The original plan was to squeeze Miyajima with the atomic bomb sites the previous day but as the day went on I soon realized that there was no way that could happen unless we wanted to do a night time stroll through the park. Instead it didn’t seem like too big of a sacrifice to shift the atomic bomb sites to today and arrive in Tokyo later in the night.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
After breakfast at the Comfort Inn which was included we checked out of the hotel and left our bags with the front desk while we head out for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. This museum definitely took a lot longer than I thought I would but in a good way. It was packed with information, artifacts, videos and models so we literally walked through the entire two floors inching over a bit at a time trying to read all the descriptions.
Coming out of the museum I had a better understanding of what happened to Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped and also a sense inspiration that comes from the Japanese spirit to rebuild. What I’ll have to say about the A-bomb is that it was a horrific and tragic act that completely destroyed the city. Although I understand the urgency of ending the war decisively and quickly to reduce the loss of life the suffering the people of the city had to endure was unfair and brutal. 70,000 died instantly while another 70,000 suffered radiation sickness, which is just such a terrible way to suffer and die. What remains standing is Hiroshima is a reminder of the destructive power of nuclear weapons and why it should be abolished. It is also worth it to note that the anniversary of the bombing happened just two days before we arrived so there were a few cranes out in the park taking down the huge pavilions and tents set up for the event.
Tragedy and Healing
From the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum we then snapped some shots around and of the surrounding area and the Memorial Cenotaph, which puts the atomic bomb dome building right through and behind it. We then discovered another building called the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, which has a beautifully designed Hall of Remembrance to honor the many lives lost in the bombing. It provides a 360 degree view from the hypocenter, the time 8:15AM carved in the center marble and a beacon of light shining down from the opening in the roof.
On our way out we passed by The Statue of the A-Bomb Children and the A-bomb Dome itself, which is really just the former Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion Hall, left in its original form after the bombing. It is the only surviving ruin from the A-bomb dropping in Hiroshima.
Heading back to Tokyo
Completing that circuit we rushed back to our hotel to grab our bags and then tram back to the main station because we had a train to catch at I think around 2PM. This time I couldn’t find a direct train to take us to Tokyo so we had to transfer in Osaka. We tried to make a last minute reservation but every single seat was supposedly sold so we also didn’t have a choice but to go for the non-reservation cars. Luckily seats weren’t hard to find once we got on. I also grabbed a few lunch boxes and drinks at the train platform to hold us over until we got to Tokyo.
I tried to do some blogging on the train but we were so tired we ended up sleeping for most of the way through.
Upon arrival in Tokyo we eventually found our way out of the confusing Tokyo station and out to somewhere with cabs.
The reception at the Conrad Tokyo was quite excellent. The concierge downstairs took our bags and told us to take the elevator upstairs where the check-in counter was. I always feel embarrassed entering into these types of hotels with my age and the type of bum travel clothes I’m in. I know they’re judging the moment you walk in. My travel sack with flags plastered all over it doesn’t help either. They just don’t know all the hard work I had to put in to get these points so whatever. They’re just more jealous than anything.
The check-in process was extremely smooth as they had everything ready for us. Within no time we were escorted up to our room 3628. The room was pretty amazing. All the furnishings were top notch and classy as you’d expect with the Conrad. Of course these rooms still can’t compare to the resorts but for something in the city (near Shiodome) you can’t beat this class, quality and size for the price of free. I took some photos before we messed up the room so see for yourself! We got a city room view unfortunately as I was hoping for a bay area view but that was because the fireworks were happening on August 11 and all the bay side rooms were sold out.
The lady told us that the executive lounge was still open so we thought we’d check it out since we didn’t even have dinner yet. It was still before 8 so food was still being served so we grabbed as much food as we could. The view of the city from the lounge was also quite spectacular.
Our plan was to go to the Tsukiji Fish Market the next morning we figured it would make sense to sleep earlier and wake up at 3:30AM. So in the end the food we had at the lounge became our dinner and we called it a night.
- Hiroshima is definitely something not to miss if you’re going to be in the Osaka region. Even if you’re not a WWII history buff, the story behind atomic bomb, the aftermath and utter tragedy is thoroughly interesting and humbling.
- Of course Miyajima is simply stunning. The over-water torii gate is one of a kind.
- As you can see from this itinerary, the atomic bomb memorial park can easily be done in half a day so if you have a FULL day in Hiroshima you can easily do both the park and Miyajima.
- Make sure to read the guide on where to stay in Hiroshima.
- Breakfast at Comfort Inn Otemachi, drop bags off
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
- View Memorial Cenotaph around the Hiroshima Peace Park
- Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims (wow that’s a mouthful)
- The Statue of the A-Bomb Children
- A-Bomb Dome
- Pick up bags from Comfort Inn
- Tram to Hiroshima JR station
- JR to Osaka and then Tokyo (with JR Pass)
- Arrive in Tokyo around 7PM
- Cab to the Conrad Tokyo
- Executive Lounge for food
- Sleep early
If you’re looking to do any travelling around Japan, I highly recommend picking up a JRailPass. Keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase it before your trip and ship it to your home.
Next Day in Tokyo
Ever hear about Tokyo’s famous fish market, Tsukiji? Well we tried to go and it didn’t go exactly as planned. Read it all here: Day 80 – Tokyo – Not Early Enough For Tsukiji Fish Market.
Curious what else I did on my trip to Asia? See the full itinerary and all 89 days.