The main reason people travel to Hiroshima, in the West of Japan is to go to the Memorial Peace Museum and Peace Park to read about the world's first atomic bomb used on a population. It turned out that the city had a really nice atmosphere and several other things to see but this was first on my itinerary.
The Peace Park was a very well laid out with a fountain pointing to the atom bomb dome, a building preserved with its damage from the bomb and the Memorial Peace Museum at the other end. There were also several statues and well kept gardens dedicated to groups of people who had died in the bombing.
The Memorial Peace Museum was easily one of the most thought provoking and interesting museums I had ever been to. Starting with the foundation and the events that happened to Hiroshima pre-1945, gave a good impression of what the city was like before the bombing. Then going on to talk about events from both sides in WWII which were remarkably unbiased to either side and made it seem like both sides made bad decisions that led up to the disaster. Between this and the Hiroshima bomb exhibit was the anti-nuclear war exhibit focusing on how all nuclear weapons should be decommissioned unless the world powers want to see another Hiroshima or worse, occur. Something I found really interesting here that I never knew about before was that the mayor of Hiroshima writes a letter asking all nuclear tests to be abandoned whenever any country announces a test.
The next and final sections were dedicated to what happened when the atom bomb was released, the sheer magnitude of destruction it caused and the personal stories of what happened which were truly heart wrenching. The stories went into great detail about injuries sustained. These injuries weren't just limited to the vapourisation of people near enough the bomb's hypocenter ajd the children with horrible burns trying fo find their parents in the burning mess of the city. It also included the huge, grotesque keloid scars sustained weeks after the bomb and the cancers developed sometimes years after the event.
The museum really brought home the disgusting legacy of the atomic bombs that I had never really understood before and how futile in my opinion even the thought if all out nuclear war is.
The city beyond the peace park was interesting in itself. In japan there are several different Japanese dishes that each region in Japan put their own twist on and Hiroshima had a great new selection to try including their delicious okonomiyaki.
I took a day trip from Hiroshima to Miya Jima. One of the many islands surrounding the Hiroshima area and famous for its large 'torii' gate that's underwater at high tide and on dry ground at low tide. The torii gate was a fantastic photo opportunity especially as I saw it at low and high tide while I was there. I also embarked on a walk up a mountain on the island which was tough but completely worth the 360° view at the top which included the city of Hiroshima and a great view of all of the small mountainous islands in the area.