A UNESCO World Heritage Site and regarded as the Island of the Gods, the ultra-scenic Miyajima Island lies within Hiroshima Bay. The centuries-old Itsukushima Shrine is recognised around the globe for its iconic torii gate, built over the water and sometimes seen to be floating. Multiple buildings include a stunning main hall, theatre stage and ornate prayer hall, while the complex is beautifully lit at night. As well as a range of shrines (Miyajima translates to “Shrine Island”), the area is characterised by virgin forests and sacred Mount Misen, offering a range of exceptional hiking routes.
Peace Memorial Park
On 6th August 1945, Hiroshima was hit by the first atomic bomb in history, wiping out 90 percent of the city and killing hundreds of thousands of people. The Peace Memorial Park houses several poignant monuments in memory of the horrific attack. The Flame of Peace has burned continuously since 1964 and is vowed to burn until earth is free from all nuclear weapons. The Children’s Peace Monument is dedicated to the child victims of the attack, while the Memorial Cenotaph features the names of everyone killed. The UNESCO-listed Atomic Bomb Dome is located directly where the bomb hit, though miraculously survived and has been left just as it was after the attack.
Peace Memorial Museum
Housed within the park, the Peace Memorial Museum comprises two buildings that highlight the history of Hiroshima, the arrival of the history-changing bomb and the horrific aftermath that followed. Displays, pictures and moving films provide a harrowing reminder of the unspeakable effects of nuclear weapons. Please note that renovation work is set to last until 25 April 2019. During this time, the number of buildings and exhibits open may be reduced.
Hiroshima City is home to the gorgeous Shukkei-en garden, a designated National Site of Scenic Beauty. Constructed in the Edo period, it features unique miniature valleys, mountains and forests, as well as a scenic pond surrounded by traditional tea houses. The gardens are particularly striking in spring when the iconic cherry blossom blooms, and autumn, when the leaves turn a stunning shade of red.
Five storeys tall and surrounded by a moat, Hiroshima Castle was originally built in 1589 as an important seat of power in Western Japan. Like much of the city, it was destroyed during the atomic bombing, though was carefully rebuilt using historical documents and is now a designated National Historical Site. You can overlook the city from the castle’s observatory, before learning more about its history in the informative museum. A number of events are held around the castle throughout the year – including food festivals and historical re-enactments.
Hiroshima Airport can be accessed by a 1 hour, 30 minute onward flight from Tokyo Haneda with Japan Airlines. London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda takes approximately 11 hours, 45 minutes with British Airways or Japan Airlines.
Hiroshima is also accessible by bullet train from Kyoto in around 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.