Top Museums to Visit in Hiroshima

ByJustin Hanus
May 19, 2023

Top Museums to Visit in Hiroshima

As a place with a significant history, it should be no surprise that Hiroshima has many fascinating museums. In addition to learning about different historical periods, you’ll enjoy artwork, see vehicles from around the world, and much more. Some museums, in particular, stand out as the best.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Not just a top museum in Hiroshima but one of the most popular sites overall is the Peace Memorial Museum, which commemorates victims of the atomic bomb. It’s located in central Hiroshima within the Peace Memorial Park, where you can walk around and reflect after your visit. The exhibits feature personal items of the victims, testimonies from survivors, and photographs of the destruction. There is also information about the dangers of nuclear weapons and how to ensure another nuclear attack never happens.

Fukuromachi Elementary School Peace Museum

A related museum is at the Fukuromachi Elementary School. The peace museum here was established because the school was one of the nearest to ground zero. Although the blast damaged it, it did remain standing to some extent, leading it to become a temporary medical center and a place where survivors could leave notes to search for missing loved ones.

Hiroshima City Museum of History and Traditional Crafts

For a broader look at the history of Hiroshima, visit the Hiroshima City Museum of History and Traditional Crafts. As the name suggests, it’s all about local industries, which, over the years, have included boat building, production of Geta (a type of footwear), and farming rice, laver, oysters, and hemp. The museum is housed in a facility that dates back to 1911 and was initially used to store food for the imperial army.

Hiroshima Museum of Art

Located in the heart of the city is the Hiroshima Museum of Art. The collection consists of Japanese paintings (Nihonga and Western-style Japanese art) and Western artwork (romanticist, impressionist, post-impressionist, neo-impressionist, and Fauvist styles). In addition to the art, the museum is worth visiting for the building itself, which is based on the Atomic Bomb Dome with corridors modeled on the Itsukushima Shrine. It also has a garden featuring horse chestnut trees donated by Claude Picasso for the museum’s opening in 1980.

Numaji Transportation Museum

If vehicles are your thing, you should visit Numaji Transportation Museum. It has planes, trains, automobiles, boats, streetcars, and more. There are also collections of transportation-related memorabilia and information about vehicles of the world. Finally, the museum offers visitors the chance to ride in some vehicles: there’s an outdoor track for “wacky bikes” and electric go-karts.

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kure Museum

You’ll find Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kure Museum in the city of Kure in Hiroshima prefecture. It is also called Iron Whale Museum after its main exhibit: a decommissioned submarine. Other exhibits focus on submarine defense operations (including minesweeping), aircraft, surface vessels, and torpedoes.

Since most of Hiroshima was destroyed by the atomic bomb, museums are one of the best ways to experience the city. No matter how long you’ll be in Hiroshima, visit at least a few.

そらみみ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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