Visiting the Historic and Resilient City of Hiroshima, Japan

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Hiroshima while on your next adventure in Japan, you’re in the right place! As a travel advisor and avid adventurer, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing Hiroshima firsthand. 

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or simply want to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture, Hiroshima is a must-see on your journey to Japan.

Best Time to Visit Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima Central Park (Chuo Keon)
Photo Credit: [@cowardlion/DepositPhotos]
Hiroshima experiences a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. The peak tourist season runs from March to May and September to November – perfect for those who prefer milder weather.

If you’re a fan of cherry blossoms, then you must visit Hiroshima during the spring season. The city’s iconic Peace Memorial Park is stunning when decorated with pink petals.

If you prefer fall foliage, visiting during the autumn months of late October through mid-December would offer the most beautiful landscapes throughout the city.

Alternatively, to avoid crowds and enjoy lower prices, consider visiting during the off-season from December to February, when the Japanese holidays are in full swing.

Getting Around Hiroshima

Downtown Hiroshima, Japan
Photo Credit: [@sepavone/DepositPhotos]
Public Transportation: Whether you arrive by local train at Hiroshima station, using the Japan Rail Pass, or by plane, Hiroshima has a well-connected public transportation system that makes it easy for visitors to navigate the city.

The streetcar (locally known as the Hiroden) is the most popular mode of transportation and covers most of the city. However, a bus network can also take you to more remote areas as needed. If you plan to use public transportation frequently, consider purchasing a Hiroshima Tourist Pass. This pass provides unlimited rides on streetcars, buses, and the Miyajima Ferry.

Bicycles: Another way to explore Hiroshima is by bicycle. The city has plenty of designated bike paths and rental shops, so you can easily rent a bike for the day. Cycling around Peace Memorial Park and along the river, whether on your own or with a tour, offers a unique and picturesque experience. Plus, it’s a great way to get some exercise while sightseeing.

Walking: My favorite way to explore Hiroshima is simply by walking. Many main attractions are within walking distance of each other, making it easy to navigate and explore on foot. From the historic sites and museums to local shops and restaurants, walking allows you to take your time and fully immerse yourself in the city’s culture.

Things to Do in Hiroshima, Japan

Historical Yamatoyu Gift Shop in Hiroshima, Japan
Photo Credit: [@TKKurikawa/DepositPhotos]
From World War II memorials to stunning gardens and delicious one-of-a-kind local cuisine, you will find something to love when traveling to the vibrant and resilient city of Hiroshima. So grab your notepad and join me on an extraordinary adventure through some of the best things to see and do in the heart of Hiroshima!

Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima Castle
Photo Credit: [@sepavone/DepositPhotos]
A visit to Hiroshima wouldn’t be complete without exploring the iconic Hiroshima Castle. This historic landmark was once one of the most important castles in Japan but, unfortunately, was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945.

Since then, the castle has been reconstructed and now serves as a museum showcasing Hiroshima’s history and culture. Visitors can explore the castle’s interior, including exhibits and past artifacts. 

You can also climb to the top for a breathtaking panoramic city view. This was the best view I had experienced in Hiroshima, and I would climb it all over again!

Shukkei-en Garden

Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima, Japan
Photo Credit: [@romrodinka/DepositPhotos]
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take a serene stroll through Shukkei-en Garden. This traditional Japanese garden is just one of the many places to visit in Hiroshima. It was built in 1620 and features a variety of landscapes, including a central pond, miniature mountains, and tea houses. You can also enjoy seasonal color schemes, such as cherry blossoms in spring and maple leaves in autumn when the garden is especially beautiful.

Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Photo Credit: [@sepavone/DepositPhotos]
No Hiroshima Japan guide would be complete without a visit to the city’s most iconic and historical site – the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. This park is dedicated to promoting peace and remembering the atomic bomb victims of the atomic bombing that occurred during World War II.

Take a stroll through this peaceful park and see memorials, monuments, and the famous dome—a haunting reminder of the tragic event. Visiting this park is one of the most popular activities in Hiroshima. It also includes a museum that displays artifacts and stories from the bombing.

The Children’s Peace Monument is within Peace Memorial Park and symbolizes hope and peace for future generations. The monument was built to remember Sadako Sasaki and the thousands of child victims of radiation exposure from the atomic bomb. Sadako believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes, she would be granted a wish for health and peace. Today, thousands of colorful paper cranes surround the monument, representing hope and a desire for peace.

At the center of the Peace Memorial Park stands the Hiroshima Peace Flame, which has been burning since 1964. The flame will continue to burn until all nuclear weapons are abolished and the world achieves lasting peace. You can take a moment to reflect and pay their respects at this eternal flame.

Atomic Bomb Dome

Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan
Photo Credit: [@masterlu/DepositPhotos]
The Atomic Bomb Dome, also known as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, is a world heritage site and a symbol of both tragedy and resilience. This building was one of the few structures left standing after the atomic bomb detonated above Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

Today, it serves as a reminder of the catastrophic event and a powerful symbol of peace. You can walk around the dome and reflect on its significance while learning more about its history.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Photo Credit: [@vichie81/DepositPhotos]
The Peace Memorial Museum is a must-see in Hiroshima for those wanting to learn more about the World War II bombing of Hiroshima and its aftermath. The museum’s exhibits feature personal belongings, photos, and videos from survivors, as well as information on the development and use of nuclear weapons.

You can also hear firsthand accounts through audio guides and watch documentaries about the bombing. The museum aims to educate visitors on the consequences of war and encourage peace and nuclear disarmament. It should be a staple in any guide containing what to see in Hiroshima.

Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima

Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium in Hiroshima, Japan
Photo Credit: [@ngorkapong/Shutterstock]
If you are in Hiroshima during baseball season, you don’t want to miss a visit to the stadium and museum! The stadium is home to the professional baseball team, Hiroshima Toyo Carp, and boasts a lively atmosphere during games. Even if you’re not a sports fan, watching a game here can be a unique experience and an opportunity to mingle with locals and immerse yourself in Japan’s most popular sport.

Mitaki-Dera Temple

Mitaki-Dera Temple in Hiroshima
Photo Credit: [@antb/DepositPhotos]
Located in the mountains just northwest of the main city, Mitaki-Dera Temple is a peaceful escape from the bustling city center. The temple grounds are filled with lush greenery and several walking paths that lead to various shrines and pagodas. It’s a perfect place for a tranquil stroll or for those seeking spiritual reflection.

Food to Try in Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima, Japan Oysters
Photo Credit: [@MB_Photo/DepositPhotos]
Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki: Hiroshima’s most famous food is its delicious version of Okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake made with batter, cabbage, noodles, and a variety of toppings. The popular dish is cooked on a hot grill right before you and is a must-try food during your visit.

You can find Okonomiyaki restaurants all over the city, but for an authentic experience, head to Okonomimura (aka Okonomi Village), a multi-level building that houses over 20 different Okonomiyaki vendors. This was, without a doubt, one of my favorite meals and experiences in Japan.

Kaki Oysters: Seafood lovers must not miss out on trying Hiroshima-style oysters during their visit. These plump and juicy oysters are known for their sweet and delicate flavor, thanks to the nutrient-rich water in the Seto Inland Sea.

Oysters can be enjoyed raw or grilled, but no matter how you try them, they will leave a lasting impression. For a great tourist-friendly oyster bar, visit Hiroshima Kaki dokoro Taishu sakaba Baketsu Tatemachi.

Momiji Manju: No trip to Hiroshima is complete without trying the city’s famous dessert – Momiji Manju. These small maple leaf-shaped cakes are filled with sweet red bean paste and can be found in souvenir shops all over the city.

They make a perfect snack while exploring or a tasty souvenir to bring home. Some popular brands or shops, like Nishikido Momijimanju Cake Shop, even offer unique flavors such as green tea, custard, or chocolate.

Hiroshima-style Tsukemen: Tsukemen—a ramen dish in which cold noodles are served separately from the broth—is a popular comfort food in Japan. But in Hiroshima, they add their own twist to this dish by incorporating local ingredients like oysters and pork belly into the flavorful broth.

Many ramen restaurants in the city serve Hiroshima-style tsukemen, but Tsukemen Karabu Tokaichimachi is highly rated. It’s located just across from Peace Memorial Park, making it a great place to take a break before continuing to explore downtown Hiroshima!

Wildman Bagel: While not a typical Japanese delicacy, this place is only in Hiroshima and is a popular local stop. Located in the heart of Hiroshima, this cozy cafe serves freshly baked bagels with various toppings and spreads.

From classic cream cheese to unique flavors like avocado, goat cheese, and dark chocolate (this was delicious!), Wildman Bagel has something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to arrive early, as most menu items were sold out when I arrived in the early afternoon!

Day Trip to Miyajima Island

Floating Torii Gate in Miyajima Island in Japan
Photo Credit: [@cowardlion/DepositPhotos]
Miyajima’s beautiful and sacred island is an excellent day trip from Hiroshima and is just a short ferry ride away. This island is home to the famous world heritage site Itsukushima Shrine, known for its large torii gate, which appears floating in the water during high tide. 

But there’s more to see on this island besides the iconic gate. There are beautiful hiking trails, a ropeway that takes you to panoramic mountaintop views, temples, and shrines, charming streets lined with souvenir shops, local street food, and friendly (but hungry) deer that roam the streets.

Day Trip to Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido in Japan
Photo Credit: [@marcofine/DepositPhotos]
For a scenic, more adventurous day trip, head East to the Shimanami Kaido, a 70-kilometer-long road connecting six islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Though cycling is most often recommended, unless you’re an avid cyclist or want to get in a hard workout while on vacation, rent a scooter or kei car to enjoy more of what the islands offer. Along the way, you’ll pass through quaint fishing villages, cross over picturesque bridges, and soak in stunning sea views.

Be sure to stop by the Kousanji shrine on the third island. It’s the most unique shrine I visited on my travels to Japan, and it ended up being one of my absolute favorites! Whether you’re a devoted cyclist or just looking for a leisurely ride surrounded by beauty at every turn, the Shimanami Kaido is another must-do day trip from Hiroshima.

Day Trip to Sandan-kyo Gorge

Sandan-kyo Gorge in Hiroshima, Japan
Photo Credit: [@mTaira/Shutterstock]
For nature lovers, a trip to Sandan-kyo Gorge is an excellent option from Hiroshima. Located in the mountains of western Hiroshima, this gorge offers hiking trails with stunning views of waterfalls and rock formations. Wear appropriate shoes, as some trail parts can be slippery and steep. And don’t forget your camera – you’ll want to capture the beauty of this hidden gem!

Frequently Asked Questions

Buddhist statues at Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima Island, Japan
Photo Credit: [@poj.nattapat/DepositPhotos]
Is it worth visiting Hiroshima, Japan? Absolutely! The city is highly recommended for its rich historical significance, beautiful peace memorials, and exceptional cultural experiences. Once devastated during World War II, it now stands as a symbol of peace and resilience, offering visitors a look into the past while showcasing its vibrant present.

How many days should I spend in Hiroshima? To fully experience Hiroshima, Japan, a minimum of 2-3 days is recommended. This allows time to explore the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, visit Miyajima Island, and enjoy the city’s distinct culinary offerings and cultural sites. Add a couple more days to hit more of the nearby day trips!

Is it safe to visit Hiroshima? Yes, you can safely visit Hiroshima, Japan. The city has been completely rehabilitated and poses no radiation-related health risks. Today, Hiroshima is as safe as any other city in Japan and welcomes tourists worldwide to share its story of peace and recovery.

Visiting Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima, Japan
Photo Credit: [@f11photo/DepositPhotos]
Visiting Hiroshima and its nearby destinations was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my travels to Japan. This historic and vibrant city has something for everyone, no matter what type of traveler you are. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, a foodie, or searching for new adventures, Hiroshima is full of unique and unforgettable experiences.

So, if you’re organizing your trip to Japan independently or opting for the assistance of a travel agent to enjoy the numerous benefits travel advisors offer, be sure to include Hiroshima and its many surrounding destinations in your travel itinerary for a memorable adventure!


Visiting the Historic and Resilient City of Hiroshima, Japan
Joanna Shinault

Joanna Shinault is the founder of The Wellness Adventurer. She's a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and Certified Travel Advisor on a mission to simplify wellness from anywhere in the world. She's committed to sharing her knowledge and helping busy individuals achieve their personal health and fitness goals in a fun, maintainable, and balanced way.