@88 days until Hiroshima Summit: Miyajima Hotel

by Tomohiro Nagai, Staff Writer

Miyajima Island once had a famous building, the Miyajima Hotel, designed by Jan Letzel, the Czech architect who designed the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, the present-day A-bomb Dome located in Naka Ward of Hiroshima. The Miyajima Hotel was intended for foreign guests and was completed in 1917.

The hotel stood near the present-day Miyajima Mori-no-Yado hotel. The main building of the Miyajima Hotel was a four-story wooden structure with an exterior design that combined Western and Japanese styles. Albert Einstein and Helen Keller stayed at the hotel. The hotel was open until 1944, when it became a recreation facility for occupation forces. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1952.

Yasuteru Miyazato, 89, who was born and raised on Miyajima Island, fondly remembers dressing up and having lunch at the hotel with his family when he was an elementary school student. He said, “It was a novel building in those days, so I felt it was special.”

(Originally published on February 20, 2023)