When I first told people I'd be going to Hiroshima, it elicited some pretty interesting reactions. Most people were just confused about why I'd want to visit, and I guess I understand where they're coming from. After all there aren't many famous landmarks there, and the history behind the place is one people would rather forget. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed my stay there! Hiroshima has a calmer feel to it, and while I've visited before, I came across a lot of surprises I never noticed the first time around.
I don't know if it's my age showing, but my appreciation for gardens and flower viewing in general has skyrocketed since going to Japan. Anyway the first place I dropped by was Shukkeien (縮景園), a garden that dates all the way back to 1620! When I visited it was prime season to see the ume, otherwise known as plum blossoms. There was also a huge pond filled with koi fish, more than I've ever seen in my life.
Those elderly people were watching the stork in the middle of the pond for what seemed like ages, but alas! He didn't wake up the entire time I was there. I think Shukkeien is definitely the kind of place where you could lose hours relaxing and contemplating life. If only the weather cleared up, I imagine it'd be even more gorgeous then.
Even when you fight, reconcile. After a contemplative morning at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum, I dropped by the Atomic Bomb Dome. Even though I've visited in the past, reading about the horrors that rocked this place seventy years ago doesn't make them any less shocking. Visiting the museum is a pretty heavy experience, but I still think it's something you should try if you ever get the chance.
Hiroshima Castle (広島城) is actually just a replica of the original, and now houses a museum about the city's history before World War II. To be completely honest though, all I was interested in was that view from the top! It was quite a long trek from the museum, so I treated myself to some Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki afterwards haha. Unlike your typical okonomiyaki it's made with fried egg and yakisoba noodles, aka the perfect thing after getting caught in a sudden downpour. Luckily the weather decided to clear up after that though, so stay tuned for more about the day trips I made from Hiroshima!