7. Hiroshima: Peace Memorial, Itsukushima and Miyajima Tour
Meet your guide and head to your first stop amidst the vibrant cityscape, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a place that transcends time and emotion. This sacred sanctuary stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of humanity in the face of unimaginable adversity. Amid serene greenery and tranquil waters, find a solemn reminder of the past and a beacon of hope for the future. At the center, see the Atomic Bomb Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a witness to the devastating events of August 6, 1945, carrying a message of peace resounds stronger than ever. As you walk through the park’s winding paths, encounter the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, where countless paper cranes symbolize the world’s collective wish for peace. Nearby, the eternal Flame of Peace burns brightly, a commitment to a world free from nuclear weapons. Also step into the poignant Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, a solemn tribute to the enduring spirit of hope and resilience. Gain profound insights into the tragic atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Continue to the Shinto Shrine of Itsukushima crafted with precision and devotion, standing on the very edge of the Seto Inland Sea. During high tide, the shrine appears to float on the water’s surface, as if suspended between the earthly and the divine. Then, behold Tenshinkaku, the “Pavilion of Heavenly Spirits,” is a serene retreat nestled in a peaceful setting. Marvel at Japanese architectural beauty with intricate wooden design and traditional tatami interiors, offering a glimpse into Japan’s rich heritage. Move onward to explore the serene nature and hills behind the shrine on Miyajima Island and gain a deeper appreciation for these environs. During your hour of free time before departure, walk through charming streets that will lead you to vibrant shops and stalls. Sample local delicacies like Momiji Manju, a maple-leaf-shaped cake with sweet or savory fillings. Discover hidden treasures, from quaint boutiques offering handcrafted souvenirs to tea houses where you can savor the flavors of Japan. Finally, gather at the ferry to return to central Hiroshima.