Between destroyed monuments of Hiroshima’s past and reconstructed castles from ancient Japan, Hiroshima is a beautiful and inviting city.
If you’re based in Osaka like we were, you’ll need to catch a bullet train (Shinkansen) to Hiroshima. The journey takes around 2.5 hours so I recommend leaving as early as possible and booking your tickets the day before. The train is covered by the Japan Rail Pass and you can book seats at no extra cost. To get from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island you’ll need to catch another local JR train and a JR ferry to the island, all covered by the Japan Rail pass.
I recommend making the trek to Miyajima Island before you explore Hiroshima so you don’t have to worry about missing the last ferry home. Our day began at the crack of dawn so we arrived at Miyajima at around 9am. We started by walking along the waterfront to the floating torri gate. We managed to beat the crowds so we were able to get plenty of photos without worrying about photobombing.
Once satisfied with our album of floating torii gate images, we walked through the shrine. From here we wandered back to the ferry. We weren’t in a rush and it was cherry blossom season so there were plenty of market stalls to keep us occupied on the way.
We caught the ferry and the train back to Hiroshima, just in time for lunch. We made our way on foot from Hiroshima station to the A-bomb dome, checking menus as we went. We eventually settled on a Japanese Barbecue restaurant where we cooked our own meal.
The walk from the station to the A-bomb dome takes you through shopping districts, over rivers and past restaurants and bars but it takes around 30 minutes. If you’re short on time, the trams are the easiest way to get around the city. You’ll need to buy a ticket at Hiroshima Station stop before you climb aboard.
After lunch we visited the A-bomb dome and the Memorial Peace Park before venturing in to the Peace Memorial Museum. Then, we walked along the cherry blossom lined river to Hiroshima Castle. The walk from the museum to the castle took around 30 minutes.
Inside the castle grounds we stopped for an ice cream beneath the cherry blossoms. The gardens in Hiroshima are vast, lush and beautiful so be sure to visit at least one of them!
After our snack we made our way back to Hiroshima Station on foot so that we could do some shopping, because what’s a holiday without a little shopping spree, right? We also stopped in at a cat café so David could fulfil his dream of being surrounded by cats.
We managed to squeeze in a light dinner at a café near the station where we tried the infamous Hiroshima okonomiyaki before boarding our 8pm train to Osaka. We arrived back to Osaka at around 10:30pm.
It was a long day and we were exhausted by the end but we saw enough of Hiroshima to satisfy our cravings. It’s a beautiful city and well worth the trek but if you don’t think you have the stamina to see it all in a day, I recommend spending the night.
Hiroshima is my favourite Japanese city. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments below!