8. The Peace Memorial to Miyajima : Icons of Peace and Beauty
Peace Memorial In the heart of Hiroshima, amidst the vibrant cityscape, lies a place that transcends time and emotion—Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. This sacred sanctuary stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of humanity in the face of unimaginable adversity. Here, amid serene greenery and tranquil waters, you’ll find a solemn reminder of the past and a beacon of hope for the future. At its center, the Atomic Bomb Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands as a stark witness to the devastating events of August 6, 1945. Yet, within this poignant setting, a message of peace resounds stronger than ever. As you walk through the park’s winding paths, you’ll 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 testament to our commitment to a world free from nuclear weapons. We will also step into the poignant Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, a solemn tribute to the enduring spirit of hope and resilience. This powerful museum offers profound insights into the tragic events of August 6, 1945, and serves as a testament to humanity’s unwavering pursuit of peace. Itsukushima Shrine and Tenshinkaku Imagine a grand Shinto shrine, exquisitely crafted with precision and devotion. Now, envision it standing on the very edge of the Seto Inland Sea. But here’s the magic: during high tide, the shrine appears to float on the water’s surface, as if suspended between the earthly and the divine. It’s an architectural marvel that evokes a sense of wonder and reverence. The “floating gate,” stands proudly in the sea, guarding the sacred shrine. During high tide, it stands majestically surrounded by the sea, and during low tide, you can approach it with a sense of intimacy one rarely experiences during a day of tourism. This gate symbolizes the harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world. Also to behold – Tenshinkaku, the “Pavilion of Heavenly Spirits,” is a serene retreat nestled in a peaceful setting. This elegant pavilion showcases Japanese architectural beauty with intricate wooden design and traditional tatami interiors, offering a glimpse into Japan’s rich heritage. Miyajima Island Stroll During our one hour guided tour we will explore the serene nature and hills behind the shrine and gain a deeper knowledge and appreciation for these environs. During your hour of free-time before departure, your stroll through the island’s charming streets will lead you to vibrant shops and stalls. Be sure to sample local delicacies like Momiji Manju, delectable maple-leaf-shaped cakes filled with sweet or savory fillings. As you explore further, you’ll discover hidden treasures, from quaint boutiques offering handcrafted souvenirs to traditional tea houses where you can savor the tranquility and the flavors of Japan. At the end of this hour of free-time we will gather at the ferry for our trip back to central Hiroshima.