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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Japan

Exploring Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park

Visiting Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park is of course incredibly moving, and it’s also very humbling…

By Patrick Loyer
Product Design Executive, Discova

Visiting Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park is of course incredibly moving, and it’s also very humbling. It shows a completely different side of Japan, far away from the neon lights and pop culture, and it makes for an eye-opening, if emotional, experience.

Guests on the tour see the A-Bomb dome, also known as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, which is one of the few buildings that survived the atomic bomb when it was dropped in 1945. The building is now a Unesco World Heritage Site and sits next to the Cenotaph, a cemented arch built in memory of those who died. You’ll often see paper cranes here – colourful origami creations that symbolise peace and are an important part of the culture and traditions of Hiroshima, hand-made by locals.

The guide then takes you to the Peace Memorial Museum, built to share the history of the Hiroshima bombing through images, recorded testimonies and presentations. You’re given time to explore it in your own way, because it’s a very emotional experience for many. It can be hard to see the pictures – it shows what it was really like at the time.

But the museum tries to show you the broader picture; you don’t just see one side of the story, and it’s not about who’s responsible for what – the focus is on not forgetting what happened. The Japanese don’t forget their past, and that’s an important part of the culture here.

Guests are then given some time to explore the park, and later on they’re taken to try okonomiyaki, a savoury pancake dish that’s a popular street food in Japan, filled with cabbage, bean sprouts, meat, noodles and eggs. It makes something of a contrast to the memorial park, but it shows you another side to Hiroshima and makes a memorable end to a stirring day.

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Alfred & Patrick Loyer

Originally from Canada, Patrick has been living in Japan for over 13 years. After a year-long working holiday in Japan in 2007, he moved to the country permanently in 2010. He has lived in Hokkaido, Nagoya and Shizuoka, where he is currently based. He loves Japanese culture, best-seen in the country’s festivals, which combine historic traditions with modern elements.

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Malcolm, who's travelled extensively in Japan. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the tea devotee who'll introduce you to the ceremony surrounding Japan's national drink, the noodle guru who'll teach you how to make the perfect bowl of soba and the ryokan owner who'll tutor you in the relaxing art of the onsen.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656