Port of 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 Japanese and foreign visitors come 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).
Modern facilities, with free Wi-Fi, tourist information at the port and shuttles into the city
No attractions within the immediate port vicinity or within easy walking distance
It offers good access and transport links to Peace Memorial Park, Atomic Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Castle
Find a Cruise to Asia
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.
Top Hiroshima Itineraries
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.
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.
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. About 120 yen equal one dollar, though you'll want to check xe.com for the latest currency exchange before your cruise.
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.
The Hondori Arcade, reached by bridge from the top end of Peace Memorial Park and just south of the A-Bomb Dome, offers a concentrated double line of shops while, to the east, the city's three main department stores sit in a row along Aioi-dori. Japanese lacquer ware, ceramics, glass, prints and fabrics in the form of scarves, handkerchiefs and shawls make attractive purchases.