Midterms aren’t east for anyone, in any country. Late October for college students can be a trying time, but lucky for IES Abroad Tokyo students, there was a light at the end of the tunnel: 4 days off of classes. Time off classes for study abroad students means that we get to travel without worrying about classes and getting homework done, which is all an international student can ask for. Some of my classmates used this time to go to some of their bucketlist destinations: Thailand, South Korea, Osaka, Sapporo, etc. For this break I chose to attend the IES Abroad sponsored trip to Hiroshima, and I’m so glad that I did.
On the first day of the trip, we spent most of our day traveling from Tokyo to Hiroshima on the shinkansen. When we arrived in Hiroshima, we went to the Peace Memorial Park. The park is dedicated go the victims of the Atomic bomb attack in 1945.
On the second day of the trip, we drove west of Hiroshima to Ikujima island to see Kosan-ji temple. It was built in 1936 by Koso Kosanji to honor his late mother, and is one of the coolest temples I’ve ever seen.
Next to the main hall of the temple, as a man-made cave filled with hundreds of Buddha statues and carvings. They say that if you find one that you have a spiritual connection with, you should leave them a coin for good luck.
On the hill above the temple is Miraishin no Oka, meaning hill of hope. It is made entirely out of white marble.
That day we also went to Senkoji park, which has amazing views.
We spent the third day of the trip on Miyajima island. For me, the best part of Miyajima were the deer that roam around the island.
As if cute deer weren’t enough, there’s also a Shiba Inu café.
The island is also home to Itsukushima shrine, which is specifically known for its ‘floating’ Tori Gate.
On the last day of the trip, we had a few hours of free time before we were supposed to leave for Tokyo. I decided to go Hiroshima castle, and the views did not disappoint.
For any IES Abroad students wondering if they should go on the IES Abroad planned fieldtrips, I say go for it. The staff truly know the best places to go and the greatest things to see.