Situated right next to the world famous Peace Park, Mazda Towers recently opened up Orizuru Tower, the newest attraction to Hiroshima. While the majority of the building’s twelve floors are office spaces, the first and top two floors are geared for tourists. A new way to view Hiroshima, the Peace Park, and A-Bomb Dome, Orizuru Tower is a must-see destination.
Visitors can shop for Hiroshima-themed souvenirs and handmade goods as well as relax and dine in the open space and hiply furnished Akushu Cafe on the first floor. Here you can also buy tickets to go to the building’s main attraction, the 13th floor tower. The base entrance is a bit high at ¥1700 and may cause some to pass on entering, but the observation deck is undoubtedly worth the price. Wooden panels flank the space from top to bottom, and various pillars support the otherwise open deck. The entrance of the deck is flanked on either side by stairs allowing visitors enjoy the view while drinking or eating snacks from the cafe inside. Those hoping for a quality Instagram photo-op need not hesitate in asking a worker dressed in uniform to take their picture. The guides can also point out various points of interest visible from the 13th floor. On a clear day, it is possible to see various landmarks of Hiroshima such as the mountains of Miyajima as well as Hiroshima Castle.
The floor below acts as half museum and half interactive space. Activities on the 12th floor include landscape video of the development and changes of Hiroshima (from the nuclear bombing two even a prediction in the near future) to more spots to look out onto the town. However, the floors main attraction is the Orizuru Origami Throw-in. Either bought in addition to the ticket for ¥500 on the 1st floor or for ¥600 on the 12th floor, visitors are given packets of paper to make their own origami cranes with video and CGI animation demonstrations. Once folded, the brave can head out onto the plexiglass floor and throw in their cranes to add to the thousands accruing along the bottom of the building. A symbol of peace, the wall’s collection of paper cranes can be seen from the street below.
After checking out other interactive installations throughout the floor, be sure to return to the entrance via the open walkway offering more views of the city as you go down. For the young at heart, skip walking and take the slides that stop at every floor to make your descent. A highly interactive and relaxing experience, add Orizuru Tower and it’s observation deck to your list of destinations while in Hiroshima.