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Approximately 7¾ Hours
Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)
"The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) was the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945. Not only is it a stark and powerful symbol of the most destructive force ever created by humankind; it also expresses the hope for world peace and the ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons."
Head to Hiroshima's train station and take the high-speed Kodama bullet train to Shin-Iwakuni station (20 minutes). Here you will transfer to a motor coach and drive to the Kintai Bridge, which spans the Nishiki River. One of Japan's three great bridges, this one features a famous design of five wooden arches. It measures more than 700 feet in length, which is quite a feat given that it was first constructed in 1673. It was rebuilt in 1953 after a typhoon destroyed the original.
Walk to Kikko Park on the other side -- former home of feudal lord Daimyo Kikkawa -- and see the traditional residences built by the Samurai class. The estate is in a lush setting with a fountain, trees and flower gardens in which to stroll. It also features a sanctuary for white snakes -- a good luck symbol.
Continue to a local restaurant for a Japanese-style lunch.
Afterwards, visit Peace Memorial Park and tour the Peace Memorial Museum. See exhibits, videos and items that survived the bombing. Learn about the scope of destruction and extent of the bombing zone, and note the haunting images of shadows etched into buildings and sidewalks. A photo stop at the Atomic Bomb Dome shows you what remains of the Industry Promotion Hall and the skeletal ruins that once supported its copper dome, vaporized in the atomic blast. View the gutted walls -- a powerful image and memorial of the bomb's destruction force. Watch for Hiroshima Castle. The 16th-century original was destroyed in the atomic blast, but a replica now houses a museum on pre-war Japan. Snap a shot of the castle as you relax on the ride back to the ship.