Those who have never been to Hiroshima before will want to brush up on their World War II history before going. This is the city infamous for being the first target of nuclear warfare, and the impacts of the atomic blast of Little Boy on August 6, 1945 still reverberate through the city today. The city stadium, for example, is closed every August 6 (Memorial Day) for the anniversary of the bombing. Also, every time any country launches nuclear weapons testing, the city of Hiroshima issues a formal letter of protest. Due to the city government’s dedication to pacifism, many international peace talks (especially those involving nuclear proliferation) have been held in Hiroshima. You will want to pay a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and its Atomic Bomb Dome, which are dedicated to the victims and survivors of the 1945 attack. The dome lies atop a half-crumbled building, the closest to the hypocenter of the bomb detonation to survive.

Practical information that will be of use to visitors: renting a car in Hiroshima is not a good idea. All large Japanese cities have congested traffic, and most have efficient and widely used public transportation systems. Also, travelers will need to get a Japanese license, and cars drive on the left side of the road. It is a better idea to use the city trolley system. You can get to nearby towns in Chugoku by bus or local train, and cities farther away can be reached via the Shinkansen (bullet train) or airplane.