From the Major Spots to the Well-Kept Secret Places! Model Course for Exploring Hiroshima in 2 Days
Hiroshima is a place filled with many attractive and magical spots, such as Miyajima that has been registered as a World Heritage Site. Below is a two-day model sightseeing course that will take you around Hiroshima, from the classic spots, to the little-known places in the region.
- Day 1 – 7:30 am: Hiroshima Station
- 7:30 am: Morning at Unkai in ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Hiroshima (approx. 60 minutes)
- 9:00 am: From Hiroshima to Miyajima by train and ferry (approx. 30 minutes)
- 10:30 am - 4:30 pm: Sightseeing at Miyajima (half-day)
- Eat Miyajima dishes while taking in the sites
- 6:00 pm: Okonomimura (approx. 60 minutes)
- Day 2 – 7:00 am: Hiroshima Station
- 8:30 am - 9:30 am: Atomic Bomb Dome (approx. 60 minutes)
- 10:00 am - 3:00 pm～4:00 pm: Hiroshima Castle and sightseeing around Hiroshima (approx. 4-6 hours)
- 5:00 pm: Watch the sunset at Ondo no Seto Park
Day 1 – 7:30 am: Hiroshima Station
The first day on this journey is a course that is comprised of sightseeing in Miyajima and dining on local Hiroshima dishes. The course will start at Hiroshima Station. You will be riding the JR Sanyo Shinkansen (bullet train), Sanyo Main Line and Geibi Line, as well as the Hiroshima Electric Railway tram. With this course, you will be using Hiroshima-eki Station of Hiroshima Electric Railway.
Transit ▶Hiroshima Station → Fukuro-machi Station
Walk for 5 minutes from JR’s Hiroshima Station to Hiroshima Electric Railway’s Hiroshima-eki Station. Get on the train, ride for about 15 minutes, and then get off at Fukuro-machi Station.
7:30 am: Morning at Unkai in ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Hiroshima (approx. 60 minutes)
2-minute walk from Fukuro-machi Station
Start the day with a luxurious breakfast. ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Hiroshima is a famous hotel boasting prime location that is just a minute’s walk from Fukuro-machi. Situated at the fifth floor of this hotel is the Japanese restaurant Unkai, where guests can dine with a view of a Japanese-style garden. Here, you can spend a relaxing time from morning while relishing orthodox Japanese dishes.
9:00 am: From Hiroshima to Miyajima by train and ferry (approx. 30 minutes)
When you’re done eating breakfast, you need to go back to Hiroshima Station from Fukuro-machi Station to get to Miyajima. Board a ferry and explore the island while appreciating the picturesque scenery in Miyajima from the viewing deck of the boat.
Ferry fare: Adult: 180 JPY one-way, Small children (6-12 years old): 90 JPY one-way
Transit ▶Hiroshima Station → Miyajima
Get on the Sanyo Main Line from JR Hiroshima Station and then get off at Miyajimaguchi Station after about 30 minutes. Walk for about 6 minutes to the Miyajimaguchi Ferry Boarding Area. Ride the ferry for about 10 minutes and then get off at Miyajima.
10:30 am - 4:30 pm: Sightseeing at Miyajima (half-day)
Miyajima, known as the Island of the Gods since time immemorial, is one of the three most scenic places in Japan. While the entire island has been designated as a special historic site and a place of scenic beauty, Itsukushima Shrine, the symbol of the island, is one of the most famous spots in the country and a registered World Heritage Site. Known for its bold layout as it is set on the sea, and its stunning architectural beauty, this shrine is characterized by its vermillion-lacquered shrine building and large torii (gateway) that seem to be floating on the sea when the tide comes in. Apart from Itsukushima Shrine, you can use half of the day checking out the ancient Daishoin temple and other must-see spots, and observing and interacting with the deer that live all over the island, among other activities.
Eat Miyajima dishes while taking in the sites
There is a wide array of restaurants and dining establishments in the island, but one of the most recommended spots here is the Omotesando Shotengai (Omotesando Shopping District) that is lined with dining spots and souvenir shops. There are plenty of dishes that you can eat while walking around, including the fragrant Yakigaki (baked oysters) that are cooked at the storefront. Don’t miss the Miyajima specialty Anagomeshi, an exquisite dish of rice topped with slices of grilled anago (conger eel) with sweet sauce. Fujitaya, a shop listed in the Michelin Guide, is highly recommended when it comes to the Anagomeshi!
Transit ▶Miyajima → Miyajimaguchi Station → Hatchobori Station
Ride the ferry from Miyajima for about 10 minutes and then get off at Miyajimaguchi Ferry Boarding Area. Walk for about 6 minutes to the JR Miyajimaguchi Station. Get on the JR Sanyo Main Line and Hiroshima Electric Railway for around 45 minutes and then get off at Hatchobori Station.
6:00 pm: Okonomimura (approx. 60 minutes)
3-minute walk from Hatchobori Station
When you’ve returned to Hiroshima City after touring Miyajima, go out and eat the local specialty okonomiyaki (savory pancake). For okonomiyaki, the complex Okonomimura that houses 24 famous shops is definitely recommended. The 2nd to 4th floors of the building are crammed with shops, filled with the wafting fragrant aroma of okonomiyaki everywhere. It’s the perfect place for aiming at a specific kind of okonomiyaki, or for trying and comparing many variants. You are bound to be satisfied either way. After checking out this place, get on a train again and stay in a hotel around Hiroshima Station.
Transit ▶ Hatchobori Station → Hiroshima Station
Ride for about 10 minutes on the Hiroshima Electric Railway from Hatchobori Station and then get off at Hiroshima-eki Station.
Day 2 – 7:00 am: Hiroshima Station
The course on the second day will take you around the classic sightseeing spots in the area. First, head to the Atomic Bomb Dome.
Transit ▶Hiroshima Station → Genbaku Dome-mae Station
Walk for about 5 minutes from JR’s Hiroshima Station to Hiroshima Electric Railway’s Hiroshima-eki Station. Ride on a train for around 20 minutes and then get off at Genbaku Dome-mae Station.
8:30 am - 9:30 am: Atomic Bomb Dome (approx. 60 minutes)
The Atomic Bomb Dome, located on the riverbanks at the center of Hiroshima City, is a building that suffered from massive damage when the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on it on August 6, 1945, at the end of World War II. The building that stands there today is the remnant of the structure that was destroyed back in the war, and it is a registered World Heritage Site. It is a symbol of Hiroshima that is fervently hoping for world peace. There are also monuments for the atomic bomb victims, a memorial museum and other related spots in the vicinity.
10:00 am - 3:00 pm～4:00 pm: Hiroshima Castle and sightseeing around Hiroshima (approx. 4-6 hours)
About a 10-minute walk from Atomic Bomb Dome
Next, go to the symbol of Hiroshima: the Hiroshima Castle. This castle was constructed in 1589, and at that time, it had a graceful and delicate form. However, the castle keep was completely destroyed by the atomic bomb. The castle was restored thereafter and then transformed to its current state as a historical museum that showcases such things as the samurai culture.
You will be heading to this famous spot for viewing the sunset in the evening, so calculate the time of sunset and enjoy a stroll around town until then. It might be a great idea to use your time to visit the popular Shukkei-en garden, the adjacent Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum and other sites, take a break for coffee or tea and some snack, and search for souvenirs.
Admission fee for the main keep of Hiroshima Castle: 370 JPY (incl. tax) for adults, 180 JPY (incl. tax) for senior citizens (65 years old and older), 180 JPY (incl. tax) for high school students, and free for middle school students and younger guests
Transit ▶Hiroshima Station → Ondo-Ohashi Bus Stop
Take the Kure Line from JR Hiroshima Station for about 45 minutes and get off at Kure Station. Get on a Hiroshima Electric Railway bus from the Kureeki-mae bus station, ride for around 35 minutes, and then get off at the Ondo-Ohashi bus stop.
5:00 pm: Watch the sunset at Ondo no Seto Park
Within short walking distance from Ondo-Ohashi bus stop
Next, go to the scenic spot called Ondo no Seto Koen (Ondo no Seto Park) in Kure City that has been made famous by the gorgeous sunset that can be seen from it. The sea around this area is an important point in marine traffic, but this park had been connected by land in the past. Legend has it that Taira no Kiyomori (1118 – 1181), a famous military commander, converted the valley into a canal in order to create a way for ships engaged in the trade between Japan and the Sung Dynast of China. Constructions works for the canal had to be completed on the same day, so Kiyomori apparently waved his golden fan toward the setting sun to bring it back. A statue of Kiyomori towers at the Takatori Observation Deck, the highest point in the garden, and standing there will give you a view of the beautiful nightscape. The best time to catch the picturesque sunset is around 6:00 pm in spring, 7:00 pm in summer, and 5:00 pm in autumn and fall. Please click on this link to get the sunset schedule. Once the sun has set, head back to Hiroshima Station and then enjoy dinner and a drink to cap off your trip.
Transit ▶ Ondo-Ohashi Bus Stop → Hiroshima Station
Take an approximately 25-minute ride on a Hiroshima Electric Railway bus from Ondo-Ohashi bus stop and then get off at the Kureeki-mae bus stop. Get on the Kure Line and ride for around 45 minutes from JR Kure Station and get off at Hiroshima Station, the starting point of your journey.
Make sure to check for information on discount tickets, such as the Hiroshima Peace Pass (700 JPY (incl. tax) for adults) that will give you unlimited rides on all lines run by Hiroshima Electric Railway and shuttle buses for one whole day.
*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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