#1. Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1996. According to the records, this shrine was first built in the late sixth century, then modified to the current Shinden style in 1168 by Taira no Kiyomori, who was a warload in the late Heian Period and he worshiped this shrine. The Great Torii gate, also known as “floating gate”, is located 100 meters offshore so looks like it is floating. This vermilion-lacquered Torii gate will give you a surreal feelings especially with the contrast of the blue sea and sunlight. You can walk to this Torii during low tide, and at high tide, the main shrine building and other structures also float because it appears as if they are covered by water.
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Address: 1-1 Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima
Access: From Miyajimaguchi Station using JR or Hiroden Line (streetcar), take ferry from Miyajima Port to Miyajima Island
Website: Itsukushima Shrine
#2. Atomic Bomb Dome
The Atomic Bomb Dome was constructed in 1915 as a center to promote local industry. In 1945, the first atomic bomb in the world was dropped and exploded just 160 meter a way from spot. The atomic blast and heat damaged the building and killed all the people inside. Because of the shape of the remains, local residents started to call this building “Atomic Bomb Dome”. The Hiroshima City Council decided to preserve this historic site in 1996, it is registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site, as so-called “negative legacy” continues to remind us about the importance of peace.
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Atomic Bomb Dome
Address: 1-10 Ote-machi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima Prefecture
Access: 2 minute walk from Genbaku-Dome Mae Station
Website: Atomic Bomb Dome (Japanese)
#3. Hiroshima Castle
Hiroshima Castle is a flat style castle that was constructed in 1589 by Mouri Terumoto, who was the one of five senior ministers (Gotairo) of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. This castle tower was designated as a National Treasure in 1931, but it was destroyed by atomic bomb in 1945. In 1958, the exterior of the castle was reconstructed with reinforced concrete, and in 1994 the gates and Yagura towers were reconstructed with materials and techniques that were used to build the original castle.
[map lat=”34.401501″ lng=”132.459605″][/map]
Address: 21-1 Motomachi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Access: 12 minute walk from Kencho-Mae Station
Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
370 yen (Adult)
180 yen (Student)
Website: Hiroshima Castle
#4. Shukkeien Garden
Shukkeien Garden is one of the national Sites of Scenic Beauty, the garden was designated in 1940. This garden was constructed as a villa for the Asano clan, a feudal lord of Hiroshima, and designed by Shigeyasu Ueda, who was a chief retainer of the Asano clan, also a master of tea ceremony. Shukkeien means “contracted scenery garden” which is said to have been modeled after Xi Hu (West Lake) in China. As the name indicates, you can enjoy a beautiful scenery during every season.
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Address: 2-11 Kaminobori-cho, Naka Ward, Hiroshima
Access: 15 minute walk from Hiroshima Station
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
250 yen (Adult)
150 yen (Student)
100 yen (Child)
Website: Shukkeien Garden (Japanese)
In Hiroshima, streetcars have been a very common type of transportation for over 100 years, it is also a useful and reasonable form of transportation for tourists too! Local people call this streetcar Hiroden, short for Hiroshima Dentetsu which is a name of the company operating it. It is only 160 yen per ride, and about 260 yen to Miyajimaguchi for Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima city. You pay when you get off the car.
Tomonoura is a port town located on the Numakuma Peninsula, Fukuyama city. During the Edo period, it was called Shiomachi no Minato meaning the por awaiting a favorable tide. Because of the beautiful scenery, Tomonoura is often used for movies. It became a model for Studio Ghibli’s animated film Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea and also the Hollywood movie Wolverine was filmed here.
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Address: Tomochotomo, Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture
Access: 40 minutes by car from Matsunaga Station
Website: Tomonoura (Japanese)
Hiroshima-yaki is Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake), but if you are in Hiroshima, everyone just calls it Okonomiyaki. Regular Okonomiyaki (usually refering to Kansai style Okonomiyaki) and Hiroshima-yaki look similar, but different ingredients are used and the cooking method is a little different. For Okonomiyaki all of the ingredients are mixed together in a batter, each ingredient is cooked separately and added into layers for Hiroshima-yaki. Also Hiroshima-yaki usually has noodles and about three times more cabbage than Okonomiyaki. Hiroshima-yaki can be found easily at restaurants and street vendors.
#8. Fruit Picking
With its unique geographic condition, Hiroshima is famous for the cultivation of fruit. Many local farms offer fruit picking to visitors to enjoy seasonal fresh fruits. Sera Kosui Farm has a very large piece of land to cultivate fruit, which is about 13 times larger than the Tokyo Dome. Sera Kosui Farm grows Japanese pears, grapes, strawberries, peaches, and apples. Depending on the season, you can pick Japanese pears, grapes, and strawberries.
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Sera Kosui Farm
Address: 365-20 Hongo, Sera-machi, Sera-gun, Hiroshima
Access: 20 minutes by car from Bingo-Mikawa Station
Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Website: Sera Kosui Noen (Japanese)
Dreamination is an annual winter illumination in Hiroshima along Heiwa Street. This winter illumination is usually from November to January. The illumination features local landmarks illuminated in the night. The illumination uses about 1.4 million colorful lights and it is usually from 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM.
#10. Onsen (Hot Spring)
After exploring Hiroshima, you may want to soak your body in a hot spring. There are many hot spring resorts in Hiroshima, so it might be best to find a conveniently located resort.
Miyahama Onsen is located just across from Miyajima, so its an ideal place to stop by or stay after exploring Miyajima. There is a relatively small hot spring village with four hotels and a few spas. After the hot spring, you can enjoy fresh and seasonal seafood for dinner.
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Address: 2-2-1 Miyahamaonsen, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture
Access: 5 minutes by car from Ono-Ura Station
Hours: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Website: Miyahama Onsen (Japanese)
Yuki Onsen was discovered 1,500 years ago. Since the water contains high level of sulfur, it is said to be effective for neuralgia, muscle ache, joint pain, stiff shoulder, female ailments and so on. There are four hotels with hot springs located along mountain streams, you can enjoy the splendid view while relaxing in a Japanese style hotel.
[map lat=”34.4733323″ lng=”132.2395169″][/map]
Address: 2563-1 Yukimachi Daiji Oota, Saeki Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture
Access: 50 minutes by car from Itsukaichi Station
Website: Yuki Onsen (Japanese)
#11. Autumn Leaves
Autumn in Japan, the mountains and trees change colors while everything turns red and yellow. There are many popular spots to enjoy the autumn leaves in Hiroshima. Tsutsuga no Oicho at Otoshi Shrine has one giant gingko tree at the shrine, its’ 50 meters tall and 8.2 meter round. It is estimated to be over 1,100 years old, and when leaves fall from this giant gingko tree the ground turns yellow. Many people come to Hiroshima to see this large and colorful trees. Ozekiyama Park is located in Miyoshi city along the Genokawa River. This park is actually a small mountain, and is famous for cherry blossom in the spring and red maple leaves in the autumn. Buttsuji Temple is one of the famous temples for Zen training. During autumn there will be a tunnel of maple trees along a 300 meter mountain trail, it is really worth seeing.
#12. Momiji Manju
Momiji Manju, a maple leaf shaped sponge cake, is a traditional Japanese sweet that originated in Miyajima. It has more than 100 years of history and has been popular among locals and visitors, and it has become one of Hiroshima’s most popular souvenirs. In addition to the original sweet red bean filling, be sure to try different flavors such as cream cheese, chocolate cream, green tea cream, and custard cream. There is also an Age Momiji which is covered in butter and deep fried.