Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Hiroshima
Population
2,878,949

Hiroshima

A prefecture that refuses to be defined by tragedy

Discover tranquil shrines, quaint port towns, and welcoming, friendly people.

In the center of the Chugoku region on Japan’s main island of Honshu, Hiroshima Prefecture offers a wealth of different things to see and do. From its sobering monuments located in its prefectural capital of Hiroshima City to stunning shrines and islands running wild with friendly deer and cute rabbits. While we should never forget it as a symbol of peace for its part in WWII, there ‘s also just so much more to Hiroshima.

A time for peace

Peace Dome in Hiroshima, Japan.

Atomic Bomb Dome on the Motoyasu River.

Hiroshima city makes a great base for exploring the region. Spend a decent amount of time seeing the city’s main sights, including the Peace Memorial Park and UNESCO World Heritage A-Bomb Dome, as well as the reconstructed Hiroshima Castle. Stuff yourself with Hiroshima-yaki at Okonomimura, a kind of okonomiyaki theme park with lots of restaurants serving up the local version of this savory pancake. 

A 40-minute train ride will take you to Saijo, Hiroshima’s sake (rice wine) town. Here you can attempt not to fall over at the end of a walking tour of the district’s numerous breweries.

Sacred island, furry friends

Itsukushima Shrine is floating on the sea in Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan..

“Something else, right?”

The Itsukushima Shrine at Miyajima is one of Japan’s most iconic scenes. The island is also an easy day trip from Hiroshima City. Lunch and dinner ferry cruises operate between Hiroshima and Miyajima, or you can take the train from Hiroshima Station to Miyajimaguchi Station and a ferry from there. There are traditional shops and inns on the island, and it’s worth staying overnight. Like Nara, deer live on the island and will boldly approach visitors for food.

The rabbits of Okunoshima, Hiroshima.

“Wrong neighborhood, punk.”

Another day trip can be had on Okunoshima, an island overrun with thousands of adorable rabbits. Once a hidden stronghold of the Imperial Japanese Army, Okunoshima is an absolute must for bunny lovers, or just those looking for a unique experience. The entire island can be circled in a couple of hours on foot or by bicycle. Just make sure you bring lots of food for the hungry critters.

Explore the countryside

Landscape of Tomonoura, Hiroshima.

Small towns can be big on beauty.

In the prefecture’s south side lies Tomonoura, a picturesque fishing town that’s part of the Setonaikai National Park. Another quaint port nearby, Onomichi has a well-signposted temple walk that takes in 25 of the town’s 48 temples dotted among its slopes. Onomichi is also the starting point of the Shimanami Kaido, a 60-kilometer highway of nine individual bridges connecting Honshu and Shikoku that makes for a spectacular cycling route.

Sandankyo Gorge in Hiroshima, Japan

Not a bad place to get lost.

Are you feeling even more adventurous? Just two hours from Hiroshima City, Sandankyo Gorge is a gorgeous place for trekking, especially in autumn with the changing of the leaves, and you can take a riverboat through the ravine passing through the waterfalls. The rivers’ clear, clean flowing water and aqua blue pools are breathtaking.

Want to see more? Start planning your trip to Hiroshima with the locations below.

Places to visit

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Hiroshima

The world is your oyster.

Itsuskushima Shrine Miyajima Gate in Japan

Itsukushima Shrine

See it in person.


Shimanami Kaido

Dig into the beauty from Hiroshima to Ehime while cycling through these Japanese islands.

Osugacho

Osuga Cho

A hidden gem of Hiroshima City’s nightlife and a perfect place to sink your teeth into some okonomiyaki.


OnomichiKurushima kaikyo bridge in Ehime, Japan.

Onomichi

A quaint adventure before doing the Shimanami Kaido.

Genbaku Dome (A-Bomb Dome)

In its resilience, it stands as a reminder of war’s devastation.


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

A testimony to pain and despair where hope lies at the end of a dark journey.

Tomonoura

The inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Ponyo on the Sea by the Cliff.’


Mitaki-dera Temple

Soak up the harmonious atmosphere in Hiroshima’s spectacular woodland temple.

Hiroshima Peace Pagoda

A prayer for everlasting world peace nestled in the hills of Hiroshima.


Saijo

The perfect Hanami hideaway and home to glorious sake.

Hiroshima Peace Bell

For those who seek peace from the storms of society, a bell rings with hope.


The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is incredibly moving.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

If there's one thing you see in Hiroshima, it should be this.

Miyajima, Japan - November 15 2013: Unidentified vendors sell grilled oyster with soy sauce to tourist which is very popular amongst the people at Omotesando Shopping Street

Omotesando Shotengai

A lively hub of souvenir shops and bite-sized snack stalls lead the way to the iconic Itsukushima Shrine.


Miyajima Island Cable Car, Japan

Mount Misen

Climb your way to enlightenment.

Hiroshima Castle is also known as 'Carp Castle'

Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima's medieval stronghold.


Rabbit on Okunoshima "rabbit island" Japan

Okunoshima

Lie down with a couple of carrots and rediscover, for a fleeting moment, the pure joy of a child holding their first pet.

Miyajima Shrine Japan

Miyajima

Cross the floating boundary between the human and spirit world.


Hiroshima, Japan skyline at the Atomic Dome.

Hiroshima

Dynamic and compelling, Hiroshima defies expectation.

Other Destinations in Chugoku

Okayama

If you'd like to experience charming rural living straight out of a picture book - come to Okayama.

Taikodani Inari Shrine in Shimane, Japan

Shimane

The secrets' out in Shimane where the attractions are undeveloped and far-flung—and all the better for it.

Tottori Sand Dunes in Japan

Tottori

From camel riding to skiing and manga to monks, Tottori Prefecture is full of surprises.

Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan at Tsunoshima Bridge over the Sea of Japan.

Yamaguchi

The departure point for Kyushu and Korea, Yamaguchi bridges the urban and rural, the traditional and modern.

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Nagoya, Japan city skyline, Aichi Prefecture

Aichi

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People eating and drinking in Yurakucho Tokyo Japan.

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Tokyo, Japan - August 1, 2015: Crowds pass below colorful signs in Akihabara. The well known electronics district specializes in the sales of video games, anime, manga, and computer goods.

Akihabara

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Manhole cover in Ghibli museum, Tokyo-Japan.

Ghibli Museum

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