Hiroshima is the city with the highest population in Japan's Chugoku/Shikoku region. There are also plenty of sightseeing areas like Miyajima and Peace Memorial Park. Here are 5 places in Hiroshima where you can shop in between sightseeing.
1. Hiroshima PARCO
PARCO is a shopping building full of clothing shops aimed towards young people and stores like MUJI, and this is the only one in the Chugoku/Shikoku region. PARCO is a fashion building that's also in Shibuya and is full of the latest fashions, and in Hiroshima it's full of fashionable young people. While it has an image of being entirely aimed towards women, they do sell products for men. Also, there's a cosmetics shop on the B1F called ROSE MARY that has been frequented by foreign tourists lately. These cosmetics are reasonably priced yet quite effective, so they're popular in Japan. Why not check them out as souvenirs?
2. Sogo Hiroshima Branch
This department store in the center of Hiroshima, split into the main building and new building, is a landmark. The main building has a bus center on the 3rd floor, and that's where local and highway buses from outside Hiroshima arrive and depart. If you want to buy high-quality and carefully selected items, Japanese department stores are perfect for that. Here you can find a wide variety of products from clothing to cosmetics and even an art gallery. The depachika, a food floor located underground, is very popular. The B1 floor is sweets, and the B2 floor is called the Gottsuo Okazu Ichiba where you can buy side dishes and bento boxes. The bento here are perfect for long bus rides!
3. Kamiyacho Shareo
This is Hiroshima's first underground shopping arcade, and it has 82 shops focusing on sweets, clothing, and goods aimed towards young women. It's a place to enjoy shopping for yourself rather than souvenir hunting. It's directly connected to the department store Sogo and stretches from Hiroshima's business district Kamiyacho to Hondori and Hatchobori, so you can enjoy shopping and moving around the city underground without needing to care about the weather. The drugstore opens at 7:30 am so it's great for people who want to shop from the early morning. (Opens at 10:00 am on weekends and holidays.) On the southwest side of the Central Plaza, where events are sometimes held, is the Hiroshima Tourism Information Desk where you can receive pamphlets and other information. It's near the Peace Memorial Park, so you can visit after sightseeing.
4. ASSE Hiroshima Station Building
This building is directly connected to Hiroshima Station, so it's recommended for people who have little time. On the first floor there are more than 28 shops where you can buy souvenirs tax-free including famous products like momiji manju (steamed leaf-shaped wheat bun filled with sweet bean paste) and Kumano brushes, makeup brushes said to be of the best quality in the world. On the 2nd floor, there are 6 Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki restaurants, so you can buy souvenirs and then enjoy regional cuisine. The area in front of the ASSE has city trains and buses passing through, so you can head to famous Hiroshima sightseeing spots like Peace Memorial Park from there. Wouldn't it be a waste to pass through just to use the station?
What is Hiroshima okonomiyaki?
5. Hiroshima Marina Hop
This huge shopping mall is right next to the Seto Inland Sea, and you can spend a full day here shopping, eating, and playing. There are outlet shops selling not just clothing but also shoes, hats, and goods, and there's also a theme park called Marina Circus where you can enjoy attractions. There are plans for an aquarium to open in summer 2017. Something that is surprisingly unknown is that there's a ferry connecting Marina Hop to the World Heritage site Miyajima (2,000 JPY round trip). On the weekends when it gets crowded, you can head to Miyajima from Hiroshima without getting stuck in traffic as well as enjoy a slight cruise for the 25 minute trip.
These shopping spots are near sightseeing areas and are easy to stop by when you're traveling. Please enjoy not just the World Heritage sites of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Miyajima, but also shopping.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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