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Visiting Hiroshima



Are you planning on visiting Hiroshima and exploring a few additional places around Hiroshima? You came to the right place!

Here, you will find an expert Hiroshima travel guide with tips and advice on things to do and see and best places to stay and eat. In addition, you will know how to get around Hiroshima using public transportation.

To top it off, you will get detailed instructions on how to plan some jaw-dropping day trips from Hiroshima.



Visiting Hiroshima from Tokyo by Train


First of all, if you are traveling from Tokyo to Hiroshima, you can use your JR Pass. Simply, all you need to do is to take the Tokaido Shinkansen line’s Hikari bullet train from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station, Shin-Kobe Station or Himeji Station.

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

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


Visiting Hiroshima from Osaka by Train


If you are traveling to Hiroshima from Osaka, then the quickest way to get to Hiroshima is to catch a bullet train on the Sanyo line. Specifically, the fastest train covered by the JR pass is the Sakura train which takes 1 hour 32 minutes.

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


Visiting Hiroshima from Kyoto by Train


Kyoto and Hiroshima are connected by the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines. You can use your JR Pass and the journey between Kyoto Station and Hiroshima Station takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

By the way, the Nozomi Shinkansen trains only take 1 hour 15 minutes but are not covered by the pass .

Notwithstanding, if you catch a Hikari or Sakura Shinkansen train, you may have to make a transfer at Shin-Osaka Station or Shin-Kobe Station. Either way, it will only add 10-15 minutes to your journey. 



How to Get Around in Hiroshima


  • Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass


I am recommending that you check out the Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass.  It is a great tool to help you save money on transportation while you are visiting Hiroshima. It 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. 


Let’s take a closer look at all the options:


Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass – SMALL AREA


1. First of all, you can purchase Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass – SMALL AREA. It works great if you are visiting Hiroshima for a day or two and you are planning to focus on just a few main attractions within the city area and Miyajima. Specifically, it covers Hiroshima city and Miyajima. Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass – SMALL AREA is valid for 2 days and it costs 1,500 yen.

The following means of transport are included:

  • Streetcars – All Hiroshima Electric Railway Lines (Inner-City Line, Miyajima Line)
  • Busses – Hiroshima Electric Railway, Hiroshima Bus, Hiroshima Kotsu, Geiyo Bus, Chugoku JR Bus (including the HIROSHIMA Sightseeing Loop Bus, “meipuru~pu”) and HD Nishi-Hiroshima (Bon-Bus)


Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass – MIDDLE AREA


2. Second option is: Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass – MIDDLE AREA. It covers Hiroshima city and Miyajima, as well as western and northern Hiroshima Prefecture, Specifically, it works great if you are planning on visiting Iwakuni, Kure or Sandankyo. It is valid for 3 days and it costs 2,500 yen.

In addition to all the means of transport mentioned in option 1 – SMALL AREA, the following highway buses are also included in Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass – MIDDLE AREA as well: 

  • Highway buses – Hiroshima-Kure Line (Kurealine), Kaguya-hime Line, Tobishima Liner, Miyoshi-Shobara Line, Sandankyo Line, Toyosaka-Takamigaoka Line, Green Phoenix, Miyoshi-Hiroshima Airport Line, Hiroshima-Iwakuni Line


Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass – WIDE AREA


3. Finally, the third option is: Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass – WIDE AREA. It covers entire Hiroshima Prefecture and Iwakuni area. The Wide Pass is valid for 3 days and it costs 3,500 yen. Furthermore, It covers pretty much all means of transportation within Hiroshima Prefecture.

  • Streetcars – All Hiroshima Electric Railway Lines (Inner-City Line, Miyajima Line)
  • Busses – Hiroshima Electric Railway, Hiroshima Bus, Hiroshima Kotsu, Geiyo Bus, Chugoku Bus, Tomotetsudo, Bihoku Kotsu, Innoshima Unyu, Honshi Bus Kaihatsu, Chugoku JR Bus, Onomichi Bus, HD Nishi-Hiroshima (Bon-Bus), Setouchi Sanko, Sanyo Bus and Iwakuni Bus
  • All route buses
  • Highway buses: Hiroshima-Kure Line (Kurealine), Kaguya-hime Line, Flower Liner, Rose Liner, Reed Liner, Peace Liner, Citrus Liner, Tobishima Liner, Miyoshi-Shobara Line, Sandankyo Line, Toyosaka-Takamigaoka Line, Green Phoenix, Miyoshi-Hiroshima Airport Line, Hiroshima-Iwakuni Line, Kinsai Liner


Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass – SMALL and WIDE AREA plus Airport Transfer


In addition, there are 2 options available with a transport to and from the airport:

  • SMALL Area – Hiroshima city,  Miyajima, Kure area with Airport Limousine Bus. It is valid for 4 days and it costs 4,500 yen
  • WIDE Area – Hiroshima Prefecture and Iwakuni Area with Airport Limousine Bus. It is valid for 5 days and it costs 6,000 yen


You can purchase Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass at Hiroshima Airport, Hiroshima Station as well as at Hiroshima Bus Center


If you need more information, then click here.


  • Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus – Meipuru-pu


It you are visiting Hiroshima for a day trip and planning on only exploring Hiroshima city, then, I think Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus is a great option.

Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus – Meipuru-pu is basically 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. It costs 400 yen for adults and 200 yen for children,


You can purchase the ticket when you board the bus. 


Visiting Hiroshima

Visiting Hiroshima



  • 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.


Specifically, there are two types of tickets that you can purchase to help you save some money on transportation:

  • The first option is: 1 Day Streetcar and Ferry Pass. The cost is 840 yen for adults and 420 for children
  • The second option is: 1 Day Streetcar Pass. The cost is 600 yen for an adult ticket and 300 for a child ticket


Furthermore,  there is flat rate option for inner-city electric railway. It costs 180 yen for adults and 90 yen for children.

You can purchase the tickets when you board the streetcar.


Visiting Hiroshima



 Where to Stay in Hiroshima


If you are vising Hiroshima, the best place to stay, in my opinion, is in the downtown area of Hiroshima. Pretty much, it is an area that stretches from Hiroshima Station all the way to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.


Following are my 3 top choices for staying overnight while you are visiting Hiroshima:


Hotels Near Hiroshima Station


1. 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 a 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 are excellent.


Visiting Hiroshima

Visiting Hiroshima


2. RIHGA Royal Hotel Hiroshima


RIHGA Royal Hotel Hiroshima is another good choice for staying overnight 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. However, if you are planning on eating breakfast, make sure to show up as early as possible. If you wait till the last minute, then you will have to wait in lines for food and a vacant table.

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


Visiting Hiroshima

RIHGA Royal Hotel Hiroshima


3. 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 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. By the way, if you are planning to get breakfast, then arrive early. The dining area gets very busy later on in the morning.

The staff is super friendly and very attentive.

In addition, there is a self-service laundry which is  very convenient as well.


Hiroshima Washington Hotel

Visiting Hiroshima


Where to Eat in Hiroshima


1. Okonomimura – Okonomiyaki Village


A visit to Okonomimra is one of the classic things to do in Hiroshima. By the way, Hiroshima has a bustling downtown area situated around Hondori. Hondori is a pedestrian arcade that is closed to traffic. It starts near the Peace Park and runs east. It is lined with shops and restaurants. Just south of the eastern end of Hondori is Okonomimura – translated as Okonomiyaki Village.

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 their 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.





 2. IPPUDO Hiroshima Fukuromachi


I love Ippudo and I always look it up wherever I am in Japan!
Ippudo Hiroshima Fukuromachi  is great, however, my favorite location is Ippudo Ginza, Tokyo.

Ippudo serves tonkotsu broth which originated in Hakata. The broth is made from pork bones simmered in a special cauldron for 18 hours and then cooled down for a whole day. The result is creamy, silky and flavorful broth nearly white in color.

The rich broth blends perfectly with their noodles which are chewy with a firm texture.

The menu is in both Japanese and English with pictures, so it is really easy to order.


Ippudo serves up their tonkotsu with ramen in three variations:


  • Shiromaru Classic

First of all, Shiromaru Classic is my favorite! The ingredients include tonkotsu broth, noodles, pork belly, bean sprouts, black fungus and spring onions. It is delicious!


Visiting Hiroshima


  • Akamaru Modern

Second choice is Akamaru Modern. It consists of tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and garlic oil, noodles, pork belly, bean sprouts, black fungus and spring onions.


  • Ippudo Karaka Ramen

And finally, Ippudo Karaka Ramen. It consists of tonkotsu broth, spicy minced meat miso, spring onions, and minced pork.


3. Parco della Pace


I know what you are thinking: Pizza in Japan? Well, sometimes I crave good pizza while I am traveling. I found this little gem in Hiroshima, so I want to share it with you. Parco della Pace pizza is wonderful and believe me, I had a lot of pizzas in my life!

By the way, the restaurant is near Peace Memorial Park, so it is perfect for a quick bite.

Their menu is short and with simple ingredients, as good pizza menu should be!


Parco della Pace Hiroshima



Top Things to Do and See in Hiroshima


Trying to choose what to do and see in Hiroshima? Following are 10 epic things to do in Hiroshima you do not want to miss. For detailed information about each attraction, make sure to read: 10 Epic Things to Do in Hiroshima



1. 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.Originally, 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 to remain upright after the explosion.




2. 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.




3. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was built by the City of Hiroshima and it was opened to the public 1950. The museum displays artifacts, photographs, 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.



The best way to get a good understanding of the timeline leading to the bombing, the impact of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and the recovery efforts is to attend:


Hiroshima Peace Walk Tour by Magical Trip


You will have a local guide who will give you an in-depth insight into the history of Hiroshima.



4. 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, Japanese General and Tea Master.Shukkeien Garden – “shrink-scenery circular tour style garden” is Ueda Soko’s masterpiece.

By the way, Shukkeien translated into English means “shrink-scenery” garden. Specifically, the idea is to represent through miniaturization the beauty of nature such as mountains, forests, valleys, lakes and so forth.

I recommend that you take the winding path which will lead you through the miniaturized scenic views of valleys and mountains with rivers intertwined in between them and flowing into the pond.


Shukkeien Garden


5. 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’s scales.

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


The Castle Tower houses a very good museum devoted to the history of Hiroshima.


6. 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.



Photo by そらみみ via Wikimedia Commons


7. 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.


8. Hiroshima Orizu Tower


Hiroshima Orizu Tower is another hidden gem that I stumbled upon when I was exploring Hiroshima.

It is located next to A-Bomb Dome. The observation deck on the top floor offers amazing views of Hiroshima. However, it is more than just an observation deck. There is an origami crane making activity with English instructions and help on hand if you need assistance.

The views are breathtaking.


Hiroshima Orizuru Tower


9. Yamoto Museum (Kure)


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

It is definitely one of the top things to do in Hiroshima if you are a fan of Japanese Naval Warships.

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.


10. Okonomimura


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 their 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.



Best Day Trips from Hiroshima


There is a lot to do in Hiroshima. And, you could easily spend a few days exploring the city. However, sometimes it is nice to a break from the busy city life and discover some places around it. There are plenty of rewarding and easy day trips from Hiroshima that will help you discover another side of Japan.


Here are my favorite 5 easy day trips from Hiroshima:


For detailed information about each location check out: 5 Easy Day Trips from Hiroshima – You Won’t Want to Miss and find out how to get there, what to do and see, where to eat and where to stay if you decide to extend your trip.


1. Naoshima – ‘Japan’s Art Island’


Naoshima Island, also known as ‘Japan’s Art Island’ is an art lover’s paradise. Furthermore, it is definitely one of a kind experience. However, even if you are not an art or architecture buff, you should still visit the island for the breathtaking views, stunning landscapes, and charming island atmosphere. It is one of my favorite day trips from Hiroshima!


What to See and Do in Naoshima


  • Chichu Art Museum – When I first visited Chichu Art Museum I was overwhelmed by this unique space designed by Tadao Ando

First of all, the museum is built mostly underground. However, a lot of natural light beautifully filters into each room. Depending on the time of the day and the season of the year, the natural light changes the appearance of the artworks and the ambience of the space. 


  •  Benesse House Museum – Benesse House Museum is my favorite museum on Naoshima Island.

The entire facility was designed by Tadao Ando and houses a modern art museum as well as an exquisite hotel. The complex sits on a high ground and overlooks the Seto Sea. Needless to say, the views are simply breathtaking!


Day Trips from Hiroshima


  • The Art House Project is a collection of old houses and workshops that have been converted into art installations and venues for contemporary art by artists and architects from Japan and abroad.

The art houses are scattered throughout Honmura village (located on the east side of the island).


To find out more about Naoshima attractions, places to stay overnight and the best spots for lunch or dinner click here.


2. Miyajima Island – ‘The Island of Gods’


If you are looking for a perfect day trip and a little adventure, then Miyajima Island, the “Island of Gods” is a perfect day trip from Hiroshima. Located less than an hour away from Hiroshima, Miyajima Island has an overwhelming range of things to do. In addition, Miyajima Island is one of my favorite day trips from Hiroshima.


What to Do and See on Miyajima Island


  • Miyajima Island Floating Torii – The number one attraction as well as the symbol of Miyajima Island is a giant torii (gate).

During the high tide, it appears as if the torii is floating out in the sea.


Miyajima Island


  • Itsukushima Shrine. The shrine was built in 593 and became an important place of worship in about 1168. In 1996 the World Heritage Committee officially inscribed Itsukushima Shinto Shrine as a World Cultural Heritage.

All the sections are connected by numerous boardwalks and supported by pillars above the sea. During the high tide, the shrine looks as if it is floating in the Seto Sea.


  • Daishoin Temple is about a 10 to 15-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine and it is well worth the visit.

Founded by Kobo Daishi in 806, Daishoin Temple is the headquarters of the Omuro branch of the Shingon Buddhists. The path leading to the temple is adorned with thousands of Buddha statues.


Daishoin Temple


Find out all about Miyajima here: what to see and do, where to stay and what are the best places to try some local delicacies.


3. Sandankyo Gorge 


A day trip to Sandankyo Gorge is a perfect choice for nature lovers and hikers. It is one of the day trips from Hiroshima that will let you completely escape the busy city life.  

Sandankyo Gorge runs through the mountains northwest of Hiroshima City. It is 13 km long.

Moreover, the hike runs along the gorge and takes you through the most beautiful natural scenery around Hiroshima.

Find out how to get to Sandankyo Gorge, what are the top best sights, how to get there and where to stop for lunch.


Sandankyo Gorge


4. Takehara – ‘Hiroshima’s Little Kyoto’ and Okunoshima Island – ‘Rabbit Island’


Take a stroll back in time at Takehara, also known as ‘Hiroshima’s Little Kyoto’ and then visit Okunoshima Island, also known as ‘Rabbit Island’. It is one of the most diverse day trips from Hiroshima.


Day Trips from Hiroshima


Find out how to get to Takehara and then how to transfer to Okunoshima Island. Furthermore  get all the details what to see and do, where to eat and stay overnight.


5. Iwakuni 

The Kintaikyo Bridge has been Iwakuni’s most distinguished landmark and a subject of admiration for hundreds of years. However, there is so much more to explore in Iwakuni. Visiting Iwakuni is another of my favorite day trips from Hiroshima.


What to Do and See in Iwakuni


  • Kintaikyo Bridge – Kintaikyo is a magnificent pedestrian wooden bridge. It is made up of five massive arches standing atop four stone piers.


Visiting Hiroshima


  • Kikko ParkIf you are planning your day trips from Hiroshima during springtime, then Kikko Park is a place to be! Kikko Park is one of the top best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan.


  • The Ropway – Next, take the cable-car up Shiroyama mountain to the Iwakuni Castle. The views along the way to the top are pretty spectacular!


  • Iwakuni Castle Iwakuni Castlewas was built in 1608. The site of the castle was chosen for its natural defensive advantages. It is perfectly positioned on top of Mount Shiroyama and half surrounded by a natural moat, the Nishiki River.


Day Trips from Hiroshima


  • The White Snake Museum – The White Snake Museum has a collection of white snakes, which are native to the Iwakuni area. Interestingly enough, white snakes can grow to around 1.8 meters in length. They are quite beautiful with red eyes and white or ivory/yellow scales.

Interestingly enough, the white snakes have been designated as national treasures.


By the way, find out more about each attraction in Iwakuni, how to get there and buy combo tickets, also read about where to eat and stay overnight.



Wandering what to do in Hiroshima at night?


Join Hiroshima Bar Hopping Food Tour by Magical Trip and try variety of local foods and drinks, as well as, learn about Hiroshima.


You will be accompanied by a friendly and knowledgeable local guide!




Pint it on your Pinterest Board!


Visiting Hiroshima


Visiting Hiroshima



Are you planning a trip to Hiroshima or Miyajima? Let me know when you are going! Also, make sure to check out this perfect 2-day itinerary that covers all the major sights in Hiroshima and Miyajima. 

Leave me a quick comment right below!


Also, click on the image below to get inspired!




8 thoughts on “Visiting Hiroshima – The Ultimate Expert Travel Guide


Very interesting to read this and learn about the Bomb Dome and peace memorials. Since the recent Chernobyl TV series, tourism to disaster and attrocity sites seems to have become a hot topic. I think it would be fascinating to visit Hiroshima and learn more about such a dark part of our shared history.


    Thank you so much Alex for your comment!


Seeing your pictures, it’s so difficult to imagine the devastation o this beautiful city. Gardens and parks are a weakness and I would love to see the Shukkeien Garden. Another place i would love to go to is the Daishoin Temple . It looks so peaceful.


    Thank you for your comment!


Thank you for all the amazingly detailed logistical information in this article, this sort of content is often the hardest to find, particularly all in the one location.


    Oh thank you so much, Melissa! That is what I always look for when planning a trip – logical, organized, and honest info. I try to do the same when i write my posts. Thank you again!


Thank you for such a detailed post. I dont know if I could do it..I would be too emotional knowing what we know of how the people were impacted 🙁


    Hi Karthika,
    Visiting Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a somber experience. I wish more people would visit to learn about the impact of atomic bombing.

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