider is a language school, Book Nook sells secondhand books (although with a limited variety), and the Global Lounge provides Internet access (¥200 for 15 minutes) as well as a meeting area. On Friday and Saturday evenings, coffee, tea, and soft drinks (¥200) are offered, with beer and cocktails available.
  • Hiroshima InternationalCenter (ひろしま国際センター), 8-18 Naka-machi (Crystal Plaza Building, 6th floor) (Chuden-mae tram stop), +81 82-541-3777. Tu-Sa 9AM-8:30PM, Su 9:30AM-6PM. The HIC has an English reference library as well as a “friendship lounge” filled with books, newspapers, and local information. There are free Japanese language training, cultural activities (such as the Saturday Salons), and assistance with residence concerns for long-term visitors. To get to Fukuro-machi, use the tram or bus. The basic facilities and entry are free; certain events need membership or a nominal charge.

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