20 Things To Do in Hiroshima

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Source: Freedom II Andres

Hiroshima is maybe the city with the most historical value in Japan. The regretful atomic bombing attracts many tourists that want to learn more about what happened. The city also has a variety of other attractions, like beautiful nature and delicious cuisine. Check out this list of 20 things to do in Hiroshima!

1. Visit the Peace Park

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Source: Martin Abbeglen

The Peace Park in Hiroshima was created in the memory of the atomic bomb victims and also to remind people about the horrors of the bomb. The park was created on an open space left by the explosion and houses a number of monuments such as the Peace Flame, the Memorial Cenotaph, the Memorial Mound, and the Peace Bells. There is also a museum where visitors can see artifacts that were left after the explosion and learn more about what happened during those terrible days.

Information

  • Price: 50 yen
  • Access: a short walk from the Genbaku-Domu Mae Station (take trams 2 or 6 from Hiroshima train station)
  • Opening hour: 08:30
  • Closing hour:  18:00
  • Holiday:  December 29 to January 1
  • Website (Englis): http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/index_e2.html

2. Visit Shukkei-en

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Source: Rog01

Shukkei-en is a traditional Japanese garden located in Hiroshima. Its name means “shrunken scenery” and it was given because the garden features several types of landscapes in miniature, like forests, mountains and valleys. Designed by a garden specialist from Kyoto, Shukkei-en is centered around a big pond which is surrounded by a number of teahouses. Being close to ground zero, the garden was almost fully destroyed after the bomb, but was reconstructed afterwards.

Information

  • Price: 260 yen
  • Access: a 15 minute walk from Hiroshima Station
  • Opening hour: 09:00
  • Closing hour:  18:00
  • Holiday:  December 29 to 31
  • Website (Japanese): http://shukkeien.jp/

3. Go shopping

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Source: Guwashi999

Hiroshima has a number of malls and shopping districts packed with stores selling clothes, shoes, souvenirs, toys, accessories, cosmetics and electronics. Some good places to shop are: AQ’A Hiroshima Center, Fuji Grand Hiroshima, Pacela, Sunmall, YouMe Town Hiroshima, Alpark, Hiroshima Shinkansen Meitengai and Hiroshima Hon Dori Shotengai. The shopping areas also have several restaurans, cafes and game centers where visitors can unwind after going around the stores.

4. Visit Hiroshima Castle

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Source: Red Skelington

The original castle was lost after the bombing, but was rebuilt following the original design in the years after. The current building offers panoramic views of the city and serves as a museum of the city’s history. It is considered a national treasure. Its exterior is dark, covered in wood, which makes a beautiful contrast with the surroundings. The castle’s grounds also houses a bunker where the first radio broadcast after the bombing was made from.

Information

  • Price: 370 yen
  • Access: a 10 minute walk from Kamiyacho-nishi or Kamiyacho-higashi trams stations (take trams  1, 2 or 6 from Hiroshima train station)
  • Opening hour: 09:0 0
  • Closing hour: 18:00
  • Holiday: December 29 to 31
  • Pamphlet  (English): http://www.rijo-castle.jp/rijo/pdf/english.pdf

5.  Try local delicacies

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Source: Hunter Nield

The nearby Seto Inland Sea is full of different kinds of delicious seafood such as eel, squid, oysters, scallops, prawn and various kinds of fishes. Other local dishes include: Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, which is a meat and vegetables pancake served with a special sauce, tsukemen, boiled cold noodles topped with vegetables and ramen, which refers to wheat noodles served in a soup with different toppings.

6. Visit Miyajima

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Source: Joe deSousa

Miyajima is a small island near Hiroshima that has several popular attractions. Visitors can walk on beautiful wooded trails, enjoy the view from Mount Misen, which is accessible by cablecar and has a large population of monkeys, look at different kinds of sea creatures at the Miyajima Aquarium or visit the Itsukushima shrine which houses the famous torii gate that appears to be floating on water. Miyajima can be reached easily by ferry from the main island.

7. Visit Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine

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Source: Kumiko

Even though the shrine was greatly damaged after the bombing, one of its torii gates and some lanterns remained intact. This was a great help to the people back then, being one of the few elements that helped them navigate the ruined city. The torii gate and the lanterns are still there today, a reminder of the horrible events that took place in Hiroshima.

Information

  • Price: free
  • Access: a 5 minute walk from Johoku Station
  • Opening hour: 9:30
  • Closing hour:  16:30
  • Holiday: none
  • Website (Japanese): http://www.h-gokoku.or.jp/

8. Ride the Hiroden

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Source: kmf164

“Hiroden” is the short word for the Hiroshima Electric Railway company which runs streetcars among the city. The company owns various colorful trams manufactured across Japan and Europe, as well as trams that were used before the atomic bomb and survived the disaster, being still in use even today. Riding the Hiroden is a good way to explore the city from the comfort of the seats.

9. Visit the Mazda Museum

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Source: Wikimedia

The Mazda Motor Corporation was first founded in Japan in the Hiroshima city and the factory is still in use today. A part of the factory and a special museum are open to visitors and showcases how cars are actually produced. The tours last 90 minutes and end at the museum’s shop, where Mazda related goods are sold. To participate in a tour, a reservation must be made beforehand by telephone or e-mail.

Information

  • Price: free
  • Access: a 5 minute walk from Mukainada Station
  • The english tour starts at 10:00
  • Website (English): http://www.mazda.com/en/about/museum/

10. Ride a ferry

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Source: tsuda

Hiroshima is a port city, which means there are several ferries connecting it with the nearby towns. Besides the short ride to Miyajima Island, visitors can also the 3 hour ride to Matsuyama which is located on Shikoku. The ferries pass by many small islands and the views are astonishing. Each ferry has a cabin with seats and big windows, but people also have the option of staying outside to enjoy the breeze.

11. Visit the Asa Zoological Park

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Source:  Spiegel

The Asa Zoological Park has spacious grounds where a variety of animals can be observed: bears, monkeys, crocodiles, lions, lesser pandas, giraffes, elephants, etc. The park is working on several facilities to improve the visitors’ experience, such as the “Leo Glass”, which allows people to see the lions through transparent glass. There is also a special part of the park named “Pichiku” where visitors can interact with animals such as goats or guinea pigs.

Information

  • Price: 510 yen
  • Access: just outside Asa Dobutsuen-mae bus stop ( take a bus bound for Asahigaoka from Hiroshima train station)
  • Opening hour: 09:00
  • Closing hour: 16:00
  • Holiday: Thursdays
  • Website (Japanese): http://www.asazoo.jp/

12. Stroll along the Ota river

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Source:  Stripy T-shirt

The Ota River is Hiroshima’s biggest river that crosses the city and flows into the Seto Inland Sea. The river can be enjoyed from a number of parks like the Peace Park,  Oshiba Park and Hiroshima Castle’s Park or simply from the streets that go along it. The large river gives off a very peaceful atmosphere and is perfect for a quiet afternoon walk.

13. Hunt for local souvenirs

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Source: w00kie

The region has many interesting souvenirs, from food like the Nagsakido buttercake, Hiroshima style okonomiyaki senbei and momiji manju to the special high quality brushes made in Kumano. The brushes can be used for calligraphy, painting and make up. There are also many souvenirs related to the atomic bomb, some that are claimed to be remains from the bombing time. Whether it is true or not, we cannot know, but buying something from the city makes a good memory.

14. Visit Iwakuni

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Source: redlegsfan21

Iwakuni is a small city near Hiroshima that is well known for Kintai-kyo, a bridge with a unique structure. The city becomes a popular tourist destination in spring, when the area is filled with pink cherry blossoms. Another attraction is the Iwakuni Castle, which offers nice views of the city thanks to his location on the top of Mount Shiroyama. The castle displays various artifacts related to the area’s history.

15. Go on a guided tour

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Source: xiquinhosilva

Visitors can go on private tours with a local guide. The tours can last from a few hours to a full day and can include visiting a standard itinerary decided by the guide as well as a personalized itinerary requested by the tourist. Going on a tour with a guide will help visitors see hidden interesting areas outside the popular areas and also broaden their knowledge about the city’s history.

Information

  • Website (English): https://www.toursbylocals.com/Hiroshima-Tours

16. Visit Onomichi

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Source: Charlie Marshall

Onomichi is a small port town close to Hiroshima spread across a number of hills, which makes it even more attractive. It houses a lot of temples and visiting all of them is called “Onimichi temple walk”. Besides the temple walk, visitors can enjoy the Shimanami Kaido, a 60 km cycling route that connects Honshu to Shikoku and passes through several small islands. The views from the route are extremely picturesque.

17. Attend a festival

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Source: The Local People Photo

Hiroshima has many interesting festivals that visitors can enjoy, such as the Oyster Festival, a celebration for the city’s staple food, Hana no Mawari-Michi, an event during which people admire cherry blossom flowers, Daimonji Festival, during which a bonfire in the shape of the “dai” kanji character is lit and Toukasan Festival, an event which marks the beginning of summer.

18. Visit the Hiroshima Museum of Art

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Source: Rog01

The Hiroshima Museum of Art displays a number of pieces belonging to various categories: romanticism, impressionism, neo-Impressionism, post-impressionism, and fauvism as well as paintings by Picasso and modern Japanese paintings influenced by the western art. The museum is not interesting only to art lovers. It will help any visitor broaden his knowledge and is a good way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Information

  • Price: 1000 yen
  • Access:  a 10 minute walk from Kamiyacho-nishi or Kamiyacho-higashi trams stations (take trams  1, 2 or 6 from Hiroshima train station)
  • Opening hour: 09:00
  • Closing hour: 17:00
  • Holiday: Mondays and from December 29 to January 2
  • Website (English): http://www.hiroshima-museum.jp/en/

19. Go on a bike ride

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Source: redlegsfan21

Bicycles can be rented at various places around the city, like hotels or special renting centers. Exploring Hiroshima on a bicycle is much better than taking the train because one can find a lot of interesting places that otherwise would remain unseen. Besides cycling through the city, visitors can enjoy the Shimanami Kaido cycling route that starts from Onomichi.

Information

  • Website (English): http://docomo-cycle.jp/hiroshima/en/

20. Visit Mitakidera Temple

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Source: Wikimedia

Mitakidera Temple is a less known spot in Hiroshima, but nevertheless beautiful. Located in a forested valley on Mount Mitaki, the temple has a peaceful atmosphere around it, being the perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon. The hiking trail that goes to the establishment is easy to walk, being accessible all year long.  There is also a small teahouse on the temple grounds where Japanese meals and desserts are served.

Information

  • Price: free
  • Access: a 20 minute walk from Mitaki Station
  • Opening hour: 08:00
  • Closing hour:  17:30
  • Holiday: none

We hope you enjoy Hiroshima and its beautiful attractions!

Have a good trip and travel!

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Chugoku Region, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan