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The best things to do in Hiroshima at night

By Chloe
23 September 2020
The best things to do in Hiroshima at night

After a day of exploring all of Hiroshima’s must-see sights and discovering all the hidden gems in between, don’t head off to bed just yet. There’s still so much more to explore. Hiroshima, like most Japanese cities, comes to life as the sun goes down and while the nightlife isn’t as busy as Tokyo or Osaka there are still loads of things to do at night in Hiroshima.


Mt. Haigamine

Mt. Haigamine

Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Although Mount Haigamine is technically just outside Hiroshima city, this 737m high mountain is a must-visit if you’re looking for things to do at night. Besides being a great place for hikes during the day, the mountain offers a spectacular view of Kure city, the Seto Inland Sea, and Shikoku. The real highlight of Mount Haigamine is at night when you can enjoy the panoramic view of all the twinkling city lights below. It’s the perfect place if you’re searching for a picture-perfect moment. The mountain is easy to get to, simply take the JR Sanyo train from Hiroshima station to Kure city. Then you can take the Yakeyama Sen bus in Kure from the Hondori Yonchome bus stop to Yanagisako Haigamine Tozanguchi bus stop. From there, you can either start the hike to Mount Haigamine’s peak before sunset or you can go by car or take a taxi to the observation point.

Machiya Street

Machiya Street

Photo credit: s1.1zoom.me

Take a walk along Machiya Street, one of three routes leading to Itsukushima Shrine from Miyajima Piera. This quiet yet popular street is located behind Miyajima Omotesando Arcade. Machiya Street is a paper lantern-lit avenue that retains an air of the past, lined with retro-modern cafés and galleries. Get a feeling of the lifestyle of Miyajima residents with rickshaws and cars coming and going. Browse the many retro-modern accommodations, shops, and cafés that have been converted from residential buildings. One of the must-visit places along the way is Gallery Miyazato. The gallery has merged with a teahouse and an antique shop that also holds special exhibitions all the time and is the perfect place to enjoy an evening of arts and culture.

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine

At night, the whole site is lit up so that it gives the illusion that it’s floating on the light. The iconic red Torii gate glows a warm hue too which makes this historical site dating back to the 12th century a must-visit at night. Surrounding the shrine are dense green forests and a bustling village town which is also well worth exploring if you’re looking for more things to do in Hiroshima at night. In addition, you may be lucky enough to become friends with one of the hundreds of deer wandering around the island. The island is one of Japan’s most picturesque attractions with the beautiful views of the Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto shrine, and UNESCO world heritage site. You can take a one-way direct ferry from Hiroshimako port to Itsukushima for ¥1,850 which departs every 30 minutes or take the JR Sanyo train from Hiroshima station to Miyajimaguchi for ¥410 and transfer onto a ferry for ¥180. Itsukushima shrine charges a ¥1,000 admission fee and gives discounts to students.

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki

If you haven’t managed to indulge in a portion of Okonomiyaki during your adventures then now is the perfect time because no adventure to Hiroshima would be complete without sampling some of the local cuisines at least once. Okonomiyaki is basically a savory “everything pancake” full of an assortment of savory ingredients. The standard pancake consists of a batter,  cabbage, and pork layers but feel free to go wild with the options. One of the most popular places to try this local dish is Okonomi-mura. Here, you can chat with the chefs while you wait for your okonomiyaki to cook away in front of you. Once you actually get to tuck in you’ll soon realize it was worth the four to five-minute wait. This is great for the whole family and even picky as the dish is prepared right in front of you and you can also pick your favorite ingredients.

The Miyajima Ropeway

The Miyajima Ropeway

A great way to start your evening in the city is with a trip up the Miyajima Ropeway while visiting Itsukushima nearby. The journey in one of the gondolas to its upper station takes approximately 20 minutes and the summit is a 30-minute hike from the ropeway upper station. The ropeway costs ¥1,000 one-way and ¥1,800 for a round-trip and is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Hiroshima as you head towards the summit of Mt. Misen, the highest point in Itsukushima. From the top, you’ll be able to enjoy the fantastic view of Itsukushima and the sea below. The summit of the mountain is a short hike from the upper point of the gondola and well worth it if you have the time before heading down to explore more things to do in Hiroshima at night.

District of Takehara

District of Takehara

Step back in time as you explore Takehara, which is known as the Little Kyoto of Aki (former name of Hiroshima), is a town that has retained its share of history. Home to some of the oldest buildings, one that was constructed in 1691, and actual buildings from the Edo, Meiji, Taisho, and Showa Eras. This preserved district is made up of old mercantile houses, temples & shrines, that give you a glimpse of a traditional Japanese commercial town. There are many historic buildings to admire which are open to the public, along with quirky cafes and restaurants built within the old town residences. It’s the perfect place to take time to explore and enjoy a glimpse of the past.