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

Hiroshima

Look beyond tragedy and see the whole picture

It’s easy to think of Hiroshima as a victim but this prefecture doesn't let tragedy define it.

In the center of the Chugoku region on Japan’s main island of Honshu, Hiroshima prefecture offers a wealth of attractions beyond the sobering monuments to the atomic bomb, located in the prefectural capital of Hiroshima city. While it’s important to visit these, you shouldn’t leave with the impression that tragedy is what Hiroshima is all about.

Uncover the region’s tranquil temples, quaint port towns and welcoming, friendly people to see the whole picture.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is incredibly moving.

Wandering through the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima city is an incredibly moving experience.

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 neighboring Saijo, Hiroshima’s sake (rice wine) town, where you can attempt not to fall over at the end of a walking tour of the district’s numerous breweries.

Miyajima Gate in Japan

Photo by: The floating gate of Itsukushima shrine at Miyajima is one of Japan’s most iconic sights.

The Itsukushima Shrine at Miyajima is one of Japan’s most iconic scenes and an easy day trip from Hiroshima. Lunch and dinner ferry cruises operate between Hiroshima and Miyajima, or you can take the train or tram from the main station, though it’s worth staying overnight on Miyajima if you can.

Visit Tomonoura fishing village for wriggly-fresh sashimi

In the south of the prefecture, Tomo-no-ura is 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.

The Sandan-kyo 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. It’s about two hours from Hiroshima city.

Places to visit

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.


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 Gate in Japan

Itsukushima Shrine

See it in person.


Hiroshima Castle is also known as 'Carp Castle'

Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima's medieval stronghold.

Miyajima Island Cable Car, Japan

Mount Misen

Climb your way to enlightenment.


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.

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.


Hiroshima Peace Bell

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

Saijo

The perfect Hanami hideaway and home to glorious sake.


Hiroshima Peace Pagoda

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

Mitaki-dera Temple

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


Tomonoura

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

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

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


Genbaku Dome (A-Bomb Dome)

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

Onomichi

Onomichi

A quaint adventure before doing the Shimanami Kaido.


Osugacho

Osuga Cho

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

Other Destinations in Chugoku

Koraku-en garden in Okayama on of the three great gardens in Japan

Okayama

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

The Izumo Taisha in Shimane Prefecture

Shimane

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

A camel looking out over the Tottori sand dunes

Tottori

From camel-riding to skiing and manga to melons; Tottori is a prefecture that’s 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.