Cruises to Hiroshima

21 Reviews
Hiroshima (Photo:Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to Hiroshima

This thriving Japanese city, laid out in a grid pattern and located near the western end of the island of Honshu on Japan's Inland Sea, boasts well over one million inhabitants. It is best known as the target for the first U.S. atom bomb, dropped near the end of World War II, and most domestic passengers and foreign visitors sail to Japan to see the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Besides several monuments that recall the city's destruction on August 6, 1945, the leafy park also hosts celebratory gatherings and festivals, so the destination is far from depressing. The museum, on the other hand, presents a grim reality -- of the approximately 350,000 inhabitants in 1945, 140,000 died instantly when the bomb was dropped (or during the ensuing four months).

Miyajima Island, a short ferry ride away, is part and parcel of any visit to Hiroshima, as it offers one of the country's most alluring and oldest Buddhist and Shinto shrines. Its orange-red Ohtorii (gate), which appears to be floating in the shallow waters near the shrines, is one of Japan's most photographed treasures. The lively pedestrian lanes leading to the site are lined with souvenir shops and stalls that serve a delicious variety of food and snacks.

  • More about Hiroshima

  • Why Cruise to Hiroshima?

  • Hiroshima Cruise Port Facilities?

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18 Night
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More about Hiroshima

Why Cruise to Hiroshima?

Pros:

Modern facilities, with free Wi-Fi, tourist information at the port and shuttles into the city

Cons:

No attractions within the immediate port vicinity or within easy walking distance

Bottom Line:

It offers good access and transport links to Peace Memorial Park, Atomic Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima Cruise Port Facilities?

The ship docks in an industrial section of the port, and there is nothing in the immediate vicinity that's of interest to visitors.

Good to Know?

Be aware that, as a westerner, you may attract some notice from others when visiting the atomic bomb museums and memorials. Depending on your own nature, you may feel a bit uncomfortable when viewing the more graphic details, especially among a crowd of Japanese.

Getting Around?

Once in the city center, most sites can be easily reached on foot, and the excellent tram system will take you nearly everywhere. The fare is a flat 150 yen; board by any door, and pay with coins when you get off. If you need to transfer to another tram, ask the driver for one. To reach Itsukushima Shrine on Miyashima Island, one of Japan's top attractions, you have the choice of a short tram connection from the city center to Hiroshima's Ujina port and a 20-minute high-speed ferry ride or a longer tram connection to Hiroden-Miyajime-guchi stop, next to the ferry pier, for a 10-minute water trip. Allow a minimum of three to four hours for the island visit. Both Hiroshima and Miyashima Island can be visited in one long day.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Post offices are the best places to change money. The Central Post Office is located about ten minutes' walk from the south end of Peace Memorial Park, and a second one is sited alongside the Hiroshima JR railway station. While there are six Japanese coins, the most useful are the 50 (with a hole in the center), 100 and 500. Banknotes are 1000, 5000, and 10,000. Check exchange rates prior to cruising to Japan.

Language?

Younger natives, though often shy, are more likely to speak English on the street and in the parks than the older generations. Adequate signs in our alphabet also help you find your way.

Where You're Docked?

The new cruise ship dock is some distance from the city center. The nearest tram line is a bit of a not-very-scenic hike, so if there are taxis available, take one. They are inexpensive and metered, and drivers are invariably honest. An alternative would be to remain in the city after a ship's tour and take a taxi back to the cruise dock. Set out armed with the pier location written in Japanese.



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