The Port of Hiroshima has a warm climate, and it is generally free of earthquakes and typhoons. The seaside area averages about 15°C (60°F). Visitors to the city will want to see these sights.
The Peace Memorial Park honors those who lost their lives in the atomic bombing of 1945 and to prevent such an event from happening again. Containing many monuments, the Atomic (Genbaku) Dome, formerly the Port of Hiroshima’s international commercial and trade center, remains as it was the day the bomb fell to remind people how important peace is. The Park and Dome were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
The Itsukushima Shrine in the Port of Hiroshima began operating about 1400 years ago, but it took its present form in the 12th Century. With a 280-meter long corridor that links over 20 buildings, this vermillion complex (holding the Marodo Shrine, the Noh Theater, the Main Shrine, and the Grand Gate) reflects off the sea at high tide, making an awesome and memorable sight. The Itsukushima Shrine was also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Hiroshima Castle is one of the Port of Hiroshima’s most popular spots for walking, jogging, playing, and relaxing. A 1.5 kilometer running path follows the castle’s moat containing a variety of fish and turtles that delight children. About 350 cherry trees adorn the grounds each spring. Built in 1591, the castle did not suffer the destruction other castles met during the Meiji Restoration. It survived until in was destroyed with much of the city in the 1945 atomic bomb. However, the castle was rebuilt after the war. Today, it contains a small museum telling the stories of the Port of Hiroshima, the Hiroshima Castle, and Japanese castles generally.
The Hijuyama-koen park covers a large area between two branches of the Ota River. Much of the park is still undeveloped forest, and it contains the Museum of Contemporary art and the Manga Museum. The grounds also contain a 21st Century tunnel leading to a grocery store, shopping mall, and theater. The Tamonin Temple lies at the foot of the Hijiyama Hilltop upon which the park rests. The park offers wonderful views of Hiroshima Bay, Miyajima, and downtown. Like many places in Japan, the park is a great place to view the cherry blossoms in the spring.
The Port of Hiroshima’s Sjukkeien garden was built in 1620 to grace the Asano clan’s villa. The garden centers on a pond that contains about 10 islets. It also contains valleys, teahouses, bridges, and an arbor. Constructed on a variety of landscapes from valleys to the seashore, the garden seems bigger than it really is. Following the path that winds around the central pond is the best way to enjoy the whole park.
With six channels of the Ota River flowing through the Port of Hiroshima, visitors have many opportunities to take river cruises. Boats board at Motoyasu Bridge or Aster Plaza for six regular tours every day. Lunch cruises are also available.
The Mazda Museum is a favorite spot in the Port of Hiroshima for car-lovers. It exhibits a Mazda assembly line and explains every step in car manufacturing.
The Miyahama Onsen Hot Spring resort has six hotels and inns on a hillside at the Seto Inland Sea. Visitors can relax while they drink local sake, eat fresh fish, and enjoy the wonderful view of Miyahama Island. A special treat is the oysters that are raised nearby in the Seto Inland Sea.
The Port of Hiroshima’s Prefectural Art Museum is a huge four-story (including basement) building with a wide range of art and fine craftwork from artists tied to Hiroshima on permanent display. The library contains about four thousand documents, and the museum also has a restaurant and museum shop.
The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art in Hijuyama-koen park was the first public contemporary art museum in Japan. The museum houses works of contemporary artists from around the world, including Andy Warhol, and within Japan, including Masuo Ikeda and Tadanori Yokoo.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Hiroshima by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises by searching for “Hiroshima” on the Cruise Compete website.