How to Enjoy Hiroshima Twice as Much!

Hiroshima is a popular sightseeing place with foreign travelers.

Many people want to go by themselves and learn about the importance of pursuing world peace and the influence of nuclear weapons by visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Hiroshima Peace Park. In addition, Miyajima’s huge, iconic Torii gate over the water attracts many people with its mysterious presence. After visiting these two big sightseeing spots, would you really just eat okonomiyaki and head on to the next place? That’d be such a waste! Why don’t you try some things that the other tourists never do? There are so many ways to enjoy a trip in a place surrounded by mountains, ocean, and nature.

Let’s walk the roads the daimyo of the ancient past once walked.

There was a system called “sankinkoutai” in the Edo Period (17th century - mid 19th century). The daimyo were required to travel to Edo (present-day Tokyo) and it took them six months to complete the trip and return home. They would travel the whole way with an entourage of servants, so all the towns along this road had thriving economies. The daimyos’ families were required to stay in Edo, so that they couldn’t betray the shogunate. Tsuwanokaido is the road which runs from Miyajima north toward the Japan Sea. Daimyo would often use this road during their travels and it was also used to transport supplies.

Along the Tsuwanokaido, you can get some really unique Japanese experiences. The main one being “waterfall training”. Across the bay from Miyajima, there is Oogashira Shrine and Imose Waterfall. There you can experience waterfall training under the guidance of the chief priest of the shrine.

Generally, before you go to a shrine, you wash your hands and rinse out your mouth to purify yourself. This is actually the simplified method. The original method involved submersing yourself in a river or standing under a waterfall. There are many tourists that go to shrines in Japan, but the deepest way to enjoy Japan is to try waterfall “misogi” before going to the shrine.

Hatsukaichi City, which is where Miyajima is located, hosts a lot of field activities for tourists.

Horseback riding, archery, hiking and enjoying meals on the trail, are just a few examples. But don’t forget Kagura. This is a traditional art recognized throughout Japan. It combines vibrant costumes with traditional Japanese music for an outstanding experience. Through Kagura, they tell old stories about the gods, harvests, and even tales about China. But don’t worry too much about the finer points and deeper meanings. This is a good opportunity to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Just so you know, Kagura is only performed at certain times, so consider yourself lucky if you get a chance to see it.

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