While one day in Hiroshima may not seem like enough time to explore, you’ll soon realize that most of the must-visit attractions are conveniently located quite close to each other. So even if you’re stopping off at Hiroshima on a cruise over or staying for a quick visit you’ll be able to experience all of the city’s highlights. The furthest destination is Miyajima Island, and even that only takes about 40 minutes to reach. If you want to make the most out of your Hiroshima itinerary, it’s best to start bright and early. A large part of your day will be walking around the city so make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes. f you get tired, or you want to move a bit quicker, you can always rely on the train stations located throughout the downtown area.
You’ll likely start your day at or nearby Hiroshima Station, it’s a great central place to start. From there you could grab a cup of coffee, matcha, or ginger tea at a local’s favorite like Hachidori-sha Social Book Cafe on your way to the tranquil Peace Memorial Park. If you’re looking for a traditional breakfast snack try Momiji-Manju. It’s a small pastry shaped to resemble a maple leaf and stuffed with different delicious fillings. The Peace Memorial Park is a truly serene and contemplative space located in the center of Hiroshima and it’s the perfect place to start your day. This area was once a busy part of downtown Hiroshima before the 1945 bombing and today the park is a space to memorialize the victims and contemplate.
After a gentle stroll through the Peace Memorial Park head over to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The museum is dedicated to educating the world, with hopes for a more peaceful future through the legacy of those affected by the 1945 atomic bomb. It’s a difficult museum to see, but definitely an important message and experience. While you’re exploring the history of Hiroshima head over to one of the most historic buildings around. The Hiroshima Castle was originally built in the 1590s but was rebuilt in 1958 after the castle was destroyed during the 1945 bombing. The castle now serves as an exhibition of Japan’s history up until 1945.
A morning of exploring will most likely make you quite hungry so lunch is the next order of the day. Even though you only have one day in Hiroshima, sampling some of the famous cuisines like Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is a must. A central place to dine on this regional dish is Okonomi-mura which is close to the Peace Memorial Park. The building is packed with around 24 restaurants with each chef serving their variation of okonomiyaki. If you’re not familiar with the dish, okonomiyaki is a fried pancake covered in a mixture of cabbage, vegetables, seafood, and anything you’ve got a taste for. Then onto more exploring and walking around the nearby Hiroshima Museum of Art and the tranquil Shukkeien Garden, the perfect place to relax and digest.
Spend the late afternoon and early evening exploring Itsukushima. This famous island is known for its beautiful ‘floating tori gate’. The Itsukushima shrine is the must-see centerpiece of Miyajima island. Built along the shore of the island, the centuries-old shrine is Miyajima’s namesake, translating to ‘Shrine Island.’ Regarded as a holy Shinto site, the shrine consists of multiple buildings that appear to float on the water during high tide. It’s a beautiful, peaceful place to explore with the whole family. While you’re there check out the lush maple leaf Momijidani park at the base of Mt. Misen.
Ready for dinner after a busy day of exploring? How about enjoying Hiroshima’s famous oysters, they are one of the most celebrated local produce and no trip to Hiroshima would be complete without sampling a few. There are various restaurants on Miyajima that serves Hiroshima’s famous barbecued oysters or you can head back to the mainland for something just as tasty. are one of Hiroshima’s most celebrated local produce, so no trip to the prefecture is complete without a tasting. Enjoy one of the various restaurants on Miyajima serving the island’s famous barbecued oysters. If oysters aren’t your thing then how about a steaming bowl of Onomichi ramen? This dark soy sauce-based soup from Onomichi Ramen Tani or Onomichi Ramen Maruboshi compliments fatty pork slices with green onions and creates a busy bowl packed with flavor. It’s the perfect way to end a busy day exploring the best of Hiroshima.
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