One of the newest – and most innovative – additions to Hiroshima’s skyline is the Orizuru Tower, which takes up a prime corner overlooking the Peace Memorial Park and The Atomic Bomb Dome.
Its Hiroshima Hills observatory is open to the elements, and offers views of the surrounding mountains and even as far as Mount Misen on Miyajima. The ideal venue for corporate venues is also stylishly designed in wood, with pillars reminiscent of a traditional temple and perched 13 floors above the city.
The Orizuru Tower has a cafe, souvenir shop and information counter on the ground floor, with a spiral slope to the rear of the building that leads all the way to the 13th floor. For anyone not up to the stroll, elevators will whisk you there far faster.
The 12th floor is given over to Orizuru Square, a cleverly designed open space that can be customised to a user’s needs and has interactive screens, seating areas, tables and spectacular views on three sides, including over the city’s most famous sights.
Visitors are also taught how to fold the origami paper cranes that have become a potent symbol of this city’s suffering, and to make a wish as they drop them into a glass chute on the exterior of the building where they are gradually collecting, in their thousands.
But it is the 13th floor that is the crowning glory of this venue. With a cafe and space to prepare a buffet line at the rear, the area has been cleverly designed to be flexible to a user’s needs yet remain impressive to the eye. The wooden floor slopes away to the outer edges, which are open apart from netting, allowing the wind to blow through the space; perfect on a hot summer’s evening.