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Hiroshima

Hiroshima is known as a city of water and peace. It is a modern city, but is also rich in culture and history, and a popular destination for thousands of visitors every year. Situated on the main Japanese island of Honshu, in the center of the Chugoku region, the city of Hiroshima offers plenty of sightseeing and recreational opportunities to it's visitors.

Hiroshima (広島), meaning "Wide Island", is actually a delta with six rivers running through it into the picturesque Seto Inland Sea. The Ota River delta is in one of the most sheltered harbors on the Seto Inland Sea, the city therefore enjoys the mild climate provided by its position where the average temperature in winter is 5.9°C and in summer is 28.1°C.

The city was founded in 1589 by Mori Terumoto, and soon after a castle was constructed. It became the most formidable fortification in the area, and established Hiroshima as an important commercial center of the Chugoku Region. It now has a population of over 1.1 million with the largest industry being the production of Mazda cars, car parts and industrial equipment.

A lantern ceremony in memory of victims of the Atomic Bombing is held in the Peace Park on August 6th each year.

The Atomic Bomb Dome, at sunset.

Hiroshima City has the unenviable distinction of being the first city in the world to have had an atomic bomb dropped on it. Today, it is a major urban center; however the memory of the decimation of the city by an atomic bomb has not been forgotten. Every year on August 6th, Hiroshima holds a ceremony in Peace Memorial Park, where the mayor reads the annual Peace Declaration. The city of Hiroshima is determined to continue spreading its message of peace, and to eventually rid our world of the threat of nuclear weapons.

The famous 'floating' tori gate at Miyajima. One of the most photographed spots in Japan.

A traditional ceremony at Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima.

Hiroshima is a vibrant city and offers a wide variety of experiences for the visitor. In the center of the city is Peace Memorial Park, set on the spot where the Atomic Bomb exploded. Here you can see the Atomic Bomb Dome and visit the Peace Memorial Museum. Not far from Peace Park is Hiroshima Castle, where its beautiful grounds provide for a pleasant stroll and a great place for a picnic. A short walk from Hiroshima Castle is Shukeien Garden. This traditional Japanese garden is very peaceful, and a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Just out of the city is Miyajima Island, which is said to be one of the three most beautiful places in Japan, with its magnificent World Heritage listed Itsukushima Shrine and instantly recognizable red torii gate. It is an unforgettable experience and a must for any visitor.

If you don't feel like sightseeing there are plenty of places to shop, or you can see one of the city's professional sports teams. You can either take in a Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball game or see Sanfrecce, Hiroshima's J League Soccer team, run around. Once you have finished all your sightseeing, there are many restaurants to explore, and a chance to eat some oysters and to try okonomiyaki which are both famous in Hiroshima. There is so much to do and see in Hiroshima.