Osaka Castle & Osaka Castle Park
Osaka Castle was first built between 1583 and 1585. The castle stands on an expansive lawn covered park and consists of a complex network of moats, turrets, and walls surrounding a massive central tower. The main central tower is 55 meters high and houses a museum and a viewing platform from which visitors can enjoy fantastic panoramic views of Osaka city.
Osaka Castle Park covers about two square kilometers. The park is one of Osaka's most popular place during the cherry blossom season, which usually takes place in early April.
It is one of the largest public aquariums in the world and one of Japan’s most spectacular aquariums, world-renowned for its whale sharks. Kaiyukan shows the aquatic animals of the Pacific Rim at their most vibrant and dynamic, by recreating the natural environment of their habitats. At Kaiyukan there are over 15 large tanks, each recreating a specific region of the Pacific Rim, the biggest of them containing 5,400 tons of water, serving as the home of whale sharks, the largest fish species in the world.
The Aquarium contains 30,000 creatures encompassing 620 species, including otters, sea lions, penguins, dolphins, whale sharks, rays, and jellyfish.
Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture and the largest city (with the population over 1 million people) in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu — the largest island of Japan.
The bombing of Tokyo and other cities in Japan during World War II caused widespread destruction and hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths. The population of Hiroshima before the bombing was around 340,000 to 350,000. About 70% of the city’s buildings were destroyed, and another 7% severely damaged. Hiroshima was rebuilt after the war, with help from the national government through the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law passed in 1949. Hiroshima was proclaimed a City of Peace by the Japanese parliament in 1949.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
In 1949, a design was selected for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It is dedicated to the legacy of Hiroshima as the first city in the world to suffered a nuclear attack and to the memories of the bomb’s direct and indirect victims (of whom there may have been as many as 140,000). Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, the closest surviving building to the location of the bomb’s detonation, was designated the Genbaku Dome or «Atomic Dome».
Also called the Carp Castle, was constructed in the 1590s but was destroyed by the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. It was rebuilt in 1958, a replica of the original that now serves as a museum of Hiroshima’s history before World War II.
Inside the keep is an informative museum on Hiroshima’s and the castle’s history and Japanese castles in general, while panoramic views of the surrounding city can be enjoyed from the top floor.
Itsukushima is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest of Hiroshima Bay. It is popularly known as Miyajima, which in Japanese means the Shrine Island. To get there from Hiroshima you can by train (30 min) plus by ferry (20 min).
It is most famous for its giant torii gate, which at high tide seems to float on the water. The sight is ranked as one of Japan’s three best views.
There are also wild deer on the island that has become accustomed to people. In the day the deer wander around the same sites as the tourists, and in the evening they sleep along the walking paths.