This site uses affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you are planning a trip to Japan, then I am sure that Hiroshima is on your list of places to visit.

Located on the western end of Japan’s main island of Honshu, Hiroshima is associated with the dropping of the nuclear bomb over the city at the end of the Second World War in 1945.

What can you see if you visit Hiroshima? I came up with the most complete and detailed list of 10 epic things to do in Hiroshima that you simply can’t miss on your first visit.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park / Things to Do in Hiroshima

How to Get Hiroshima from Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka

Before we dive into how to get to Hiroshima from Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto, I want to recommend that you get JR Pass before traveling to Japan. It will save you a lot of money! You can buy it here.

1. How to Get Hiroshima from Tokyo

If you are traveling from Tokyo to Hiroshima, you can use your JR Pass.

All you need to do is take the Tokaido Shinkansen line’s Hikari bullet train from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station, Shin-Kobe Station, or Himeji Station.

Once you reach Shin-Osaka Station, Shin-Kobe Station, or Himeji Station, you will need to transfer to the Sanyo Shinkansen (Sakura train) for Hiroshima.

It is rather a long trip. All in all, it takes approximately five hours to reach Hiroshima from Tokyo.

2. How to Get Hiroshima from Kyoto or Osaka

If you have JR Pass and you are traveling from Kyoto or Osaka, then take the Shinkansen Hikari from Kyoto to Shin Osaka in Osaka.

From Osaka at Shin Osaka, switch to Shinkansen Sakura for Hiroshima. The trip takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes from Kyoto and 1 hour and 30 minutes from Osaka.

Mizuho and Nozomi trains take 1 hour 25 minutes however, these trains are not covered by the pass.

How to Get Around in Hiroshima

  • Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass

My recommendation is to look into Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass.

It is a great tool that will help you save money on transportation while you are visiting Hiroshima and the surrounding areas.

Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass offers unlimited rides on pretty much all means of transportation in Hiroshima, as well as it covers transportation all around Hiroshima and ferries to Miyajima. You can buy it for 1, 2, or 3 days.

  • Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus (Meipuru-pu)

Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus (Meipuru-pu) is a great option if you are visiting Hiroshima for a day and planning on hitting the major attractions in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus (Meipuru-pu) is basically a hop-on hop-off circulation bus that goes around all the major sightseeing spots within Hiroshima city.

Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus has three routes: orange, green, and lemon. You can use any of the lines and they will get you to all the main attractions within the city.

If you have JR Pass, then Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus (Meipuru-pu) is covered by JR Pass.

  • Hiroshima Electric Railway (Hiroden)

Hiroshima Electric Railway has been operating since 1910. It is a great experience if you decide to try it, especially, if you get on the older models. In addition, the staff running the electric railway is always helpful and super patient helping tourists get to all the attractions.

There are three types of tickets that you can purchase to help you save some money on transportation: 1 Day Streetcar and Ferry Pass, 1 Day Streetcar Pass, or a flat rate option for the inner-city electric railways. You can purchase the tickets when you board the streetcar.

Where to Stay in Hiroshima

Downtown Hiroshima is where you want to stay while you are exploring Hiroshima and the surrounding areas.

Downtown is right in the center of Hiroshima. Specifically, it is in-between Hiroshima Station and the Peace Memorial Park. You will be within a walking distance of some of the major tourist attractions, plus there are plenty of places to get a bite to eat and do some shopping as well.

Also, the area around Hiroshima Station is an excellent option while staying in Hiroshima.

Here are a few hotels that I am recommending that you check out:

  • Hotel Granvia Hiroshima

Hotel Granvia Hiroshima is one of my favorite hotels that I always book if I am visiting Hiroshima. I like how close it is located to Hiroshima Station. In addition, all around the hotel, there is no shortage of shops, restaurants, and all kinds of small eating places, if you just need to grab a quick bite.

I am sure you will be impressed by the beautiful crystal chandelier in the lobby. In addition, you will appreciate gentle piano music drifting from the entrance hall.

Needless to say, the rooms are comfortable, clean, and of decent size.

Furthermore, the breakfast buffet – continental but also an extra buffet Japanese style is excellent.

  • RIHGA Royal Hotel Hiroshima

RIHGA Royal Hotel Hiroshima is another good choice for staying while you are visiting Hiroshima. It is perfectly located next to most of Hiroshima’s attractions. In addition, it is connected to a massive mall complete with countless food and shopping options.

The rooms in the hotel are spacious and most of them have excellent views of the Castle. Above all,  the rooms are clean, quiet, and comfortable. There were plentiful amenities as well as pajamas and slippers.

The breakfast buffet is expansive. Both Japanese and Western selections are available.

I need to add that the staff is excellent at RIHGA Royal Hotel Hiroshima. They are extremely attentive and they will go the extra mile to make sure that you are immediately greeted and served and totally comfortable.

  • Hiroshima Washington Hotel

Hiroshima Washington Hotel is another hotel that has a great location. It is just a short walk from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. In addition, there are many options for shopping and eating right next to the hotel.

The rooms are a decent size, modern, clean and comfortable. Furthermore, the views from the rooms are awesome.

The breakfast is excellent offering many options both Japanese and western.

Map with 10 Best Things to Do in Hiroshima

Map with 10 Best Things to Do in Hiroshima  /  Things to Do in Hiroshima

10 Best Things to Do in Hiroshima on Your First Visit


Stop By Atomic Bomb Dome

Atomic Bomb Dome should be one of the first things to do in Hiroshima. It is an iconic symbol of the “peace city” – Hiroshima.

Atomic Bomb Dome is also called A-Bomb Dome, Genbaku Dome, or the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and it is a part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park serves as a memorial to people killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.

Originally, the Atomic Bomb Dome was the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. It housed national and municipal governmental offices.

The building was located just 160 meters from the epicenter of the blast. Amazingly, it was one of the few structures in the area that remained upright after the explosion.

Things to Do in Hiroshima

Atomic Bomb Dome / Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Intrepid’s Tip: 

If you are staying overnight in Hiroshima, make sure to take a walk in the evening along the A-Bomb Dome and other memorial monuments. At night, with the lighting, the A-Bomb Dome and the monuments around the Peace Memorial Park look so impressive.

Things to Do in Hiroshima

Atomic Bomb Dome at Night / Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Things to Do in Hiroshima 


Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. It opened to the public in 1954.

The park has a total area of 122,000 square meters and houses a museum, as well as numerous memorials and monuments commemorating the people who perished during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.

One of the most stunning monuments is the Children’s Peace Monument dedicated to Sadako Sasaki and all the children who perished due to the atomic explosion.

Sadako was exposed to the A-bomb at the age of two. Yet, she grew into a strong and healthy girl. However, nine years after exposure to the atomic bomb radiation, she developed leukemia.

Based on a traditional Japanese belief, Sadako thought that if she folded 1,000 origami cranes she would recover. But, after an eight-month battle with the disease, she succumbed.

Many visitors line up to ring the bell inside the monument to honor Sadako and all the innocent children who were victims of the atomic bombing.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park / Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Another monument that you should not miss is the Cenotaph, also known as the Memorial Monument for Hiroshima for the A-bomb Victims.

It is located in the center of the park and consists of a stone coffer beneath an arch. Within the coffer is a record of the names of victims of the atomic bombing.

Cenotaph is inscribed with the phrase: “Let all the souls here rest in peace for we shall not repeat the evil.”

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park / Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Things to Do in Hiroshima 

For me, it was a place to take a moment of silence and remember the victims of the atomic bombing.

As you look through the arch of the cenotaph, you will see across the park and to the A-Bomb Dome.

The eternal fame and the memorial flowers at the front of the memorial, remind us that war is a tragedy for both sides.


Explore Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was built by the City of Hiroshima and it was opened to the public in 1950. The museum displays artifacts, photographs, and paintings that show Hiroshima before and after the bombing.

Many of the stories are told by the victims and their families in graphic detail. Many of the exhibits are poignant and evocative.

It was a very solemn experience for me. I noticed that most of the visitors looked at the exhibits and did not say a word and many were in tears.

Things to Do in Hiroshima

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum – Hiroshima After the Bombing / Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum – Exhibit at the Museum / Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Things to Do in Hiroshima 

For opening hours, admission, and access visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Intrepid’s Tip: 

The best way to understand the timeline leading to the bombing, the impact of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and the recovery efforts is to attend: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park Walk Tour. You will have a local guide by your side who will give you an in-depth insight into the history of Hiroshima.

Another tour that I enjoyed was: Hiroshima Cycling Peace Tour with a Local Guide. This tour is about 2 hours long and you will bicycle around Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with a guide born. You will get to see the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Cenotaph, Children’s Peace Monument, and the Peace Bell. It is a small group tour limited to no more than 10 people.


Take a Stroll Through the Shukkeien Garden

Shukkeien Garden is one of my favorite places in Hiroshima. Hands down, it is one of the top things to do in Hiroshima if you love Japanese gardens.

The garden was designed by Ueda Soko, a Japanese General, and Tea Master.

A Quick Story: 

Ueda Soko was born in 1563 and as warfare was the principle of life at that time, Ueda Soko pursued bushido – the way of the samurai life. His bravery led to his early rise as adjoint of the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Yet, Ueda Soko chose to relinquish the samurai’s way of life. Instead, he dedicated himself to the teaching of sado – the way of tea. Eventually, he became the Grand Tea Master of the tea ceremony.

Later on in life, Ueda Soko pursued the studies of garden design and became the Grand Master of garden architecture and design.

Shukkeien Garden – a “shrink-scenery circular tour style garden” is Ueda Soko’s masterpiece.

Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima

Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima / Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Things to Do in Hiroshima 

The garden was opened to the public in 1940, and just five years later, on August 6th, 1945, Shukkeien was burned to ashes by the atomic bombing. It was lovingly restored to its original version and now is one of Hiroshima’s main attractions.

The opening hours are 9 am to 5 pm and the entrance fee is 260 yen.


Visit Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima Castle is better known as Rijou – Carp Castle. It got its name from the black wooden slats attached to the outer walls of the Castle Tower that look like carp scales.

The castle was constructed by Mori Terumoto in 1589. The Fukushima family and the Asano family lived there during the Edo era.

Hiroshima Castle was destroyed on August 6th, 1945 during the atomic bomb attack. It was reconstructed and opened to the public in 1958.

Today you can tour the castle grounds and visit the five-story Castle Tower, which is a faithful reproduction of the original.

Hiroshima Castle at Night

Hiroshima Castle at Night / Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Intrepid’s Tip: 

The Castle Tower houses a very good museum devoted to the history of Hiroshima. So, make sure to stop by and explore it!

One of the exhibits that caught my attention, was devoted to the differences in architecture between Japanese castles.

It explained the differences in the structure of castles built on hills called ‘hilltop’ or ‘mountaintop’ (for defense) castles versus the ones built on plains, called ‘flatland castles’ (mainly administrative).

Another great exhibit explained the differences in lifestyle between samurai and townspeople as well as the hierarchy of the feudal administration system.

And, if you are as fascinated by the samurais as I am, you will find the section with samurai gear very captivating.

Once you are done exploring the museum, head over to the top floor of the Castle Tower. It has an observation area where you can see an amazing panorama of Hiroshima.

Museum at Hiroshima Castle

Exhibit at Hiroshima Castle Museum / Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Things to Do in Hiroshima 

For updated hours and entrance tickets visit Hiroshima Castle.


Stop By Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine

Right next to Hiroshima Castle, you will find Gokoku Shrine.

The shrine was founded in 1869 to mourn the Hiroshima-Han victims of the Boshin War. The Boshin War, sometimes referred to as the Japanese Revolution, was a civil war in Japan, fought from 1868 to 1869 between forces of the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and those seeking to return political power to the Imperial Court.

In 1945, Gokoku Shrine was destroyed by the atomic bombing. It was rebuilt in 1965 with the aid of donations from the citizens of Hiroshima.

A Quick Read: 

The Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine is not only of the most popular places for celebrating Hatsumode but also Shichi-Go-San.

Hatsumode is the first Shinto shrine visit of the Japanese New Year.

Shichi-Go-San – “Seven-Five-Three” is a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for three and seven-year-old girls and three and five-year-old boys.

Shichi-Go-San is held annually on November 15 to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children.


Hiroshima Museum of Art

Hiroshima Museum of Art is one of those gems that you always hope to stumble upon when traveling. And, if you are like me and love French impressionist works, you found your gem.

The museum displays an excellent selection of modern European paintings, especially French impressionist works, as well as Japanese oil paintings from after the Meiji Period to the present.

In the first galleries, you will find artworks by the romantic, impressionist, neo-impressionist, and post-impressionist masters, such as Delacroix, Courbet, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Munch.

Moreover, Fauvism is displayed in the next galleries and features works by Picasso, Matisse, and Braque.

Check the opening hours, admission fees, and current exhibits here.


Head to Hiroshima Orizu Tower for a Sunset

Hiroshima Orizu Tower is another hidden gem that I stumbled upon when I was exploring Hiroshima. It is located right next to A-Bomb Dome.

The observation deck on the top floor of Hiroshima Orizu Tower offers amazing views of Hiroshima. And, if you can make it there at sunset time, then have your camera ready you will love the views!

In addition, make sure to check out the origami crane-making activity with English instructions and help on hand if you need assistance.

The best part for me was writing a message of hope for peace on the paper crane and then watching it “fly” down the side of the building to join the exhibition.

Going back down you can take the elevator, steps, or a slide! Slide stops at every floor so you can get off when you had enough fun.

For the opening hours, tickets, event information, and floor guide click here.

Things to Do in Hiroshima

View of Hiroshima from Orizu Tower / Things to Do in Hiroshima 

Things to Do in Hiroshima 


Check Out Downtown Hiroshima

Hiroshima has a bustling downtown area situated around Hondori.

Hondori is a pedestrian arcade that is closed to traffic. It starts near Peace Memorial Park and runs east. It is lined with shops and restaurants and it is perfect for a stroll in the evening when it comes alive.

Crowded Hondori Shopping Aracade in Hiroshima / Things to Do in Hiroshima

In addition, Downtown Hiroshima has a vibrant nightlife. Mac Bar and Stevie’s Wunder Bar are some of the best places to enjoy your night out!

Also, you will find more shopping with large department stores on Aioi-Dori Avenue which runs parallel to Hondori shopping street.

And finally, Peace Boulevard/Heiwa-Odori Street offers numerous karaoke shops, restaurants, and bars.


Stop at Okonomimura for Delicious Okonomiyaki

Just south of the eastern end of Hondori is Okonomimura, translated as Okonomiyaki Village.

And, a visit to Okonomimra is one of the top things to do in Hiroshima.

Okonomimura is basically a four-story building decorated with lanterns and banners and a large horizontal “Okonomimura” sign.

It houses over 25 different stalls each offering its own unique rendition of okonomiyaki.

You can take the elevator but I suggest taking the stairs. You will not only work up an appetite, but also you will be able to take a peek through the doors and assess the scene.

A Quick Read: 

  • What is Okonomiyaki?

Let’s start with the name – yaki means grilled or cooked, okonomi means “what you want” or “what you like.” In essence, okonomiyaki means “grilled the way you like it”.

  • How is Okonomiyaki made?

Here is my take on it, as I watched it being made:

First, the batter made of flour is poured on an iron griddle. It is spread out in a circular motion to form a thin crepe-like pancake.

Next, a heap of sliced cabbage is placed on the batter, then thin-sliced pork. Consequently, it is cooked for a bit and then turned over with a big spatula and cooked for a little more.

In the meantime, the noodles are fried on the side, and once done they are put on top.

Finally, an egg is cracked onto the griddle and spread out in the same circular size, and eventually put on the very top.

In due time, the special sauce is applied on the top as well as some mayonnaise, and aonori (dried seaweed).

Okonomiyaki Hiroshima Style / Things to Do in Hiroshima

Intrepid Scout's Tips for Things to Do in Hiroshima

  • If you are a fan of Japanese Naval Warships, then you definitely need to add Yamoto Museum to the list of things to do in Hiroshima.

Yamoto Museum is a nickname for the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force Kure Museum.

The Yamoto Museum is located in Kure, about an hour away from the center of Hiroshima, however, it is totally worth the trip. I was drawn to this place due to the legacy of the Yamato battleship.

Yamato was the lead battleship built by the Imperial Japanese Army shortly before WWII. It was the most powerfully armed battleship ever constructed.

If you visit Aisle A of the museum, you will learn about Kure as the main assembly port for combat vessels.

Next, there is an entire section devoted to the Yamato battleship. However, not everything has been translated into English.

Aisle B is devoted to planes, torpedoes, and engines from WWII. The manned torpedoes for kamikazes are part of the display as well.

For opening hours, admission prices, and floor guide click here.

  • If you visit Hiroshima in November and December, you will have an opportunity to take part in a winter festival of electric light, Hiroshima Dreamination, in the center of Hiroshima city including Peace Boulevard.

Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning your trip to Hiroshima? What is on your list of things to do in Hiroshima?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

Click on any of the images below to get inspired and to help you with the planning process for your trip to Hiroshima!

Read All the Posts About Japan in: 

Japan Travel Guide

Did You Find Things to Do in Hiroshima?

Why Not Save It to Your Pinterest Board!

Things to Do in Hiroshima
Things to Do in Hiroshima

Leave an answer

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The company processes your data to facilitate the publication and management of comments. You can exercise your rights of access, rectification, deletion and objection, among others, according to our Privacy policy.