HIROSHIMA 8 BUCKET LIST, HISTORIC PLACES

G'Day Japan! / Discover / HIROSHIMA 8 BUCKET LIST, HISTORIC PLACES

Hiroshima has meaningful historic, world heritage sites and delicious local foods that will have you dreaming about it for days! It is located southwest of Japan in the Chugoku region. It faces the Seto Inland Sea in western Honshu.

This year, 2020 will officially mark the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. To clarify, it took place on August 6, 1945. Today, Hiroshima symbolises the city of peace. It has become one of the most commonly visited places in Japan. It attracts many tourists and the number of visitors only continues to grow. If you haven’t added Hiroshima to your bucket list, what are you waiting for?!

Let’s dive into the best historic places to visit in Hiroshima city, both day and night. Here are our top 8 historic tourist attractions list and 4 local food places.

8 Historic Tourist Attractions

  1. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
  2. A-Bomb Dome
  3. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
  4. Children’s Peace Monument
  5. Itsukushima Shrine
  6. Hiroshima Castle
  7. Mitaki-dera Temple
  8. Rabbit Island

4 Local Food Places

  1. Hiroshima style okonomiyaki pancakes
  2. Hiroshima grilled oysters
  3. Maple shaped castella (Momiji Manju)
  4. Soupless ramen

1. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park 

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Photo via Evaneos

The ‘Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park’ (UNESCO world heritage site) marks a significant place for remembrance. The park built after WWII. In the middle of the park stands the ‘Memorial Cenotaph’. The arch-shaped monument symbolises protection of the victim’s soul. Behind the ‘Memorial Cenotaph’, is the peace flame which was first lit on August 1, 1964. The peace flame intends to remain lit until the world is in complete harmony. People visit this park to pay their respects to those lost. In particular, to see the ‘A-Bomb Dome’, ‘Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum’ and ‘Children’s Peace Monument’.

Official websiteClick here

【Admission fee】Free of charge

【Opening hours】24 hours, everyday

【Access】The walk from Hiroshima bus centre is approx. 10 minutes.

 

2. A-Bomb Dome

Photo via Flickr

The ‘Atomic Bomb Dome’ (UNESCO world heritage site) was able to withstand the bomb explosion. Thus, remains as the very last surviving structure. It has become a commonly visited place for tourists as it is an important reminder of the tragedy. This structure remains in the same state as it did after the event in 1945 as a half-exploded ruin. The people of Hiroshima continue to preserve the ‘Genbaku Dome’ through constant effort.

Official websiteClick here

【Admission fee】Free of charge (you cannot enter the dome, only look from the outside)

【Opening hours】24 hours, everyday

【Access】 The walk from Hiroshima bus centre is approx. 10 minutes.

 

3. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum 

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Photo via Nippon

The ‘Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum’ connects and brings the tourist to visualise the happenings of the past. In this case, through the use of images, movies and displays. Built in 1955, it was designed for both locals and tourists. In order to, learn more about Hiroshima’s past event, how it impacted the city and the people within it. It displays items that reflect how the situation was after the bombing occurred. With attention to, the victims’ clothes and stories of those who passed. The museum preserves these memories thus, making it a meaningful place to explore.

Official websiteClick here

【Admission fee】 ¥200 adults (university students and up), ¥100 high school students, free for junior high school students and younger. 65 years and over showing a passport, will be ¥100.

【Opening hours】
March-July: 8:30am-6:00pm
August: 8:30am-7:00pm
September-November: 8:30am-6:00pm
December-February: 8:30am -5:00pm
* Last entry is 30 minutes before the museum closes.

【Access】Hop on No. 24 Hiroshima bus for Yoshijima (approx. 20 minutes by bus)
from A-3 at the south exit of Hiroshima Station, and get off at “Heiwa kinen koen”.

 

4. Children’s Peace Monument

In 1958, the ‘Children’s Peace Monument’ was built. In fact, it is also known as well as the memorial to ‘Sadako Sasaki’.
This statue is of a girl holding one paper crane. The statue symbolises a 2-year-old victim who survived when the bomb exploded. Thereafter, she lived until the age of 12. In her final year, her father told her a story about 1,000 paper cranes. Being that, those who fold 1,000 will have their one wish come true. Although, she was only able to fold 644 before she passed. Consequently, people from Hiroshima and visitors around the world continue to fold the rest of the paper cranes for her. Today, the origami cranes are a symbol of hope and peace due to the wishes of this little girl. Tourists come to check out the glass cases around the memorial filled with paper cranes.

Official websiteClick here 

【Admission fee】Free of charge

【Opening hours】24 hours, everyday

【Access】Approx. 17 minutes by loop bus “Hiroshima Meipuru~pu”. Hop on the loop bus at the Shinkansen-guchi exit of Hiroshima Station, get off at “Heiwa kinen koen” (take either the green line or orange line).

 

5. Itsukushima Shrine 

Itsukushima Shrine (Miyajima Island)

Photo viaGaijinpot

From Hiroshima, Miyajima is only an hour trip to see this iconic shrine. Miyajima Island is south of Hiroshima, in the Hiroshima Prefecture. Itsukushima Shinto Shrine is also a UNESCO world heritage site, as it was built in the 12th century. The island is mainly visited for its unique ‘floating torii gate’ that is located in the water. This iconic attraction is also lit up at night with stunning views of the shrine.

Miyajima is home to friendly Sika deers. Did you know that according to local folklore, these deers were regarded as holy messengers from God? Quite an interesting myth. Just imagine walking alongside them! These deers calmly wander around searching for food. You can easily approach, pet or feed the deers without them running away from you. Keep in mind although they are quite docile, it is always good to be careful considering they are still wild animals.

Official websiteClick here

【Admission fee】¥1,000 adults, ¥500 high school students, ¥300 junior high school students and elementary school students.

【Opening hours】6:30am-6pm, everyday

【Access】From Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (27 minutes). Then, take the ferry from Miyajimaguchi to Miyajima Pier (10 minutes). From the pier (10 minutes), a short walk to the shrine.

 

6. Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima Castle

Photo via Japan cheapo

The Hiroshima Castle, also known as ‘Carp Castle’ (Rijo Castle) was first built in the 16th century. Then, rebuilt in 1958. The castle is a museum displaying the history of Hiroshima. Also, the castle’s history and other Japanese castles. It is a five-story building with a beautiful wooden outer appearance. Moat surrounds the ground. The highest floor offers stunning views of the park and city. During the night, the castle lights up. Undoubtedly, creating a gorgeous view. People visit this place to admire its beauty and learn about the castle’s history.

Official websiteClick here 

【Admission fee】¥370 adults, ¥180 children (high school students and under). If there are 30 people + in a group, then the discount will be ¥280 adults, ¥100 child (high school students and under).

【Opening hours】Weekday (March-November): 9:00am-6:00pm, (December-February): 9:00am-5:00pm
*Last entry is 30 minutes before closing.

【Access】About 10 minutes by tram or bus from JR Hiroshima Station and get off at “Kamiya-cho” stop, then it is a 15 minute walk.

 

7. Mitaki-dera Temple

Mitaki-dera Temple

Photo via Remote lands

Mitaki-dera Temple and its surrounding area is especially famous for its two-storied pagoda. In fact, there are over 300 Buddha and Jizo stone statues, dressed in red bibs and caps. The temple was built earlier in the year 809. This temple is located north of Hiroshima. Specifically, it is hidden deep in an enchanting forest on the side of Mount Mitaki. Most crowds visit the temple during autumn when the leaves change to bright colours. Another period is during the beautiful, spring cherry-blossom.

An experience much different from the city, this place will present you with a quiet and calming atmosphere. Undoubtedly, leave you feeling healed and refreshed as you immerse yourself in its beauty. Although, the walk to this temple may take a while. Take this moment to at least listen to the sounds of nature as you come across waterfalls. Additionally, you can also enjoy traditional Japanese food at the teahouse. Challenge yourself to also take on a hike up to the summit of Mount Mitaki. Otherwise, take another trail which leads to a lovely bamboo forest.

Official websiteClick here

【Admission fee】Free of charge

【Opening hours】8:00am-5:30pm, everyday

【Access】Temple entrance is approx. a 20 minute walk from Mitaki JR Station, two stops from Hiroshima Station on the Kabe Line.

 

8. Rabbit Island (Okunoshima)

Photo via JW

Rabbit Island has thousands of friendly wild rabbits that roam the island freely. Animal lover’s dream come true. Seriously, who can resist? Okunoshima is a small island. Also, located in the Seto Inland Sea in Takehara city, Hiroshima Prefecture. As soon as you step foot onto the island, you will be surrounded by these adorable, fluffy bunnies. Surprisingly, they will melt your troubles away. You can also feed them! Not to mention, visitors can buy rabbit food before they board the ferry to the island. Although this island may appear as bunny heaven, it was once a secret chemical weapon factory in WWII. Today, you can visit the ‘Poison Gas Museum’. Whether you are into the history side of things or into the fluffy animals, it is still a place worth visiting. Furthermore, the island offers various fun things to see and do such as hot springs, beaches and cycling.

Official websiteCkick here 

【Admission fee】Free of charge

【Opening hours】9am-4pm. Closed Wednesdays.

【Access】Approx. 25-minute train ride from Mihara Station on the JR Kure Line. A 3-minute walk from Tadanoumi JR Station to the port. A 15-minute ferry ride from Tadanômi Port.

 


BEST LOCAL FOOD PLACES

1. Hiroshima style okonomiyaki pancakes

1Hiroshima style okonomiyaki pancakes

Photo via Rotinrice

Okonomiyaki pancakes is a Japanese savoury mixed pancake. Usually, it consists of a flour batter, eggs and sliced cabbage. You can certainly customise it by adding pork strips and/or seafood. Lastly, topped with okonomiyaki sauce (Japanese bbq sauce), powdered seaweed and green onions. You may have already tried this dish in Osaka, but have you tried ‘Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki’? The Hiroshima pancake version comparatively differs from Osaka. Instead, it consists of Yakisoba grilled noodles (soba noodles/stir-fry buckwheat noodles). Also, the ingredients are fried in layers, one by one on an iron teppan griddle.

Not sure where to go to try this? Head down over to Okonomi-mura. It has 24 stores on levels 2-4 in the same building which all sell Hiroshima style pancakes. 4 of these stores offer an English menu. Many have an iron teppan griddle, where they cook the pancakes right in front of you. So mouth-watering and delicious! This dish is unique and is a must-try local dish you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

2. Hiroshima grilled oysters

Hiroshima grilled oysters

Photo via Matcha

Hiroshima produces the most oysters in Japan. Here, oyster farming has quite a history that dates back to about 450 years ago. You’d be crazy not to go here without trying their delicious grilled oysters! Even if you are not a fan of raw seafood or oysters, it is still worth a try! The delightful smell of the garlic butter and soy sauce from the grill will definitely no doubt pull you in. Here, grilled oysters are very popular, packed with nutrients and known for its thickness. The oysters can be eaten raw or used in a speciality hot pot dish ‘kaki no dotenabe’. A popular place to try fresh oysters is ‘Yakigaki no Hayashi’ on Miyajima Island where the workers sizzle the oysters near the street. For an authentic experience, try the oysters with their speciality, lemons, known for being slightly sweet.  

3. Maple shaped castella (Momiji Manju)

3. Maple shaped castella (Momiji manju)

Photo via Hisgo

Momiji Manju is a popular local cake, shaped as a maple leaf, in castella-like dough. With a variety of flavours ranging from original sweet red bean filling (azuki bean paste) to other flavours like matcha green tea. Travellers frequently buy the cake as a food souvenir. Maple shaped castella is a favourite amongst many Japanese people and dates back to the early 20th century. You will be able to find these cakes on Miyajima Island, sold on the road heading to Itsukushima Shrine. Some places will even allow you to try making one yourself. Without a doubt, a must-try when you visit Hiroshima! Surely bring some back home for friends and family, they will be very happy.

4. Soupless ramen (Tsukemen)

Is there a dish more popular than ramen in Hiroshima?! In fact, there is, it’s called Hiroshima Tsukemen noodles, meaning dipping noodles and also known as ‘soupless ramen’. Tsukemen is a famous boiled noodle dish with various toppings such as sliced roast pork and boiled egg. Unlike ramen, there is a small bowl of spicy dipping sauce on the side which is what makes this dish so special. The dipping sauce is a spicy soup with red chillies and it is covered in floating sesame seeds. It really depends on how far you are willing to go with the spice level. Whether you are a spice addict or perhaps, you may not be so great with spiceyou can customise to match your spice level. The sky’s the limit.


This city presents an authentic experience for those who are open to learning more about Hiroshima’s past and present or others who may simply seek a unique experience of Japan. Visitors can also attend historical and heritage tours, and in addition, enjoy various local foods the city has to offer.

 

 

 

REGION INFORMATION

Hiroshima

| Temperature: 23


Hiroshima is located facing the Seto Inland Sea and is most well known as the site of the atomic bombing in WWII. The most visited tourist attraction in Hiroshima is the Peace Memorial Park and the floating Itsukushima Shrine on the coast of Miyajima.

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