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Hiroshima, a city steeped in history and resilience, offers a unique blend of poignant memorials, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. From its tragic past to its remarkable recovery, Hiroshima has become a symbol of peace and renewal. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a food lover, Hiroshima has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the top things to do in Hiroshima, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this remarkable city. To fully enjoy your visit without the burden of carrying your belongings, consider using luggage storage London before embarking on your journey.

Hiroshima’s Rich History and Culture

Things to Do in Hiroshim

Hiroshima’s history is forever marked by the events of August 6, 1945, when the city became the first to be devastated by an atomic bomb. Today, Hiroshima stands as a testament to the power of peace and the human spirit. The city’s cultural heritage, combined with its modern attractions, offers a diverse and enriching experience for visitors.

Top Attractions in Hiroshima

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Things to Do in Hiroshim

One of the most important sites in Hiroshima, the Peace Memorial Park, is a solemn reminder of the city’s past and a beacon of hope for a peaceful future. The park is home to several significant monuments, including the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Children’s Peace Monument, and the Peace Memorial Museum.

What to See and Do:

  • Atomic Bomb Dome: The remains of the former Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, stand as a haunting reminder of the bombing.
  • Children’s Peace Monument: This monument is a tribute to the children who perished in the bombing, adorned with thousands of paper cranes symbolizing peace.
  • Peace Memorial Museum: Offers a detailed account of the events of August 6, 1945, and the aftermath, featuring artifacts, photographs, and survivor testimonies.

How to Get There: The Peace Memorial Park is easily accessible by tram or bus from Hiroshima Station. It’s located in the heart of the city, making it convenient for visitors.

Hiroshima Castle

Things to Do in Hiroshim

Known as “Carp Castle,” Hiroshima Castle is a reconstructed fortress that provides a glimpse into Japan’s feudal past. The castle, originally built in the 1590s, was destroyed by the atomic bomb but has since been restored to its former glory.

Historical Background: The castle served as a significant military base and a symbol of power in the region. Today, it houses a museum that showcases Hiroshima’s history and culture, including samurai artifacts and exhibits on the castle’s construction.

Key Highlights:

  • Main Keep: Offers panoramic views of the city and exhibits on samurai culture and the castle’s history.
  • Surrounding Grounds: Beautiful gardens and moats that provide a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
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Accessibility and Visiting Tips: The castle is a short walk from Kamiyacho-nishi Station. It’s advisable to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid crowds. Don’t forget to explore the nearby Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine, which adds to the historical ambiance of the area.

Shukkeien Garden

Things to Do in Hiroshima

Shukkeien Garden is a historic Japanese garden that dates back to 1620. Designed to replicate scenic views in miniature, the garden features picturesque landscapes, tranquil ponds, and beautifully manicured plants.

Beauty and Tranquility: Stroll through the winding paths, enjoy the seasonal flowers, and relax by the pond while feeding the koi fish. Shukkeien Garden is a perfect place for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Main Features and Activities:

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  • Tea Houses: Experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in one of the garden’s charming tea houses.
  • Seasonal Events: The garden hosts various events throughout the year, including cherry blossom viewings and autumn foliage displays, making each visit unique.

Directions and Visiting Hours: Shukkeien Garden is a short walk from Shukkeien-mae tram stop. It’s open daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, with extended hours during special events.

Must-Visit Places in Hiroshima

Miyajima Island

Things to Do in Hiroshima

Miyajima Island, also known as Itsukushima, is famous for its iconic floating torii gate and serene landscapes. A short ferry ride from Hiroshima, this island offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Itsukushima Shrine: This UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its floating torii gate, which appears to float on the water during high tide. The shrine itself is an architectural marvel, reflecting the harmony between man and nature.

Mount Misen: For the adventurous, a hike up Mount Misen offers breathtaking views of the Seto Inland Sea. The summit can also be reached via a scenic ropeway, providing a more leisurely ascent. Consider using luggage storage London before embarking on this trek as it can get quite tiring.

Travel Tips and Best Times to Visit:

  • Plan Ahead: The island can get crowded, especially during peak seasons. Arriving early in the morning or later in the afternoon can help you avoid the crowds.
  • Stay Overnight: Experience the island’s tranquility after the day-trippers leave. There are several traditional ryokans where you can stay and enjoy local hospitality.

Hiroshima Museum of Art

The Hiroshima Museum of Art houses a diverse collection of European and Japanese artworks, providing a rich cultural experience for art enthusiasts.

Collection Highlights:

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  • European Art: The museum boasts works by masters such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso, offering a comprehensive look at Western art movements.
  • Japanese Art: The collection includes traditional ukiyo-e prints and contemporary pieces, showcasing the evolution of Japanese art.

Special Exhibitions: The museum regularly hosts special exhibitions, featuring both international and local artists. These temporary exhibits provide fresh perspectives and new discoveries for repeat visitors.

Visitor Information: Located in central Hiroshima, the museum is accessible by tram or bus. It’s open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with extended hours for special exhibitions. Check the museum’s website for current exhibitions and events.

Unique and Cool Things to Do in Hiroshima

Okonomimura

Things to Do in Hiroshima

Okonomimura, or “Okonomiyaki Village,” is a food lover’s paradise where you can indulge in Hiroshima’s famous okonomiyaki, a savory pancake filled with various ingredients.

Culinary Experience: With multiple floors of okonomiyaki stalls, each offering their unique twist on this classic dish, you’re sure to find a flavor that suits your taste. From seafood to cheese, the variety is endless.

Top Restaurants and Dishes:

  • Reichan: Known for its generous portions and crispy texture. A must-visit for first-timers.
  • Hassei: A local favorite with a secret sauce recipe that keeps patrons coming back.

Location and Recommendations: Located near the bustling Hondori Street, Okonomimura is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience authentic Hiroshima cuisine. Be sure to try different stalls to find your personal favorite.

Mazda Museum

Things to Do in Hiroshima

For automobile enthusiasts, the Mazda Museum offers an inside look at one of Japan’s most iconic car manufacturers.

History of Mazda: Learn about the company’s evolution, from its early days to its modern innovations. The museum provides an in-depth look at Mazda’s pioneering spirit and technological advancements.

Exhibition Highlights:

  • Mazda Rotary Engine: A pioneering technology that revolutionized the automotive industry. The museum showcases various models that utilized this engine.
  • Concept Cars: A glimpse into the future of Mazda design. These futuristic models highlight Mazda’s commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Tour Information and Booking: Tours are available by reservation only and are conducted in English and Japanese. The museum is located in Fuchu, a short train ride from Hiroshima. Be sure to book your tour in advance, as slots can fill up quickly.

Hiroshima Orizuru Tower

Hiroshima Orizuru Tower offers a modern perspective on the city’s history and culture, with interactive exhibits and stunning views.

Overview and Attractions:

  • Orizuru Square: Create your own paper crane and add it to the tower’s collection. This activity is not only fun but also deeply symbolic of Hiroshima’s message of peace.
  • Observation Deck: Offers panoramic views of Hiroshima, including the Peace Memorial Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome. The deck is designed to provide a serene space for reflection.

Visiting Details: The tower is open daily from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased online or at the entrance. The tower’s unique architecture and thoughtful exhibits make it a standout attraction in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima Nightlife

Nagarekawa District

Nagarekawa is the heart of Hiroshima’s nightlife, offering a variety of bars, clubs, and entertainment options.

Popular Nightlife Spots:

  • Molly Malone’s: An Irish pub with live music and a friendly atmosphere. It’s a great place to meet fellow travelers and enjoy a pint.
  • Club G: A trendy nightclub known for its energetic vibe and top DJs. Dance the night away to the latest hits and enjoy the vibrant scene.

Bars, Clubs, and Entertainment Options: From karaoke bars to live music venues, Nagarekawa has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a night of dancing, you’ll find it here.

Safety Tips and How to Get There: Located near Hiroshima Station, Nagarekawa is easily accessible by tram or bus. Always stay in well-lit areas and keep an eye on your belongings. It’s a good idea to plan your route home in advance, especially if you’ll be out late.

Hondori Street

Things to Do in Hiroshima

Hondori Street is a bustling shopping and dining area that comes alive at night. It’s the perfect place to experience Hiroshima’s urban culture.

Shopping and Dining Options:

  • Parco: A multi-story shopping complex with a wide range of stores. From fashion to electronics, you can find almost anything here.
  • Local Eateries: Sample Hiroshima-style ramen and other local delicacies. The street is lined with restaurants and cafes offering a variety of cuisines.

Night Markets and Local Experiences: Hondori Street hosts occasional night markets where you can buy local crafts and street food. These markets offer a unique shopping experience and a chance to mingle with locals.

Directions and Best Time to Visit: Easily accessible by tram, Hondori Street is best visited in the evening when the shops and restaurants are in full swing. The vibrant atmosphere makes it a great place to start your night out.

Day Trips and Nearby Attractions

Onomichi

Things to Do in Hiroshima

Onomichi is a scenic coastal town famous for its temples and cycling routes.

Scenic Spots and Activities:

  • Temple Walk: A route that takes you through 25 historic temples. Each temple offers unique architecture and serene surroundings.
  • Shimanami Kaido: A popular cycling route that offers stunning views of the Seto Inland Sea. The route is well-maintained and suitable for cyclists of all levels.

Local Cuisine and Culture: Try the town’s famous Onomichi ramen, known for its soy sauce-based broth and chewy noodles. The town’s quaint cafes and local shops add to its charm.

Transportation Options: Onomichi is easily accessible by train from Hiroshima. Bikes can be rented for the day to explore the area. The town is compact, making it easy to navigate on foot or by bike.

Hiroshima offers a diverse range of attractions and activities, from historical sites and museums to natural beauty and vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re visiting for a day or planning an extended stay, there’s always something new to discover. We hope this guide helps you make the most of your visit to Hiroshima, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

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FAQs

What are the top things to do in Hiroshima?

Hiroshima offers a variety of attractions including the Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Castle, and Miyajima Island.

How to experience Hiroshima’s nightlife?

Explore the Nagarekawa District and Hondori Street for bars, clubs, and local izakayas.

What are the best places to visit in Hiroshima in winter?

In winter, visit the Hiroshima Dreamination festival and nearby ski resorts for winter sports.

Are there any unique attractions in Hiroshima?

Yes, unique attractions include the Hiroshima Orizuru Tower, Mazda Museum, and Okonomimura.

What day trips can I take from Hiroshima?

Great day trips from Hiroshima include visits to Onomichi, Kurashiki, and Iwakuni.