The Genbaku Dome is the ruin of the former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall that was destroyed when the first nuclear weapon/atomic bomb in human history was dropped by an American air force bomber on 6th August 1945.

Because the atomic blast was almost directly above this spot, the walls of the building were partially spared from destruction, and the characteristic form of the building remained with the iron frame of the dome. This building representing Hiroshima, the first city to fall victim to nuclear bombing is registered as a World Heritage site as a symbol of prayer for permanent world peace and the elimination of all nuclear weapons. There are only a few world heritage sites having this kind of negative side, including "Auschwitz = Birkenau Concentration Camp (Poland)" where the Nazi Germans slaughtered Jewish people, the "Island of Goree (Senegal)" that was used as a base in the slave trade and "Robben Island (Republic of South Africa)" where people opposed to apartheid were imprisoned. These sites are registered to remind us of the tragedies that occurred there and to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

Genbaku Dome, Hiroshima Peace Park

On the opposite bank of the Motoyasu River that runs past the Genbaku Dome, is the Peace Memorial Park where you will find the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound, Children's Peace Monument and a cenotaph for atomic bomb victims. In front of the Hiroshima Peace City Monument in Peace Memorial Park, a peace memorial ceremony is held on 6th August every year to comfort the spirits of the people who died in the bombing and to pray for world peace.

In Miyajima, counted as one of the three most scenic spots in Japan, there is a cultural heritage site called the "Itsukushima Shinto Shrine" that is dedicated to the God protecting people from sea disasters and wars. It is said that this shrine was constructed around 593; however, after the warlord Tairano Kiyomori (1118-1181) rebuilt it in 1168, it became the magnificent vermilion-lacquered building it is today. The most interesting feature of this shrine is the Torii (a kind of gate symbolizing a shrine) and the Shaden (shrine pavilion) in the sea, which are both submerged at full tide, but at low tide the sea water recedes completely and it is possible to walk out to the gate.

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine has the only stage for Japanese traditional musical "Noh" plays that floats in the sea and where "Noh" is sometimes performed by lamplight.

Access: To Hiroshima - from Tokyo – by air - 1hr 15mins from Haneda to Hiroshima Airport. By Rail - 4hrs from Tokyo to Hiroshima Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo shinkansen Line.

From Osaka – by rail - 1hr 30 mins from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima Station by shinkansen.

To Miyajima - 25mins from Hiroshima to Miyajima-guchi Station by JR Sanyo Line, and 10mins from the station to Miyajima by ferry.

Further information: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum