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RECOMMENDED PROPERTIES IN HIROSHIMA

HIROSHIMA

Hiroshima is an industrial city of wide boulevards and criss-crossing rivers, located along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea. Although many only know it for the horrific split second on August 6, 1945, when it became the site of the world's first atomic bomb attack, it is now a modern, cosmopolitan city with excellent cuisine and a bustling nightlife.

Most of the memorials related to the atomic bomb are in and around the Peace Memorial Park. The "Hiroshima Peace Memorial" was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. Once part of the busy Nakajima merchant district, this area was destroyed almost in its entirety by the bomb. Today, there are more than fifty memorials, statues, and other structures in the Park. The skeletal remains of the A-Bomb Dome are the most recognizable symbol of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. One block east of the A-Bomb Dome (outside Shima Clinic) is a plaque which marks the hypocenter, the exact point above which the bomb exploded.

The Peace Memorial Museum is a heart-wrenching museum that documents the atomic bomb and its aftermath, from scale models of the city "before" and "after" to melted tricycles and other displays and artifacts related to the blast. Some are extremely graphic, evocative, and quite disturbing. The rest of the museum describes the post-war struggles of the hibakusha and an appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons in the world today.

Shopping in Hiroshima is dominated by a few huge department stores; in fact, trains deliver you directly into a fairly bland one called ASSE, which occupies the floors above the south exit of JR Hiroshima Station. Hon-dori, a covered shopping arcade in the city centre, is the place to wander with a wallet you'd like to empty. In terms of souvenirs, Hiroshima Carp memorabilia is the most widely found, although there's some spillover from the super-powered knick-knack engine that is Miyajima.

Hiroshima is famous for its style of okonomiyaki, which literally means "cook it as you like it". Often (and somewhat misleadingly) called "Japanese pizza", it is better described as a type of savory pancake made with egg, cabbage, soba noodles, and meat, seafood or cheese. It is grilled in layers on a hot plate in front of you and slathered liberally with okonomiyaki sauce, with optional extras such as mayonnaise, pickled ginger, and seaweed.

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