Somewhere southwest of Hiroshima sits an island bursting with culture – Miyajima. Miyajima is a sacred site for Shintoism and Buddhism, and also boasts a highly-forested peak Misen San. To get to Miyajima, you can take 15minute ferry from Hiroshima.


Miyajima’s most significant sight might be the enormouse torii gate and the Itsukushima shrine. The shrine is a complex structure of various temples, bridges and walkways. Due to its proximity by the waters, the entire structure appears to be floating during high tide.

IMG_0257Wild deers inhabit the island, and there are several signs around the town warning visitors not to feed the deer. Unfortunately, too many people fail to abide, at times causing the deers to mistakenly attack the brochures in your hands thinking that it was food. I had a good walk around the island and found many other interesting historical sites, like the photo below, featuring the Senjokaku Hall hidden from sight.

IMG_0224On your next visit to Japan, do consider taking a trip out to Hiroshima and Miyajima! At least I know I will definitely be back to Miyajima for a next hiking trip!

Hiroshima Genbaku Dome

This is probably one of the most prominent sight in Hiroshima – the Atomic Bomb Dome, within part of the Peace Memorial park. . The Genbaku Dome stands exactly as it did after the bombing on August 6, 1945. IMG_0291

The building was once an exhibition hall, but had somehow stood intact post-war. While I appreciate the opportunity to see this historical site, I began to wonder about the impact of demolition vs preservation on the locals’ psyche. This applies for all historical sites that I’d visited – would it be worse to be reminded, or would it help to heal by knowing that it had not been forgotten?

For those who would like to go around the city, Hiroshima is easily accessibly by their convenient Hiroden tram lines. You can pay on board the tram, depending on where you’ll like to alight. If it helps, you can get more information from  http://www.hiroden.co.jp/train/rosenzu/streetcar_map.htm

And while at Hiroshima, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit nearby island Miyajima. More on it in the next post.

Japan: Hiroshima

That’s the view from Japan’s famous high-speed bullet train, shinkansen, while on my way from Osaka to Hiroshima. IMG_0150

I observed how everything was so orderly at their train stations. Directional signs were clear and precise; they had indications on the platform floors to indicate which types of trains and how many rows to stand in. My interpretation of the sign below is as such: for the JR Kyoto Line (the one with ‘JR’), this is Carriage 7; for the other type of train, there is no carriage. Please stand in lines of twos. IMG_0665

It seemed like an unspoken standard to be orderly and efficient. Everything was made for ease of comprehension, such that even if you didn’t speak the language, you could navigate the country without worries. It wasn’t my first time to Japan, and it still hasn’t failed to impress me each time I visited.

They’ve got a new series of JR 700 trains Hikari and Nozomi. The train ride from Osaka to Hiroshima will only take about 80minutes. If you’re a history fan like me, don’t miss this trip out!