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Getting There

By Plane -- Flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport to Hiroshima take about 1 1/2 hours and cost ¥30,900 on JAL, though advance purchase fares can be as low as ¥14,100. Hiroshima Airport (HIJ; tel. 0848/86-8151; www.hij.airport.jp/english) is also served by flights from Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei. Limousine Buses connect the airport with Hiroshima Station's Shinkansen (north) exit in 48 minutes, costing ¥1,300 one-way.

By Train -- Hiroshima is about 6 hours from Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train (you have to change trains in Okayama or Shin-Osaka if you have a Japan Rail Pass, because only the Nozomi, which is not covered by the pass, covers the entire distance in 4 hr.), 3 hours from Kyoto, and 1 hour and 10 minutes from Hakata Station on Kyushu. The fare from Tokyo is ¥17,540 for an unreserved seat; ¥10,280 from Kyoto.

By Bus -- Buses depart from Tokyo Station every night at 8 and 9pm, both reaching Hiroshima Station at 8am the next morning. The one-way fare is ¥12,060. From Osaka, buses depart six times a day, taking 5 hours to reach Hiroshima and costing ¥5,000.

By Boat -- You can also reach Hiroshima by high-speed boat from Matsuyama on Shikoku in 1 hour and 10 minutes for ¥6,900, but slower ferries, which cover the distance in 2 hours and 30 minutes, are cheaper (¥3,500) and provide better views of the Seto Inland Sea. Hiroshima Port, in Ujina, is connected to Hiroshima Station by streetcar in 43 minutes.

Visitor Information

Before leaving Tokyo or the Narita or Kansai airports, pick up a copy of the leaflet "Hiroshima and Miyajima," at the Tourist Information Center. (You can also download it from the Japan National Tourist Organization's website at www.jnto.go.jp by looking under "Browse by Destinations.")

In Hiroshima, you'll find two local tourist offices at Hiroshima Station. One, at the north exit where Shinkansen bullet trains arrive, is open daily from 9am to 12:30pm and 1:30 to 5:30pm. The main tourist office (tel. 082/261-1877), at the station's south exit, is open daily April through September from 9:30am to 6pm (until 7pm Aug) and October through March from 8:30am to 5pm. A third tourist office is located in the center of Peace Memorial Park in the Rest House (tel. 082/247-6738; daily 9:30am-6pm Apr-Sept, 8:30am-5pm Oct-Mar). All three facilities have English-language brochures of Hiroshima and Miyajima with maps. Online information on Hiroshima is available at www.hcvb.city.hiroshima.jp.

Internet Access -- Media Café Popeye, located in the Hondori covered shopping arcade (tel. 082/545-0369) above a shop called Beams, is open 24 hours and charges ¥250 for the first 30 minutes, and then ¥60 for each subsequent 10 minutes.

Mail -- Hiroshima's main post office, 2-62 Matsubara-cho (tel. 082/261-6401), is located to the right after exiting from Hiroshima Station's south side. Its ATM services are available Monday to Saturday 12:05am to 11:55pm and Sunday 12:05am to 8pm.

Orientation & Getting Around

One legacy of Hiroshima's total destruction was its rebirth into one of Japan's most navigable cities, with wide, open boulevards instead of the usual cramped streets. Hiroshima's main attractions, including Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Castle, Shukkei-en Garden, Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum, and Hiroshima Museum of Art, lie to the west and southwest of Hiroshima Station. The most convenient mode of transportation in the city is streetcar, which costs only ¥150 one-way; children pay half fare. If you need to transfer to another line, ask the driver for a norikae (transfer) card, which you then pass through the card machine upon alighting from the first streetcar and again when boarding the second streetcar. When you arrive at your destination, return the card to the streetcar driver. A 1-day pass, which you can buy from the conductor, costs ¥600. Be sure to pick up a streetcar map from the tourist office.

It's probably easiest to make the circuit to Hiroshima's centrally located attractions on foot. From Hiroshima Station, you can walk to Shukkei-en Garden and the Prefectural Art Museum in about 15 minutes, from which it's another 10-minute walk to Hiroshima Castle. You can walk onward to Peace Memorial Park in about 15 minutes, passing the Hiroshima Museum of Art and the A-Bomb Dome on the way. Just east of Peace Park is the Hondori covered shopping arcade and its neighboring streets, considered the heart of the city with its many department stores, shops, and restaurants.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.