Hiroshima japan

23rd April 2024

15 Best Things to Do in Hiroshima: Wanderlust Alert (2023)

Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure in Hiroshima? If you’re seeking the best things to do in Hiroshima, we’ve got you covered in this blog post.

Get ready to embrace the essence of this remarkable city, as we take you on a journey filled with resilience, beauty, and cultural richness.

From our past experience of leading group trips here, we’ve learned that Hiroshima is a city like no other – a captivating blend of history, nature, and vibrant urban life.

So, buckle up and join us as we explore the poignant Peace Memorial Park, marvel at the iconic Atomic Bomb Dome, and discover the tranquil haven of Miyajima Island.

Let’s dive into the heart of Hiroshima’s splendor, where every moment is a celebration of life and resilience.

Interesting Facts about Hiroshima

  • Home to the iconic Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a symbol of peace and resilience.
  • The Atomic Bomb Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands as a haunting reminder of the city’s past.
  • Miyajima Island is known for Itsukushima Shrine and the mesmerizing “floating” torii gate.
  • Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, a savory pancake layered with noodles, is a must-try local delicacy.
  • The Carp baseball team’s passionate fan base creates an electrifying atmosphere at Mazda Stadium.

Best Things to Do in Hiroshima

1. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

In the heart of Hiroshima lies the poignant Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a site that stands as a testament to the city’s enduring spirit of peace and resilience. It solemnly commemorates the victims of the atomic bomb that devastated the city in 1945, while also serving as a beacon of hope for a future free from nuclear devastation.

Wandering through this serene park, you’ll encounter a series of emotionally charged memorials, including the Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims and the Flame of Peace.

A visit to the park’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum offers a profound understanding of the horrors of war and the urgent need for global peace. As you explore the park’s beautifully landscaped gardens and tranquil waters, take a moment to reflect on the strength of humanity’s will to heal and rebuild.

  • Location: Hiroshima city center.
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round; cherry blossoms in spring add charm.
  • Famous For: Commemorating the victims of the atomic bombing and promoting world peace.

2. Atomic Bomb Dome

Standing proudly amidst the modern cityscape, the Atomic Bomb Dome remains an enduring symbol of the resilience of Hiroshima. This skeletal structure was once the Industrial Promotion Hall until the atomic bomb’s detonation left it in ruins.

Instead of demolishing it, the city chose to preserve the dome as a lasting reminder of the devastating impact of nuclear warfare. Its haunting silhouette against the sky serves as a stark reminder of the city’s past while urging visitors to strive for a future without such destruction.

Witnessing this poignant sight, you’ll be moved by the resilience of the people and the power of their collective hope. The Atomic Bomb Dome is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a profound connection to Hiroshima’s history and unwavering pursuit of peace.

  • Location: Hiroshima city center, within Peace Memorial Park.
  • Best Time to Visit: Early morning or evening for quieter surroundings.
  • Famous For: Being one of the few buildings left standing after the atomic bombing, now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

3. Miyajima Island

Nestled in the azure waters of the Seto Inland Sea, Miyajima Island awaits, a breathtaking escape from the urban bustle. Renowned for its stunning natural beauty, this island retreat beckons travelers with its serene ambiance and cultural wonders.

A short ferry ride from Hiroshima, Miyajima Island offers a mesmerizing view of the iconic “floating” torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine during high tide. As the sun sets, the gate appears to float ethereally on the water, a scene that captivates the heart and soul.

The island’s verdant landscape invites visitors to hike Mount Misen, where panoramic views await those who brave the ascent. Whether you’re exploring the historic streets, admiring the seasonal colors, or savoring local delicacies like Momiji Manju, Miyajima Island offers an unforgettable journey into nature’s serenity and Japan’s cultural richness.

  • Location: Short ferry ride from Hiroshima city.
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime, but spring and autumn offer captivating colors.
  • Famous For: Itsukushima Shrine and the iconic “floating” torii gate.

4. Hiroshima Castle

Amidst the modern cityscape, the grand Hiroshima Castle, also known as Carp Castle, stands as a proud reminder of Hiroshima’s rich history. Reconstructed in the 1950s after its original 16th-century structure was destroyed, the castle now serves as a museum showcasing feudal artifacts and samurai culture.

A stroll through its elegant rooms and galleries transports visitors back in time to the days of Japan’s ancient warriors. In spring, the castle is adorned with delicate cherry blossoms, creating a picturesque scene that embodies the beauty of renewal.

During autumn, the castle’s surroundings burst into vibrant hues, offering a majestic spectacle for all who come to witness. As you delve into Hiroshima Castle’s historical legacy, you’ll uncover a captivating tale of triumph, resilience, and the enduring spirit of the city.

  • Location: In Hiroshima city, close to Peace Memorial Park.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring for cherry blossoms or autumn for fall foliage.
  • Famous For: Its history, traditional architecture, and cultural significance.

5. Shukkeien Garden

Step into a world of serenity and grace at the Shukkeien Garden, a harmonious oasis in the heart of Hiroshima. Translated as “shrunken-scenery garden,” Shukkeien delights visitors with its meticulously designed landscapes, symbolizing grand natural vistas within a compact space.

Meandering through the garden’s tranquil pathways, you’ll encounter poetic bridges, shimmering ponds, and carefully placed stones that evoke the essence of Japan’s ancient gardens. In spring, cherry blossoms paint the garden in delicate hues, while autumn transforms the scenery into a symphony of fiery colors.

Tea houses nestled amid the greenery offer an authentic Japanese tea ceremony experience, perfect for a moment of quiet contemplation. Shukkeien Garden is a captivating destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the timeless beauty and serenity of Japanese garden artistry.

  • Location: Near Hiroshima Castle, within walking distance from the city center.
  • Best Time to Visit: All seasons offer a unique charm, but spring and autumn are particularly picturesque.
  • Famous For: Its meticulously crafted landscapes that embody traditional Japanese aesthetics.

6. Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki

No visit to Hiroshima is complete without savoring the city’s delectable specialty – Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki. Unlike the Osaka version, Hiroshima’s rendition adds its own unique twist to this beloved Japanese dish.

Layered with yakisoba noodles, cabbage, pork, and a delicious batter, Hiroshima Okonomiyaki takes on a satisfying and hearty form that promises a delightful culinary adventure.

Watching the skilled chefs prepare this masterpiece on a hot griddle before your eyes is a sensory experience in itself. Topped with rich okonomiyaki sauce, mayo, and bonito flakes, each bite unveils a symphony of flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

Be sure to visit the bustling Okonomimura, a multi-story building housing various Okonomiyaki stalls, for an authentic and diverse tasting journey.

  • Location: Found throughout Hiroshima, especially in the downtown areas.
  • Best Time to Try: Anytime you crave a satisfying and savory meal!
  • Famous For: Hiroshima-style layered savory pancake with noodles and various toppings.

7. Hondori Shopping Street

Dive into the pulsating heart of Hiroshima’s urban life at Hondori Shopping Street, a lively arcade brimming with energy and excitement. A paradise for shopaholics and food enthusiasts alike, this bustling street is a delightful fusion of traditional and modern retail experiences.

Wander through a maze of shops, boutiques, and department stores, where you’ll find everything from fashionable clothing to quirky souvenirs. Discover local delicacies and global cuisines at the diverse eateries and food stalls, offering a tantalizing array of flavors.

During festivals and special events, Hondori Street comes alive with performances and street art, creating an enchanting ambiance that will sweep you off your feet. Whether you’re on the hunt for unique finds or simply want to soak in Hiroshima’s vibrant urban culture, Hondori Shopping Street promises an unforgettable shopping adventure.

  • Location: Hiroshima’s downtown, easily accessible from major attractions.
  • Best Time to Visit: Afternoon and evening for a bustling atmosphere.
  • Famous For: A lively shopping arcade with various stores, eateries, and entertainment.

8. Momiji Manju

As you explore the charming streets of Hiroshima and Miyajima Island, keep an eye out for the delightful Momiji Manju – adorable maple leaf-shaped cakes that serve as sweet mementos of your journey.

These delectable treats are available in a variety of flavors, from classic red bean paste to modern twists like chocolate, matcha, and custard. The perfect blend of traditional artistry and contemporary flavors, Momiji Manju is a true reflection of Hiroshima’s timeless charm.

Take a moment to savor the delicacy while gazing upon the vibrant maple leaves, a reminder of the natural beauty that envelops Hiroshima. Whether you enjoy them as a sweet snack during your explorations or take them home as cherished souvenirs, Momiji Manju encapsulates the heart and soul of this captivating destination.

  • Location: Available throughout Hiroshima, especially popular in Miyajima Island.
  • Best Time to Try: Anytime you crave a sweet and satisfying treat.
  • Famous For: Maple leaf-shaped cakes filled with various delectable fillings.

9. Traditional Noh Performance

Step into the captivating world of traditional Japanese performing arts with a mesmerizing Noh performance in Hiroshima. Noh, a classical theatrical art dating back centuries, combines music, dance, and drama to tell poignant stories of mythology, history, and human emotions.

Attending a Noh performance is an enriching cultural experience that grants insight into Japan’s artistic heritage. The subtle movements, intricate masks, and soul-stirring chants create an ethereal atmosphere that transports you to a different era.

Various theaters and venues across Hiroshima host Noh performances, making it accessible for travelers seeking to delve into the captivating world of Japanese traditions. Embrace the grace and elegance of Noh, an art form that preserves the essence of Japan’s ancient culture and artistic prowess.

  • Location: Various theaters and venues in Hiroshima city.
  • Best Time to Attend: Check schedules for performances during your visit.
  • Famous For: A traditional Japanese performing art with deep historical roots.

10. Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum

Immerse yourself in the world of artistic creativity at the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum, a haven for art enthusiasts and cultural connoisseurs. This renowned museum showcases an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art, boasting both Japanese and international artists.

Wander through the galleries adorned with stunning paintings, sculptures, and multimedia installations that reflect the evolving landscape of artistic expression.

Temporary exhibitions often feature works from prominent artists, providing fresh perspectives and enriching experiences for visitors. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or just beginning your artistic journey, the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum promises to inspire and captivate your imagination with its dynamic and diverse collection.

  • Location: Within Hiroshima city, easily accessible from major attractions.
  • Best Time to Visit: Check exhibition schedules for featured artists.
  • Famous For: Showcasing a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art.

11. Hiroshima Children’s Museum

The Hiroshima Children’s Museum is a treasure trove of exploration and discovery, where children can unleash their creativity and curiosity. Designed to engage young minds in a fun and interactive way, this museum boasts a range of hands-on exhibits that cater to various interests and learning styles.

From science and technology to arts and culture, the museum offers a diverse range of experiences that entertain and educate. Whether your little ones are captivated by physics experiments, artistic creations, or pretend-play scenarios, the Hiroshima Children’s Museum guarantees an enriching and entertaining outing for the whole family.

Nurture a love for learning and play as you watch your children’s eyes light up with excitement and wonder.

  • Location: Near Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
  • Best Time to Visit: Suitable for families and children of all ages.
  • Famous For: Engaging and interactive exhibits that cater to children’s interests.

12. Hiroshima Manga Library

Enter the colorful world of manga at the Hiroshima Manga Library, a paradise for comic book enthusiasts of all ages. Boasting an extensive collection of manga, including classic and contemporary titles, this library offers a unique reading experience for visitors.

Browse through shelves lined with comics, from action-packed adventures to heartwarming tales, and lose yourself in captivating narratives and stunning illustrations. The library’s serene and welcoming ambiance invites you to sit back, relax, and dive into the diverse worlds depicted in these graphic masterpieces.

Whether you’re a seasoned manga aficionado or just curious about this iconic Japanese art form, the Hiroshima Manga Library is a must-visit destination that celebrates the beauty and diversity of storytelling through manga.

  • Location: Within Hiroshima city, easily accessible from major attractions.
  • Best Time to Visit: Check opening hours for convenient visitation times.
  • Famous For: Extensive collection of manga and a unique reading experience.

13. Asa Zoological Park

Embark on a captivating journey into the animal kingdom at Asa Zoological Park, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and families seeking a day of adventure. Spanning over lush green landscapes, the zoo offers a glimpse into the lives of various animals from around the world.

Witness majestic lions, playful chimpanzees, and graceful giraffes in habitats designed to mimic their natural environments. The park’s commitment to animal welfare and conservation initiatives ensures that every visit supports the well-being of its inhabitants.

As you wander through the zoo’s spacious and scenic exhibits, you’ll discover the beauty and diversity of the animal kingdom, all while enjoying a leisurely day in nature’s embrace.

  • Location: On the outskirts of Hiroshima city, accessible by public transport.
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round, with pleasant weather for outdoor exploration.
  • Famous For: Home to a wide array of animal species in a natural setting.

14. Carp Baseball Game at Mazda Stadium

Prepare to be swept away by the electrifying energy and fervor of a Carp baseball game at Mazda Stadium. Carp, the beloved local baseball team, enjoys an ardent fan base that exudes unwavering support and enthusiasm during every game.

As you step into the stadium, you’ll be greeted by the sound of cheering fans and the lively ambiance that envelops the venue. Whether you’re a baseball aficionado or a first-time spectator, the thrill of the game and the camaraderie of the crowd will leave an indelible impression.

The unmistakable passion and unity displayed by Carp fans truly embody the heart and soul of Hiroshima’s sports culture. Attending a Carp game is a must-do activity for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant spirit and join in the collective cheer for this cherished baseball team.

  • Location: Mazda Stadium, easily accessible within Hiroshima city.
  • Best Time to Attend: During baseball season, check schedules for upcoming games.
  • Famous For: The passionate fan base and vibrant atmosphere during games.

15. Hiroshima’s Vibrant Nightlife

As the sun sets, Hiroshima’s vibrant nightlife springs to life, offering an enticing array of entertainment and revelry. The city boasts several nightlife districts, each with its own distinctive charm and offerings.

Visit Nagarekawa, the bustling entertainment hub, where neon lights illuminate the streets, and music spills out from lively bars and clubs. For a more laid-back experience, head to Yokogawa, a district teeming with cozy izakayas and stylish cafes where you can savor local delicacies while mingling with the locals.

Daring souls can explore the hidden gems in Hatchobori, where underground music scenes and chic cocktail lounges await. Whether you seek live music, karaoke, or simply an opportunity to unwind after a day of exploration, Hiroshima’s vibrant nightlife caters to all tastes, ensuring a memorable and thrilling night out in this dynamic city.

  • Location: Throughout Hiroshima city, with nightlife districts easily accessible.
  • Best Time to Experience: Evening till late night; each district has its unique offerings.
  • Famous For: An array of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues catering to diverse tastes.

Best Time to Visit Hiroshima

The best time to visit Hiroshima is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). These seasons offer mild temperatures, blooming cherry blossoms in spring, and vibrant fall foliage in autumn, creating a picturesque and pleasant ambiance for exploring the city and its attractions.

Additionally, avoiding the hot and humid summer months and the colder winter period ensures a more comfortable and enjoyable experience during your visit to Hiroshima.

How to Get to Hiroshima

  • By Air: Hiroshima has an international airport, Hiroshima Airport (HIJ), with direct flights from major cities in Japan and some international destinations. From the airport, you can take a shuttle bus or the airport limousine to reach the city center.
  • By Shinkansen (Bullet Train): The Shinkansen connects Hiroshima to major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. The Nozomi and Sakura trains offer the fastest service, making travel between these cities efficient and comfortable.
  • By Bus: Long-distance buses serve Hiroshima from various locations, offering an economical option for travelers with a bit more time on their hands.

Where to Stay in Hiroshima

1. Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel: Located in the city center, Sheraton Grand offers modern and luxurious accommodations with stunning city views. Enjoy the rooftop pool and multiple dining options, including a teppanyaki restaurant. Its proximity to major attractions makes it an excellent choice for both business and leisure travelers.

2. Hotel Granvia Hiroshima: Situated next to Hiroshima Station, Hotel Granvia provides convenient access to transportation and shopping. The spacious rooms boast contemporary designs, and guests can indulge in delectable Japanese and international cuisine at the hotel’s restaurants. Ideal for travelers seeking comfort and accessibility.

3. Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto: For a serene escape, this traditional Japanese inn on Miyajima Island offers an authentic experience. Surrounded by nature, the ryokan-style rooms feature tatami floors and futon bedding. Savor local delicacies in their exquisite kaiseki meals while enjoying breathtaking views of Itsukushima Shrine. A perfect retreat for a tranquil and cultural stay.

Where to Eat in Hiroshima

1. Okonomimura: A paradise for food enthusiasts, Okonomimura is a multi-story building housing several stalls dedicated to Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki. Each stall offers its unique twist on the savory pancake, with layers of noodles, cabbage, and delicious toppings. Enjoy the interactive experience of watching skilled chefs prepare your meal on a hot griddle right before your eyes.

2. Hassho: Indulge in Hiroshima’s famous oysters and seafood delights at Hassho. This seafood izakaya offers a wide selection of fresh catches, including succulent oysters grilled to perfection. With a cozy atmosphere and friendly staff, Hassho promises an unforgettable dining experience for seafood enthusiasts.

3. Nagataya: Experience the art of Hiroshima-style Tsukemen, a variation of ramen, at Nagataya. This charming restaurant serves thick, chewy noodles with a flavorful dipping broth, allowing you to savor the noodles’ rich taste and texture. Pair it with various toppings for a satisfying and unique culinary adventure.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Visit the Peace Memorial Park early morning for a serene and reflective experience.
  • Get a Hiroshima Tourist Pass for unlimited travel on streetcars and buses, convenient for exploring the city.
  • Try Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki at multiple stalls in Okonomimura for a variety of flavors.
  • Take a ferry to Miyajima Island during high tide to see the “floating” torii gate up close.
  • Purchase a Hiroshima-style momiji manju souvenir for a tasty and unique memento.
  • Attend a Carp baseball game at Mazda Stadium to witness the city’s passionate sports culture.
  • Respect local customs when visiting shrines and historical sites, and carry a pocket Wi-Fi for seamless navigation.

Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Hiroshima

As we bid farewell to the captivating city of Hiroshima, we’re left with a heart full of unforgettable memories and a profound appreciation for its resilience and beauty.

From exploring the poignant Peace Memorial Park to savoring the delectable Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, we’ve immersed ourselves in the best things to do in Hiroshima.

Whether you’ve been touched by the haunting history, inspired by the cultural heritage, or simply indulged in the flavors of this vibrant city, Hiroshima leaves an indelible mark on every traveler’s soul.

Until we meet again, let Hiroshima’s spirit of hope and renewal guide us on our next adventure!

FAQs – Best Things to Do in Hiroshima

What are the Best Things to Do in Hiroshima that showcase its history and resilience?

 Don’t miss visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where you’ll find the iconic Atomic Bomb Dome, a poignant symbol of the city’s resilience after World War II. The Peace Memorial Museum offers a moving glimpse into Hiroshima’s history and its pursuit of peace.

How can I explore the natural beauty of Hiroshima?

 Take a boat ride to Miyajima Island to experience Itsukushima Shrine and witness the enchanting “floating” torii gate during high tide. Hike up Mount Misen for breathtaking views of the Seto Inland Sea and immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility.

Where can I taste authentic Hiroshima cuisine?

 Head to Okonomimura, a bustling building filled with stalls offering Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki. Enjoy the savory pancake with noodles, vegetables, and your favorite toppings. Also, don’t forget to try the local specialty, Momiji Manju, delicious maple leaf-shaped cakes with various fillings.

Are there any cultural experiences in Hiroshima?

 Yes, you can attend a traditional Noh performance to delve into Japan’s ancient performing arts. The Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum showcases modern and contemporary art, while the Hiroshima Manga Library celebrates the captivating world of manga.

How do I get around Hiroshima conveniently?

 Consider getting a Hiroshima Tourist Pass, offering unlimited travel on streetcars and buses, making it easy to explore the city and its attractions. For further convenience, carry a pocket Wi-Fi to stay connected and navigate smoothly.

What other family-friendly activities are there in Hiroshima?

 Make sure to visit the Hiroshima Children’s Museum for interactive exhibits and educational fun. Families can also enjoy a day at Asa Zoological Park, where wildlife encounters await amidst picturesque landscapes.

How can I experience Hiroshima’s vibrant nightlife?

 To soak in the city’s lively evenings, head to Hondori Shopping Street for a bustling atmosphere filled with shops, eateries, and entertainment. Experience the passionate energy at a Carp baseball game at Mazda Stadium, where local sports enthusiasts unite for an electrifying experience.
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