Japan’s Hiroshima is the capital city of Hiroshima Prefecture. It also happens to be the largest city within the Chugoku region of Japan. Although it has a rich history, it has a horrifying and tragic mark on it, as it is the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack in 1945 in World War II. Despite around 70 percent of the city being destroyed, Hiroshima has rebuilt itself from the ruins and is a beautiful modern city of Japan.
With vibrant streets, cosmopolitan centres, incredible landmarks, one of its kind architecture, and active nightlife, Hiroshima has come a long way from its tragic past and is loved by the tourists for its several shopping options and authentic Japanese food. Being a large city, Hiroshima is divided into several small neighbourhoods or districts with each having a speciality of their own, attracting tourists from all over the world. Let’s look at some of the neighbourhoods and help you choose the best place for you to stay on your visit to Hiroshima.
This beautiful district is considered to be the best place to stay for families who are visiting Hiroshima. Known for being one of the greenest neighbourhoods of the city, it is a large expansive district in the Hiroshima’s Minami Ward. Located right between the Hijiyama Park and Enko River, this neighbourhood sports picturesque locales and displays a lovely natural scenery. Because of the city’s wonderful public transport system, Hijiyama honmachi is well connected to all of the city’s major attractions and important landmarks, and it is just a short subway ride away from the Peace Memorial Park, city’s centre.
Close to Hijiyama honmachi you can find many family-friendly attractions and activities. This district has quite a lot of boutiques where you can shop. It also has enough eating options as there are a lot of lavish restaurants and diners. Hijiyama honmachi is home to a few interesting museums and art galleries as well.
Hijiyama honmachi is not only about museums and art galleries. Its Hijiyama Park is a perfect leisure spot as many families gather around for picnic as its vast green space offers perfect space for children to play as well. The Fujimidai Observation Deck offers a great view of the city and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art is known for for its great art and sculpture works. If you are looking for some Japanese religious site, make sure you visit the Zenkyoji Buddhist Temple. To get to know about the history of manga, the graphic novels of Japan, do visit the Hiroshima City Manga Library and browse through the 100 thousand pieces that are there in the collection.
Although a small neighbourhood of Hiroshima, Hondori is the best option for you to stay if you are someone who enjoys an active and energetic nightlife. Located in Naka Ward region, it is a brisk walk from downtown. This neighbourhood is all about life, vibrancy, energy and fun. Along with numerous shops, where you can shop to your heart’s content, you can find restaurants, pretty cafes, and pubs, keeping this locality busy. Known for its active nightlife, Hondori is like no other neighbourhood, when it comes to post-sun-down fun, mainly because of the several popular clubs that call Hondori it's home.
Along with the beautiful restaurants and trendy cafes, that sports stylish decors you can find a few fine diners as well. For the youth and the ones young at heart, they can get themselves entertained in the hip bars and pubs. With a large number of footfalls, especially during the weekends because of its popular nightlife, Hondori is loved by the tourists and is visited by the locals as well. The city life is quite busy here, as this neighbourhood is all about loud music, great drinking options and flashing lights to set the mood.
With every bar having their speciality, they attract a lot of tourists and locals as well. While one bar sets the mood based on a music genre, others take you to a different era altogether. While you dance, drink and have a fun time in Hondori, make sure you do check out all its popular bars to have a memorable experience.
If you visiting Hiroshima for the first time and want to get the most out of your visit, Motomachi is the best place for you to stay. Located right at the heart of Hiroshima at the Naka Ward, the Motomachi district is filled with important sites and major tourist attractions of Hiroshima.
Your stay here is going to prove quite advantageous for you as Hiroshima’s major sites like the Hiroshima Castle, the Peace Memorial Park along with several other iconic landmarks, memorial sites, and museums are all within the walking distance. This cuts down a lot of travelling cost and saves your time as well, helping you to spend a comfortable vacation in Hiroshima.
Not only the beautiful tourist sites and important landmarks, but it is also a famous shopping destination as it is home to the Shopping Streets of Motomachi. Here you can find several high-end designer shops, boutiques and retail shops that sell high quality goods. Tourists visit this neighbourhood to buy home décor, souvenirs, jewellery as well as trendy fashionable clothing items.
Make sure that you spend some time in the Hiroshima Castle as its fantastic museum holds the records of the rich and tragic history of Hiroshima. To know more about Hiroshima’s history, you can visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It is a prominent green space right in the middle of the city, paying tribute to the tragic history of Hiroshima as the site of the first nuclear attack during World War II. Also look through the exhibits and the artefacts, dedicated to the bombing of Hiroshima that is collected and kept at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. If you are looking for some relaxing time, you can take a walk through Central Park. If you are someone who loves art, you can visit the Hiroshima Museum of Art. Here you can find several works of Japanese artists and French masters like Renoir and Monet.
If you are travelling on a budget and looking for a place to stay at affordable prices in Hiroshima, Kakomachi is the best place for you. Towards the south of Motomachi, Kakomachi is a small district in Hiroshima, but with quite a lot of fun-filled activities and life. Nestled between the two beautiful rivers, Ota and Motoyadu, it is a beautiful neighbourhood located centrally in Hiroshima.
Its central location is advantageous as it ensures well connectivity during your stay in Hiroshima. During your stay, make sure you walk around the neighbourhood, as here you can find most of the city’s best clubs and bars. Being quite budget friendly, most tourists spend their time here by shopping in the beautiful shops here. Added to that, the neighbourhood’s connectivity ensures you can easily travel to other parts of the city and visit the tourist attractions and have fun at cheap travelling costs.
Being a budget friendly neighbourhood, you will find great accommodations at reasonable prices. Kakomachi has accommodations that suit everyone’s needs and budget- be it a solo explorer, a couple, a social hotel, or someone who is looking for a fancy hotel or something in between.
If you are here in Kakomachi, do visit the Hiroshima Peace Park in the north of the neighbourhood or spend a relaxing time at the Seibukashi Ryokuchi Park. Famous for being the local delicacy at Ichi Okonomiyaki, remember to take a bite of okonomiyaki. It is a Japanese savoury pancake with a unique taste. Kakomachi has many important historical sites and tourists attractions as well, like the Tenman Shrine, the Fountain of Prayer and the Gates of Peace. The Gates of Peace is an elegant monument comprising of 10 gates, with each gate having the word “peace” inscribed on them in 49 languages.
North of Motomachi, Hakushima is a nice option for you to stay if you would prefer staying close to everything. It is a major transportation centre of Hiroshima, making it a perfect choice as you can get around the city easily from here. As it is yet to be touched by the rush of tourism, this nice neighbourhood exhibits a serene and calm ambience and is perfect for those who want to spend a nice relaxing holiday, away from the noise of the city centre.
Although these get enlisted under the positives of the neighbourhood, the major attraction of this neighbourhood is cuisines and the dishes that it has to offer. With several restaurants and cafes in the locality, you can find your preferable international dishes or taste the local traditional cuisines as well. If you are here for food, make sure you visit the Bakery Petit Shirashima, which is a local institution that offers the best bread and pastry of Japan.
For those who are looking for a bit of history, you can visit the Hiroshima Detention House where you can find the walls being covered in beautiful murals, or the Anraku-ji Temple and learn about the contemporary religious practices.
Itsukushima Island (Miyajima)
Located on the Seto Inland Sea of Hiroshima, Itsukushima, or popularly known as Miyajima, is an island of Hiroshima. Best known for its floating gate, the famous Itsukushima Shrine at the Itsukushima Island has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Shintos consider deer to be sacred as they are regarded as the messenger of gods. Hence you can find many deer roaming around in the island, along with monkeys as well. You can also find the impressive Itsukushima Sanctuary here as well. Transportation to and from the island is quite convenient as there is a ferry service connection to the JR West -JR Miyajima ferry, and the tourist boat Miyajima Matsudai, that connects the islands with areas close to Hiroshima. If you are here, do try the Miyajima cable car.
Although most tourists visit Miyajima during the day and come back at night, don’t drop the idea of spending the night here as the ambience here at night is quite serene and has a sense of adventure and mystery.
Although it is a different city now, officially, this neighbourhood is a part of the Hiroshima Prefecture. With an excellent transport system connecting to Hiroshima, people visit Fukuyama for its beautiful Japanese temple and marvel at their splendid architectural designs. With three major temples to visit, if you are in the area, make sure you visit the smaller temples as well, as they are quite interesting and are a part of Japanese religious history. This city also serves several authentic and traditional dishes of Japan.
You can also stay in the Downtown area as it is full of history, remarkable monuments, striking landscape and diverse cultural history. Hiroshima is a city with an active life, rich culture, authentic Japanese food and history, that is sure to make your trip interesting.
Though smaller than the other districts of Hiroshima, Nakamachi is the coolest district of the city. It is a busy neighbourhood with beautiful restaurants, trendy cafes, lively clubs, and several shopping options along with some major tourist attractions as well. If you are someone who loves to spend the night partying, Nakamachi has several options for you. With a wide range of clubs, nightclubs, bars, pubs and cafes, people of all age and taste pour into the neighbourhood to have their share of fun. If you are someone who wants to have a drink and relax, or someone who wants to dance and sing out loud to the music, Nakamachi has a place just for you. You can visit the Raku Bar for its wide range of craft beers and monihoudai, or Hiroshima Backbeat where you can hear amazing live acts while sipping cocktails.
Also, Nakamachi is more than just a usual party destination. It has several food options as well. This neighbourhood is filled with beautiful restaurants and trendy cafes that serves all kinds of delicious dishes. Take a walk through the neighbourhood to find the restaurant of your choice or shop from the designer boutiques.