Going to Hiroshima: Japan’s Greatest Comeback Story

Hiroshima was one of the smallest venues for Global English Camp last year, but the city is by no means some boring backwater - it’s got okonomiyaki, beautiful parks, and the stunning Itsukushima shrine.

If you’re an intern this summer, you’ll want to read this. You might be teaching here, too!

If you’re not an intern, still keep reading! Don’t you want to learn more about Hiroshima?

Everybody loves to eat food, right? One of the dishes that Hiroshima is famous for is its take on okonomiyaki (a kind of savoury pancake with noodles, cabbage, egg, and sauce). There are plenty of places where you can tuck into a plate of this local speciality, but one of the most famous is Okonomimura, a building consisting of four stories of restaurants dedicated to making okonomiyaki. When the Hiroshima interns visited, the chefs made the dish on hot plates right in front of us. The process looked something like this:

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The Hiroshima of today is a modern, easy-going city so it was easy to forget its apocalyptic past. The Peace Memorial Park, however, provided a tranquil yet thought-provoking reminder of how far the city has come since it was destroyed 70 years ago. Visiting the gardens was very moving and the atmosphere was surreal and unforgettable. The park may not be the usual cheerful tourist destination you might expect, but it is definitely a place that any interns who are lucky enough to go to Hiroshima should visit.

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After the five days of Global English Camp held in Hiroshima, we took the chance to explore the nearby island of Itsukushima (also known as Miyajima) at the weekend. The trip was my favourite part of my time in and around Hiroshima as Itsukushima has boatloads things on offer - deer, a floating torii gate, and Mt. Misen (just to mention a few). The torii gate and shrine gave us a glimpse into Japan’s traditional culture, whilst Mt. Misen provided breathtaking views of Hiroshima Bay and the Seto Inland Sea.

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Hiroshima may not be as big as major venues like Osaka and Tokyo, yet the city has plenty of sights for interns to explore. There’s an added bonus to teaching at a small venue too: not only do you get to know your fellow interns much better, but your experience inside class is more personal and welcoming as you get to know all of the students at English Camp, not just those in your group.

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By Robbie

Robbie went to the University of Cambridge and did the 2018 Global English Camp program. They will be returning to 2019 Global English Camp program for their second year.

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