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Looking for a trip destination for your next holiday? Wanting to explore different parts of Japan? How about visiting Hiroshima? Hiroshima is a very attractive prefecture for exploration. Worry not, we will give you five recommendations for things to do in Hiroshima!
Things to Do in Hiroshima and How to Get There
Hiroshima-ken (広島県, Hiroshima prefecture) is located in the Chugoku region along the Seto Inland Sea. The capital city of this prefecture, Hiroshima (広島市, Hiroshima-shi) is the biggest city in the region with a lot of different attractions–from important historical landmarks to various delicious foods, all waiting to satisfy any visitors.
In order to reach Hiroshima from Tokyo, you have several options according to your budget and available time.
You can use the shinkansen (bullet train) as Tokyo and Hiroshima are connected by JR Tokaido/Sanyo shinkansen. There are three types of shinkansen that you can choose: The Nozomi line which is direct and takes 4 hours to reach Hiroshima, or the Hikari and Sakura trains that take around 5 hours with a transfer at Shin-Osaka Station. You can use the Japan Rail Pass for Hikari and Sakura trains.
Another alternative mode of transportation for reaching Hiroshima is going by plane. Compared to the shinkansen, planes are relatively cheap and a lot faster. The flight from Tokyo to Hiroshima takes around 90 minutes.
If you prefer to go using the bus, there are multiple options of fares that you can choose from. You can take the morning bus or overnight bus–we recommend you consider taking the overnight bus so that you can rest and be ready to explore the city in the morning! While it depends on how many stops the bus takes, you will reach Hiroshima from Tokyo in around 10-12 hours.
Another alternative that might not be as popular a choice is to take the local trains. You can get the Seishun 18 Ticket for ¥12,050. You can use the pass for five days, which includes unlimited trips using local trains. Although it will take a long time to reach Hiroshima, you can explore other areas along the way.
Look Back to the Past at the Hiroshima Dome
If you are familiar with Japanese and World History in general, you are probably familiar with the history of World War II that lies behind today’s beautiful Hiroshima. You can catch a glimpse of it by looking at the ruins of the Hiroshima Dome that successfully survived the atomic bomb attack.
If you are not familiar with what happened, you can also visit the Hiroshima Victims Memorial Cenotaph (広島平和都市記念碑) and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (広島平和記念資料館) where you can learn more about it. You can reach these historical places using the Hiroshima Electric Line trams from Hiroshima Station and Hiroshima Airport Airport Bus Station and get off at the Genbaku-Dome Mae (原爆ドーム前) Tram stop.
Try Out Hiroshima Okonomiyaki
In terms of food, Hiroshima is famous for its okonomiyaki, a type of Japanese pancake. What differentiates Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki from Osaka-style okonomiyaki is how the ingredients are gradually layered on top of one another with a layer of fried noodle inside. Many love Hiroshima okonomiyaki because of its delicious taste that will make you pleasantly full!
While you can pretty much find Okonomiyaki anywhere in the prefecture, try visiting the Okonomimura (お好み村) where you can find close to 30 okonomiyaki restaurants in one building. You can step up your okonomiyaki adventure with the many different kinds of ingredients available!
Marvel at the Itsukushima Shrine Complex
Itsukushima Shrine Complex (嚴島神社) is a World Heritage Site in Hiroshima that you definitely need to visit! Literally meaning “the island of worship”, this temple looks like it is floating just off of the Seto Inland Sea. Originally built in 593CE by Saeki no Kuramoto and later developed by Taira no Kiyomori, the temple itself is a symbol of the Japanese architectural artistry with the sea, mountains, and the temple itself becoming one perfect picture.
You can start your exploration from the Marodo Shrine which is dedicated to male deities, before going to the Main Shrine dedicated to female deities, and marvel at the beauty of the famous O-Torii Gate. Fun fact, you can walk up and see the O-Torii Gate up-close when at low tide! To reach this complex, you need to take a ferry from Miyajima-guchi Pier to the Miyajima Pier.
Explore Miyajima Machiya Street
When you visit Miyajima Island, you should not miss out on Miyajima Machiya Street (町家通り). Located behind Miyajima Omotesando Street, you can experience the retro feeling of Miyajima Island. Machiya means “townhouse” and you can visit many retro-modern cafes, restaurants, and accommodations. Just like any old street in other parts of Japan, you can do sightseeing on a rickshaw. At night, you can stroll down the street which is lit up with beautiful light lanterns. Definitely a sight you shouldn’t miss out on!
Taste the Delicious Hiroshima Oyster
Did you know that Hiroshima is also famous for its oysters? In fact, oysters have been farmed for more than 400 years and 60% of nation-wide oyster production comes from Hiroshima. It is very common to see yakigaki (fried oysters) or grilled oysters in delicious garlic butter and soy sauce being sold around the prefecture. Any seafood lover definitely should try this dish! In some stalls, they also sell ramune, a unique Japanese soda drink, which you should definitely try if you haven’t already.
Your Favorite Things to Do in Hiroshima!
Exploring different prefectures and areas of Japan is a great way to spend your upcoming holiday and Hiroshima is a great place to go. There is so much more to discover from Hiroshima, from history to delicious local delicacies.
Which of these five things to do in Hiroshima excites you the most?
Nadira Anamika Utari
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