Your wanderlust is only going to intensify as the festive period draws near and you are not alone. We simply cannot wait to return to Hiroshima in Japan and it is all the more easier now.
SilkAir has recently launched its direct and non-stop service between Singapore and Hiroshima, giving us more reasons to hit up this new travel destination. Apart from having some of the most riveting scenery, its mild winters and late summers make Hiroshima an ideal destination for all.
Well, we managed to hop on SilkAir‘s inaugural flight to Hiroshima (on 30 October, 2017) recently and uncovered several hidden gems in the process. Here’s why you have to visit this new destination.
SilkAir makes it a joy to fly (directly) to Hiroshima
Forget about transit and flight connections. Now that SilkAir has opened up its route to Hiroshima in Japan, you can fly directly to this captivating city with ease. As the only full-service carrier to offer non-stop service between Singapore and Hiroshima, SilkAir certainly emerges as the top choice to fly with.
The flights to Hiroshima are scheduled to run three times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays with same-day return. As for the timings, the Hiroshima-bound flight departs from Singapore at 01:45 and arrives in Hiroshima at 09:30 in the morning.
On the other hand, the Singapore-bound flight departs from Hiroshima at 10:25 and arrives in Singapore at 15:40 in the afternoon. These flights (MI868 and MI867) are operated with their brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft delivered earlier in October.
As for business class travellers, you can now save on the time travelling and make the most out of your time at this picturesque destination. Recharge even better as you enjoy ample leg room and comfy plush seat that allows you to recline further than before.
When it comes to in-flight entertainment, you will be dazzled with the myriad of movie titles ranging from blockbuster to romance and comedy. Likewise, economy class travellers are also able to enjoy the same slew of entertainment via SilkAir Studio from their own devices.
Prior to entering the gate, business class travellers can also enjoy access to SilverKris Business Class Lounge while you wait for the gate to open. In essence, flying with SilkAir is truly made all the more comfortable, fuss-free and a joy.
Itsukushima Shrine and Michelin-starred food on Miyajima Island
When you are in Hiroshima, it is almost mandatory for you to make a day trip out to Miyajima Island – and it is with very good reason.
At the island, your peepers will be opened up to a whole new world filled with over 2000 deers roving around. You will also be sure to be held in rhapsody by the majestic view of the floating great Torii gate before the world-famous Itsukushima Shrine.
Travellers rejoice as there is no admission and the shrine is open daily so you can visit this world-renowned landmark anytime. Having said that, the best time to capture an unparalleled view of the floating Torii gate is at high tide, where the structure looks as though it is floating above the water surface.
Even on the island itself, foodies can expect to find a gastronomic experience at Fujitaya, especially with its signature – Conger Eel Rice. The restaurant was awarded one Michelin star back in 2013, and you can be sure it does not disappoint with succulent pieces of conger eel paired with divine-tasting rice.
In case you were wondering, one of the local specialty products is Momiji snacks, where ‘Momiji’ means ‘maple tree’ in English. It makes for an ideal souvenir to bring back home for your loved ones, and especially great-tasting when paired with a lightly flavoured tea.
Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki is the quintessential street eat
The quintessential quick-fix for street food you have always seen in Osaka is in fact not unique to the latter.In fact, the predecessor of the Osaka-style Okonomiyaki originates from Hiroshima. The next time you are in Hiroshima, you have to be sure to savour this lip-smacking treat.
This Japanese savoury pancake can be done in many ways but in Hiroshima, it usually entails a thinly spread layer of egg atop a generous portion of noodles. Besides that, the noodles can be cooked to your preference – whether you like it soft or hard.
Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was built nine years after the atomic bombing in Hiroshima in 1945. Till this date, the park pays tribute to the survivors of the bomb and serves as a vivid reminder of the anguish and agony following the use of nuclear weapons.
Inscribed as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996, the A-Bomb Dome was built in 1916 and designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel.
In fact, ‘Dome’ isn’t the official name of this building, it’s ‘Hiroshima Industrial Promotion Hall’. This brick building was used for various purposes – it served as a departmental store, art gallery and even museum.
While most of the walls were wrecked during the atomic bombing, the structure of the building was still intact. Besides, it was rather near to the epicentre of the blast so much so that the fact that the entire building did not collapse gave this dome much significance.
The Children’s Peace Monument essentially embodies a traditional Japanese belief that if one were to fold a thousand origami cranes, he or she would be able to recover.
The backstory involves the elementary school classmates of Sasaki Sadako, who was exposed to radiation from the age of two (after the bombings) and was diagnosed with leukemia. Based upon the traditional Japanese belief of folding cranes, she made more than 1, 300 in hopes that she would be able to survive her health battle.
They decided to build a statute for all the children who passed away due to atomic bombings, after her dying from the disease left them shell-shocked.
As for the Memorial Cenotaph, it represents an old clay house, which also registers the name of those who are victims of the atomic bombs. It is also inscribed with a poignant line that reads: “Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil.”
If you look closely, you will realise that the cenotaph and the A-Bomb Dome align nicely in an imaginary axis line. This is also an intriguing fact about the park that may be very conspicuous yet mind-blowing.
Situated next to the Peace Memorial Park, you will find Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum where one can delve deeper into the history of atomic bombings.
The museum also features interactive screens on the walls as well as on the ground, which tell a more detailed timeline regarding the bombings.
You can also expect to find items belonging to victims of the bombings on display in the museum. The exhibition is typically accompanied with an explanation on the backstory of a particular item, such as articles of burnt clothing or a timepiece that stopped at a specific timing.
Hiroshima Orizuru Tower
If you have a penchant for spell-binding views, HOT, or short for Hiroshima Orizuru Tower is just the place for you.
This tourist hotspot is easily one of the most well-designed observation deck, especially with its unique ‘slope’ structure. In fact, this structure enhances the entire viewing experience as it allows travellers to admire the views from several angles.
During cool seasons, you can even feel the gentle caress of the breeze on your face as the tower has an open concept.
Hiroshima Orizuru Tower
Classic Omakase-style dining at Mitakiso
Who doesn’t love a specially curated menu that comes replete with top picks by the chef? Besides, the only way to dine like a bona fide Japanese is through Omakase.
Well, you can expect more than an epicurean experience at Mitakiso as it has private dining rooms that are equally as well-decorated as its entire interior for a more intimate setting. There is even a room with French influences and some whimsical touches from all across the world, which simply elevates the entire dining experience.
The best way to end off an Omakase meal is on a sweet note and Mitakiso is well-acquainted with that as its sweet is just as delectable as the other courses.
Tranquility in the historical town of Takehara
Touted as ‘Little Kyoto’ in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan; Takehara emanates nothing short of rich heritage and culture. Aside from holding much the historical significance in Japanese history, you can also find one of the most ravishing views here.
The best landmark for you to get a panoramic view of the town has got to be the Saiboji Fumeikaku Temple. It boasts an unrivalled view of Takehara city set against the backdrop of towering mountains. It is undoubtedly a view avid Instagrammers would approve of.
Takehara certainly proves to be a departure from the busy city life many of us have become accustomed to.
In this tranquil town, you will truly be able to stop and smell the roses. While you are at it, remember to stop by and sample sake from famous old sake breweries in the historical Takehara town.
After a trip out to Takehara, you can easily make your way to Ōkunoshima Island, which is well-known as ‘Rabbit Island’. As its name suggests, you would be able to relish the nature with a bevy of wild rabbits living on the island. Talk about a rare-bit experience!
Apple-picking at Hirata Farm
Nature lovers won’t be able to resist the outback-like setting at Hirata Farm in Miyoshi, especially with such a picturesque view.
Relish the slow pace of life as you pick apples of premium quality. The best part? There is no limit as to how many you can bring home so long you can fit it within the bucket that is given to you. .
Nothing beats biting into some of the freshest-tasting apples right off the reel, after you picked it from the tree. There are several types of apples available at the farm, with the likes of Shinano Gold and Jona Gold.
After expending much energy searching for the best apples, the only way to reward yourself is with mouthwatering grills. There is simply no need to travel out for a meal as you can enjoy these sizzling grills at the farm.
Fresh oysters harvested right off the bat at Shimada Oyster Farm
It is certainly not everyday you get to catch the harvesting of fresh oysters in action. The experience of an oyster farm tour is truly unbeatable as chances to have such an opportunity are usually few and far between.
Through this novel experience, you would also learn that the harvest period for oysters is between October and June. It also means that this is currently the best season to tantalise your tastebuds with this seafood delight.
Oysters lovers can also relish an all-you-can-eat oyster buffet, for only 2300 yen at the oyster hut. This comes across as extremely affordable for the size of the oysters and given that they are literally fresh off the boat.
Find out more about Shimada Oyster Farm here.
The next time you are planning for an overseas trip out from Singapore, the WiFi routers from Changi Recommends are truly your best bet to seamless connection the go. Not only is the router highly portable, its battery life is pretty long-lasting too.
After seeing so much, we bet the smorgasbord of sightseeing, eating and doing is setting your wanderlust alight. Well, one way to ease the urge is to fly to Hiroshima and you can be sure of the joy in flying with SilkAir.
Find out more about SilkAir flights to Hiroshima here.
For a more recent travel guide on travelling to Hiroshima as the first stop in the Setouchi region, click here.