Comfort Hotel Hiroshima Otemachi
3-7-9 Otemachi Naka-ku
Phone: (81) 82 545 7811
Fax: (81) 82 545 7812
Misen is the 530-meter peak located on Miyajima. It is one of the primary attractions of the island, in large part because there is a ropeway trolley that takes visitors near the top, despite the round trip costing a hefty JPY1,500. Of course, you could always hike, and the route is pleasant and short (about 15 minutes). On the mountaintop, there are various attractions worth visiting, including numerous old structures of religious significance.
Hiroshima has declared itself an international city of peace, and Peace Memorial Park symbolizes its commitment to a nuclear weapons-free world, as well as commemorating the victims of a brutal fact of history. Despite the serious raison d'etre of its founding, the park is neither morbid nor fixated on the past. Enjoy a picnic lunch near parasol trees that survived the blast. See shrines and monuments--such as the A-Bomb Dome and 1964 "Flame of Peace"--visited daily by prayer-offering, incense-burning monks. The Peace Memorial Museum, opened in 1955, is also located here.
Baseball is very popular in Japan, and Hiroshima Carp fans are loud and proud, as you can see any game day. This beautiful stadium seats 32,000. Advance and game-day tickets are on sale at the ballpark's south-side office, facing Motomachi. Sales are cash only.
The Science Museum promises lots of hands-on activities for budding Einsteins and Hawkings, plus a nice introduction to Hiroshima's traditional cultural attractions. Parents will also appreciate it as a creative place for the average child to burn off some steam. Highlights include Japan's largest planetarium, which "dynamically reproduces glittering constellations and an infinitely expanding universe." Back on earth, a small library/reading room gives exhausted parents chairs to collapse in--and perhaps even take a nap while the kids explore.
Summer in Hiroshima gets hot and sticky. Fortunately, there is an outdoor public swimming pool to cool off in, and it is reasonably close to the Peace Memorial Park and Hondori. The pool complex features swimming and play areas to accommodate the crowds, as well as water slides just for the fun of it. This pool is conveniently located near the Science and Culture Museum for Children's planetarium dome.
This is the main prefectural facility for indoor sporting events, built about a decade ago, and it is also used as a venue for concerts and festivals. The facilities include rooms for traditional Japanese sports as well as courts for team sports. Within the complex there is also a training room and swimming pool. There is an entry fee for either the gym or pool, or you can buy an 11-visit concession ticket. There is also a computerized rock-climbing practice wall, and full fitness-testing facilities available for both individuals and teams.
Set in the wilds of Hijiyama Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art blends landscaping and aesthetics into a pleasing whole, a metaphor of the natural environment around this premier cultural institution. Inside, the Museum is notable for periodic displays of contemporary art. Recent exhibits have included works by Andy Warhol and a display of "art as resistance" from the politically troubled islands of Indonesia. Outside, the Museum is sculpted into the mountainside. Around the Museum are sculpture-lined trails, and a scenic lookout over Hiroshima, complete with Henry Moore installation.
Hiroshima, being a city on the jagged coastline of the sea, is of course going to have any number of marina areas. This one is perhaps the most peaceful and charming. It is not uncommon to find many couples taking a stroll here, or even solitary souls looking for a moment of peace. In the vicinity is a nice cafe-restaurant, as well as Marina shops that sell clothing and boating supplies. The parking area is both enormous and cheap. Boat hire can be arranged through your hotel concierge or travel agent.
This marine center is located on Miyajima island, and makes a great place to take the family, especially the kids. There are about 350 different varieties of marine life here, including dolphins, seals and penguins, with a total specimen count of about 13,000. The marine center tries to recreate their natural environment, so you can watch these organisms interact as they might in nature. There is also a water show twice daily.