Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Hiroshima – Your Ultimate Guide to the City of Peace

When people visit Hiroshima, they usually head straight to the Peace Memorial Park (平和記念公園) for the Atomic Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム) or to the World Heritage Site – Miyajima (宮島). While the two top-ranked destinations in Hiroshima Prefecture are certainly a must-visit, you should also check out more attractions from the list below!

In the list, we also include a couple of vegetarian-friendly restaurants you can visit for the must-try Japanese menu – Okonomiyaki.

For those who would like a personalized tour with an experienced English guide, make a booking HERE.

Transportation in Hiroshima City

Apart from taking the JR Trains, there are a couple of ways to travel between the attractions in the city, including water taxis.

Bicycle Rental in Hiroshima City

The most ecological way to get to the next attraction in Hiroshima City other than walking is by cycling. The city has many electric-assisted bikes parked at many docking stations across the city center.

All you need to do is register an account and connect your credit cards or a Japanese contactless travel card, and you are set to jump onto one of their “Peacecle”!

For more information, please refer to the official website HERE.

Hiroshima Dentetsu (広島電鉄)

The local train company has train/tram stations close to many attractions. If you are heading to Miyajima, instead of taking a JR train, you can also change to Hiroshima Dentetsu’s train to get to Miyajima-guchi Station.

For the Hiroshima Dentetsu’s route map, please refer HERE.

Important: You can’t use your JR Pass to board Hiroshima Dentetsu trains and buses. As an alternative, take the Loop Bus Hiroshima Meipuru-pu (広島市内循環バス めいぷる~ぷ) managed by JR Group.

Tip: For those who don’t hold a JR Pass that covers Hiroshima and will be taking at least 5 train/bus trips in the city, consider getting one of the Hiroshima Dentetsu’s train + bus pass to save money. There are several options for you to choose from. Most of them cover the ferry to Miyajima. The tickets should also cover the bus fare for boarding Loops Bus Hiroshima Meipuru-pu. For more information, check out the official website HERE.

Loop Bus Hiroshima Meipuru-pu (広島市内循環バス めいぷる~ぷ)

The loop bus stops at the attractions in Hiroshima City. It is the ideal bus service for those holding a JR Pass (as it will be free).

Click HERE for Loop Bus Hiroshima Meipuru-pu’s bus fare, route map, and timetable.

Tip: If you don’t have a JR Pass that covers Hiroshima and will only be visiting a couple of the main attractions close to Hiroshima Station covered by the loop bus, the one-day ticket to board the Loop Bus will give you more savings.

Other Regular Buses

There are also other regular buses running in Hiroshima, operated by Chūgoku JR Bus Company (中国ジェイアールバス) and Hiroshima Dentetsu.

For JR Pass holders, boarding the Chūgoku JR Bus Company services will be free of charge, but not Hiroshima Dentetsu services.

Water Taxi

As there are a couple of rivers running through Hiroshima City, visitors can travel between some of the attractions by water taxi. Depending on which route you take, you might even get your admission fee for an attraction waived!

For more information, head to the official website HERE and translate the webpage with Google Chrome’s translation function on the right of the address bar.

Important: Advanced booking is required at least 3 days before if you want to board it on a weekday. On weekends and public holidays, it is still recommended to enquire in advance as the departure time varies according to the tide level of the day. You can check if the staff at your accommodation can make the inquiry on your behalf.

Finding Your Way in Hiroshima City

If you ever get lost in Hiroshima City, go to one of the facilities with a red/blue TRAVELPAL International Sign. The staff there will be more than happy to guide you to your next destination. These places are also where you can get some travel pamphlets.

For a list of facilities that are registered as a TRAVELPAL, please refer to the official website HERE. The ones with “Eng” marked as services available have staff who can speak English.

The Cherry Blossom and the Fall Foliage Season in Hiroshima City

  • Depending on where you go, the cherry blossom season is usually from late March to mid-April
  • The autumn foliage season in Hiroshima City is usually from mid to late November

Shukkeien Garden (縮景園)

Shukkeien, a Japanese garden near JR Hiroshima Station, is said to be the garden that captures the beauty of the West Lake (西湖) in China.

Consequently, some might think the garden must be of a Chinese style. But this isn’t the case. Built in 1620 as the garden of the villa for the first lord of Hiroshima Domain – Asano Nagaakira (浅野長晟), Shukkeien is a garden demonstrating the charms of a Japanese strolling garden throughout the year.

© Hiroshima Prefecture

As a garden designated to be one of the National Places of Scenery Beauty (名勝), its admission fee is extremely kind to your wallet. The scenery in the garden is totally worth a lot more than what you pay at the entrance!

For more information, please read our article on Shukkeien!

Click HERE for a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima Tōshōgū Shrine (広島東照宮)

For a shrine near Hiroshima Station, visit Hiroshima Tōshōgū. It is less than a 10-minute walk away from the bullet train exit!

It is one of the only places in Hiroshima City center with an architecture built in the Edo period (1603 – 1867). Furthermore, it is the shrine that enshrined the great samurai – Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川 家康)!

The shrine at the foot of Mt. Futaba (二葉山) was built by the 4th lord of Hiroshima Domain, Asano Mitsuakira (浅野 光晟), as part of the 33rd memorial service after Tokugawa Ieyasu passed away. Compared to the many Toshogū built for the same reason across the country by other feudal lords, Hiroshima Tōshōgū is extra splendid because Mitsuakira’s mother, Furihime (振姫), was Ieyasu’s third daughter.

Hiroshima Tōshōgū Shrine is located northeast of Hiroshima Castle. Another reason for the shrine’s construction was to look after the peace of the castle town.

Although the atomic bomb blast destroyed some buildings, including the main worship hall, a few fortunately survived!

At the end of the 50 staircases, the shrine’s Kara-mon Gate (唐門) and the long corridors, Yuku-rō (翼廊), connected to the two sides of Kara-mon, are from the Edo period, with the shrine having been completed in 1648.

The shrine is known for granting safety and prosperity-related wishes. This is because the Edo Shogunate, opened by Tokugawa Ieyasu, continued for 260 years. So sure, he must have some power that can bring people a great life. And for that to continue, one has to have offspring to inherit, which makes up some of the prayers here.

The main worship hall’s restoration was completed in 1984. Fortunately, and probably miraculously, the object of worship – Goshintai (御神体), was saved by the army fire fighting on the day of the bombing.

The Rear Shrine (Okumiya, 奥宮) of Kinkō Inari Shrine (金光稲荷神社)

At the back of Hiroshima Tōshōgū Shrine, there is an Inari Shrine. It has looked after business owners and people’s safety for around 260 years.

Trekking further up through the 120 torii gates and 500 staircases, you will get to the shrine’s Okumiya. A return trip will take around 30 minutes.

The object of worship at Okumiya is a giant rock. It won’t be hard to identify which one as small white foxes are placed in front of it (^_-)-☆.

From there, the wide view of Hiroshima City and the Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海) spreads below you!

In spring, a couple of cherry blossoms will make your visit even merrier (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Tip: For those who enjoy hiking, you can trek through the Futaba no Sato Historical Walking Trail (二葉の里歴史の散歩道) that connects many of the shrines and temples at the north side of Hiroshima Station. Refer HERE for the trail’s map and HERE for a brief introduction of the attractions on the route (in Japanese only).

Hiroshima Tōshōgū Shrine’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • The shrine is open from 6:10 am to 7 pm. But the office is only open from 9 am to 4 pm
  • From JR Hiroshima Station’s Shinkansen Exit (広島駅 新幹線口), it is an 8-minute walk
  • From Hiroshima Station’s Shinkansen Entrance (広島駅新幹線口), you can also take Hiroshima Meipuru-pu’s (広島市内循環バス めいぷる~ぷ) green route and get off at Hiroshima Tōshōgū-mae (東照宮前), it is then a 3-minute walk
  • For those who are taking Hiroshima Dentetsu’s buses, from Bus Stop, Tōshōgū Iriguchi (東照宮入口), it is a 5-minute walk

Click HERE to get back to a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima Castle (広島城)

In addition to the Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Castle is the symbol of Hiroshima City. It is one of the Top 100 Castles in Japan (日本百名城), with a rich history as the base of three feudal families!

Inside the castle keep, there is a historical museum of samurai culture. The first two floors are dedicated to the history of the castle. The third floor is heaven for those who love armor and swords.

Also, the observation deck on the top floor will give you a panoramic view that goes as far as Miyajima!

To find out more about the Castle’s history and best features, please read our article on Hiroshima Castle (=゚ω゚)ノ.

© Hiroshima Prefecture

Atomic Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム) and Peace Memorial Park – Hiroshima (広島平和記念公園)

Peace-Bell-in-Peace-Memorial-Park-Hiroshima-Japan
© Hiroshima Prefecture

Speaking of Hiroshima, many associates it with the place that suffered from an atomic bomb attack. In the turbulent world, we live in today, the atomic bomb dome together with the peace memorial park are ideal places for us to rethink what we can do for world peace.

For more information about the hell-like world the bombing had created, please read our article on Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park – Hiroshima.

Click HERE for a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima Orizuru Tower (おりづるタワー)

If you want an aerial view of Peace Memorial Park – Hiroshima and Atomic Bomb Dome, head to the Hiroshima Orizuru Tower nearby.

On a clear day, at the observation deck, on top of the Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Dome, you can also see Mt. Misen (弥山) in Miyajima across the sea.

If you love paper folding, you can fold some paper cranes and throw them into the symbol of the building, a wall named “Oritsuru no Kabe (おりづるの壁)”.

Similar to the glass display boxes at the sides of the Children’s Peace Monument, this clear wall collects all the paper cranes that visitors have folded to pray for a peaceful and better world.

Tip: If you don’t know how to fold a paper crane, you can learn from the tablets in the building (^_-)-☆.

The tower also serves as an outlet for local specialties and has a cafe for you to grab a meal (no vegetarian menu available).

The shortfall of the tower is probably its unfriendly admission fee and the fact that throwing paper cranes into Oritsuru no Kabe is not free of charge.

According to Hiroshima Matsuda (株式会社広島マツダ) that owns the building, it is to avoid overcrowding. They want to keep the venue as a space for visitors to be able to reflect, almost like what you do at a zen temple. Too many visitors will mean this purpose is unachievable.

For more information about the tower, please refer to their official website HERE.

Hiroshima Orizuru Tower’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information

  • The opening hours of Hiroshima Oizuru Tower is from 10 am to 6 pm.
    • The last admission to the observation deck is at 5 pm but may vary if there are events held on the day
    • The tower is closed on the 31st of December
  • The admission fees are
    • 1,700 yen for adults
    • 900 yen for high school students
    • 700 yen for elementary school students
    • 500 yen for children 4 years old and above
  • From Hiroshima Station (広島駅), take Hiroshima Dentetsu (広島電鉄) and get off at Genbaku Dome-mae (原爆ドーム前)
  • From Hiroshima Station’s Shinkansen Entrance (広島駅新幹線口), you can also take the Loop Bus Hiroshima Meipuru-pu’s (広島市内循環バス めいぷる~ぷ) orange, green, lemon, and blue route and get off at Atomic Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム前)
  • If you are taking normal JR trains, exit from the south exit and take bus services that will stop at Genbaku Dome-mae (原爆ドーム前), Kamiyacho (紙屋町), or Hiroshima Bus Center (広島バスセンター)
    • From Kamiyacho or Hiroshima Bus Center, it is a 5-minute walk from the bus stop
    • You can refer to the timetable HERE

Okonomimura (お好み村)

© Hiroshima Prefecture

When you visit Hiroshima, you have to try the savory Japanese pancake okonomiyaki, the most well-known food in the region! Depending on the region, the savory pancakes cooked on a hot iron plate come in a few different versions.

The Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki incorporates udon or soba noodles, while the Osaka-style okonomiyaki is the one without the noodles. In Tokyo, they have Monjayaki, which is more watery than the okonomiyaki and is eaten with two small okonomiyaki spatulas.

The Okonomimura in Shintenchi (新天地) in the city center is a building filled with many okonomiyaki restaurants. What is on offer in each restaurant varies slightly, so you can take your time and shop around before settling on the restaurant with the menu that attracts you the most.

HERE is their website, with a list of restaurants in the building.

Below is a list of restaurants that are relatively more vegetarian-friendly and with a few okonomiyaki options with less seafood/meat and more vegetable/cheese/rice cakes.

You can simply let the chef know you are vegan/vegetarian and ask them to exclude seafood/meat from your pancake when they cook in front of you.

  • 3F
    • Ron (ロン)
    • Teppei (てっ平)
  • 4F
    • Hakkai (八戒)
    • Roku (祿)
      • The chef speaks good English
    • Eegai (ええがい)
    • Atom (あとむ)

Tip: When you get there, utilize the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans article to order!

How to Get to Okonomimura

  • From Hiroshima Station (広島駅), take Hiroshima Dentetsu’s (広島電鉄) train bound for Ujina (宇品), Eba (江波), West Hiroshima (西広島), or Miyajima (宮島), and get off at Hatchōbori (八丁堀). From there, it is a 3-minute walk
  • From Hiroshima Station’s Shinkansen Entrance (広島駅新幹線口), take the Hiroshima Meipuru-pu Loop Bus (広島市内循環バス めいぷる~ぷ) via the green or orange route and get off at Hatchōbori (八丁堀), it is then a 5-minute walk
    • If you take the green route, you can also get off at Shintenchi (新天地). Okonomimura is then a 3-minute walk away
  • If you are taking normal JR trains, exit the south exit and take buses stopping at Hatchōbori or Shintenchi

Okonomiyaki Nagataya (お好み焼長田屋)

If you are just around the Atomic Bomb Dome/Peace Memorial Park – Hiroshima and fancy an okonomiyaki, stop by Nagataya and check out their vegan/vegetarian menu.

That is right. This lovely restaurant’s menu has a section dedicated to non-meat eaters!

Please check out their website HERE for their menu. They also have a few vegetarian/vegan side dishes you can order.

Click HERE for a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima YUME Plaza (市町村情報センターひろしま夢プラザ)

Hiroshima YUME Plaza in the middle of a shopping district is the perfect place for your souvenir shopping. The small plaza is filled with local specialties across the prefecture, and you can even source sightseeing pamphlets in other parts of Hiroshima!

The plaza also sells common Japanese side dishes (please utilize the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans article to order vegetarian dishes). So if you are staying in an Airbnb and want to save some money on food, grab a few of their dishes, and all you need to do is get some instant rice from one of the convenience stores, heat your food up, and the dinner is ready!

Hiroshima YUME Plaza’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • The opening hours of Hiroshima YUME Plaza is from 10 am to 7 pm
  • From Hiroshima Station (広島駅), take Hiroshima Dentetsu (広島電鉄) and get off at Hondōri Station (本通駅) or Kamiya-cho-higashi (紙屋町東) or Kamiya-cho-nishi (紙屋町西)
  • From Hiroshima Station’s Shinkansen Entrance (広島駅新幹線口), you can also take the Loop Bus Hiroshima Meipuru-pu’s (広島市内循環バス めいぷる~ぷ) orange, lemon, and green route and get off at Kamiyacho (紙屋町)

Mitaki-dera (三瀧寺)

Mitaki-dera (三瀧寺 or 三滝寺) is a temple standing in the middle of Mt. Mitaki (三滝山). Throughout the precinct of the temple, there are a couple of mountain streams flowing from the three majectic waterfalls.

It might sound like the temple is hard to get to when we say it is in a mountain, but that is not the case! It is just three stations away from Hiroshima Station! So in autumn, it is one of the best destinations in Hiroshima for some stunning fall colors (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Mitaki-dera was established in 809 by the same revered monk – Kōbō Daishi (弘法大師), who founded the now World Heritage Site – Kōyasan (高野山) in Wakayama Prefecture. Furthermore, it is the 13th temple in the Chūgoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage.

At the moment, there is only a Japanese version of the brochure of the temple. HERE is the front page, and HERE is the back page. It should give you some idea of how big the temple’s ground is.

From the main entrance, going up the stairs close to the pagoda, there is this unique donation box just in front of the intersection (lower right of the Map). Instead of just one opening for you to put in some coins, there are five.

The five openings are above each of the five lotus flowers (refer to the second photo in the Instagram post). Not only does the donation box look different from other boxes that you would have seen in other temples, but it is also designed to produce some clear bell sounds when you insert coins!

Tip: Although it says you only need to donate 200 yen, as inserting a coin into each of the openings will give you a different sound, instead of two 100 yen coins, four (or five) 50 yen coins are okay.

On the sides of the promenades in Mitaki-dera, there are more than 600 stone Buddha and Bodhisattva statues. Being watched by them, doesn’t it feel like you have to behave at least during your visit (´▽`*).

Cafe Kūten-an (空点庵) and Moria Frog

Strolling around Mitaki-tera can be tiring. So on the way back, how about dropping by the cafe Kūten-an for some traditional Japanese dessert?

The warabi mochi (わらび餅) rice cake here is sliced into bigger pieces. Springling with the roasted soybean flour Kinako (きな粉), is the perfect dessert with the coffee and matcha made from the sweet mountain stream of Mt. Mitaki!

Kūten-an also offers other light meal options, but unfortunately, they are not vegetarian.

The best seats in the cafe are definitely those by the window. Overlooking the pond, those seats are the ideal place to enjoy the beauty of nature. As the pond has a small colony of moria frogs, you might even be able to hear them sing!

From May to July, look closely at the branches near the pond. You might be able to spot their foamy eggs. In summer, see if you can find their tadpoles swimming (^_-)-☆.

The Pagoda (多宝塔)

© Hiroshima Prefecture

The pagoda close to the entrance is a prefectural property of cultural importance. This pagoda, built in the Muromachi period (1336 to 1573) was only relocated to Mitaki-dera after the war to mourn the victims of the atomic bombing.

Inside this pagoda, there is a wooden Amitabha statue. It is known as a national treasure. If you are interested in seeing him, come in November. This is when the general public is allowed to enter the pagoda.

The Fall Foliage Season at Mitaki-dera

The autumn foliage season usually peaks from mid to late November each year. On the 3rd Sunday, Autumn Festival – Momiji Matsuri (もみじ祭) is usually held.

Mitaki-dera’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • Mitaki-dera is open from 8 am to 5:30 pm. In winter, it will close early at 5 pm
  • Kūten-an is open from 10 am to 4:30 pm. The last order is taken at 4 pm
    • Warabi Mochi rice cake is served from 11 am
  • From JR Mitaki Station (三滝駅), it is a 15-minute walk. JR Mitaki Station (三滝駅) is just 3 stations away from JR Hiroshima Station
  • The temple’s car park has a capacity of around 30 cars

Click HERE for a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Ebayama Park (江波山公園)

If you want to look at cherry blossoms from late March to early April, Ebayama Park is the place to go!

It is on the hill southwest of Hiroshima City, not too far away from the city center.

From late February to early March, you can also catch some gorgeous scenery of plum blossoms (^_-)-☆.

Other time of the year, you can see:

  • Wisteria: Late April to early May
  • Hydrangea: Late May to early June
  • Ginkgo: late November to early December

At the park, you will also find another building that was damaged by the bombing.

The Ebayama Museum of Meteorology (江波山気象館), at Ebayama Park, was the old Hiroshima Weather Station (広島測候所). Opened in 1992, it has been transformed into a museum with the theme of weather. You can still find traces of the damage from the atomic bomb.

How to Get to Ebayama Park

To get to Ebayama Park, from Kamiyachō (紙屋町) or Hatchōbori (八丁堀), take Hiroshima Dentetsu’s bus route 6 bound for Eba Eigyōjo(江波営業所 ) and get off at Ebasakaemachi (江波栄町).

The park is just a one-minute walk away from the bus stop.

Click HERE for a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Ōgōnzan (黄金山)

Ōgōnzan or Mt. Ōgōn is in the south of Hiroshima City. It was where Niho Castle (仁保城) used to be.

© Hiroshima Prefecture

The best time to visit Ōgōnzan is probably during the cherry blossom season, when the 480 cherry trees lined on the road leading to the summit are blooming.

We recommend you park your car at the foot of the mountain and take a light 60-minute hike up the 221.7 meters tall Ōgōnzan. This way, you can enjoy the natural breeze and get some exercise done!

Also, for those who are seeking a romantic spot in Hiroshima, head up to the observatory before sunset. The orange sun will slowly disappear from the horizon as the buildings and roads below begin to illuminate.

Important: Please be aware that from 11 pm to 5 am, the road to Ōgōnzan is closed.

© Hiroshima Prefecture

How to Get to Ōgōnzan

  • Driving to Ōgōnzan is the best option. You can either park at the foot of the mountain or the car park near the observatory at the top.
  • From Hiroshima Station, take buses bound for Niho Shakō-mae (仁保車庫前) and get off at Asahigaoka Danchi Iriguchi (旭ヶ丘団地入口). From there it will be a 40 to 50-minute hike

Click HERE for a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Japan MINT Hiroshima-shi Bureau (造幣局 広島支局)

If you ever visit the MINT Bureau in Hiroshima, you might go to see the coins Japan is making. But most people who visit it are there for the cherry blossoms!

Each year, Japan MINT Hiroshima-shi Bureau holds an event called Hana no Mawarimichi (花のまわりみち) for people to enjoy the 216 cherry trees of 64 different species that bloom on its ground.

© Hiroshima Prefecture

In 2022, the event was held from the 13th to the 19th of April from 10 am to 8 pm. During the event, temporary buses connect you from the closest train station (fee applies).

If you are interested in the coin collection from centuries ago in the Japanese MINT Bureau, you can stop by the bureau at other times of the year. Foreign coins and badges are also on display.

It is also possible to visit the factory. However, advanced booking is required by phone. Also, the tour is only held in Japanese. If you are interested, visit their website HERE and get the page translated with the Google Translate function.

Japan MINT Hiroshima-shi Bureau’s Opening Hours and Access Information

  • The exhibition room (造幣展示室) is open from 9:30 am to 4 pm.
  • When the Hana no Mawarimichi event is on, you can take buses running between Itsukaichi Station (五日市駅) and the Bureau
  • or take Hiroshima Dentetsu’s bus from Itsukaichi Station and get off at Itsukaichi Go-chome-guchi (五日市五丁目口) or Sendobashi (千同橋). From the bus stops, it is around a 10-minute walk.
  • You can also take buses running by Hiroshima Dentetsu from Hiroshima Bus Center (広島バスセンター) and get off at Saeki Kumin Bunka Center-mae (佐伯区民文化センター前)

Click HERE for a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima Botanical Garden (広島市植物公園)

If you enjoy being in the middle of a sea of flowers, stop by Hiroshima Botanical Garden on your way to Miyajima!

Located on a hill overlooking the Seto Inland Sea National Park (瀬戸内海国立公園), rather than a “garden”, it is more like a botanical park. The garden is divided into several different areas, such as a large greenhouse, a Japanese garden, and many other flower beds featuring various flowers for you to appreciate all year round!

© Hiroshima Prefecture

During the cherry blossom season, for those who dislike crowds, visit Hiroshima Botanical Garden for the 250 cherry trees of 67 different species that will bloom from mid-March to late April. The scenery here can be equally or even more splendid than what you will get at Japan MINT Hiroshima-shi Bureau (造幣局 広島支局)!

Tips:
☛ You can board the Ma-chan-gō (マーちゃん号) for free between 10 am to midday and 1 pm to 3 pm on weekends and public holidays to get to the rose garden. Please check with the staff about where to board the electric car from.
☛ As no complete vegetarian dishes are sold at their restaurant (all contain meat/seafood extract), bring your own food and enjoy a picnic in the garden!

From mid to late November, Hiroshima Botanical Garden is another less-known place for autumn foliage. As Christmas approaches, nighttime illumination will color the garden at night!

© Hiroshima Prefecture

Hiroshima Botanical Garden’s Opening Hours, Admission Fees, and Access Information

  • For information about the opening hours and admission fees and a map of the garden, please refer to their official website HERE
  • From JR Hiroshima Station (広島駅), take Sanyō Main Line (山陽本線) and get off at Itsukaichi Station (五日市駅). From there, change for buses operated by Hiroshima Dentetsu bound for Yakushigaoka ( 薬師が丘線) and get off at Shokubutsu Kōen (植物公園)
    • HERE is the timetable of the bus service
    • Please refer to page 3 for weekdays and page 4 for weekends and public holiday

Click HERE for a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Hiroshima City Forest Park (広島市森林公園)

If you have access to a car when you come to Hiroshima for cherry blossoms and fall foliage hunting, you can escape from the crowd and have more space at Hiroshima City Forest Park.

The park, boasting a ground of 400 hectares, is just a 30-minute drive from the city center. Located at an altitude of around 400 meters, enjoy the color of spring and autumn overlooking the Sato Inland Sea (瀬戸内海)!

Another reason for visiting Hiroshima City Forest Park is for its Yamashiro Tenbō-dai Observatory (山城展望台), which features reproductions of commonplace castles from the early to the mid-Sengoku period (1467 – 1615).

At the time, the lords and most soldiers were living at the foot of the mountain. The castles in the mountains were built for patrolling purposes, ensuring there were no attacks from enemies. This is why the structure of the Yamashiro Tenbō-dai Observatory seems a lot simpler compared to Hiroshima Castle.

If you don’t want to hike your way up, no worries! Just board the monorail from the first car park, and you will be at the observatory in less than 10 minutes!

To see what the observatory and monorail look like, refer to the official pamphlet HERE.

Although only in Japanese, HERE is a map of the park.

The Cherry Blossom and the Fall Foliage Season at Hiroshima City Forest Park

  • The cherry blossom season is usually from late March to mid-April
  • From late April to early May, azalea will be blooming
  • The autumn foliage season is usually from late October to mid-November

Hiroshima City Forest Park’s Opening Hours, Parking Fee, and Access Information

  • Hiroshima City Forest Park is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm daily except Wednesdays and from the 29th of December to the 3rd of January
    • The last admission is at 4 pm
    • Monorail is running from around 9:30 am to 4 pm
      • The last service departs at around 3:30 pm
    • If Wednesday is a public holiday, the park will be closed the next day
  • Parking for cars with a capacity of 10 people or less is 450 yen per day
  • Monorail will cost
    • 200 yen per ride for adults
    • 100 yen per ride for elderly 65 years old and older
    • 100 yen for elementary to high school students
  • Without access to a car, you can still visit Hiroshima City Forest Park. From Hiroshima Station, take Hiroshima Bus’s route 29 (Fukagawa Line (深川線)) bound for Ogawara Shako (小河原車庫) and get off at Noboriishi (登石). From the bus stop, it will be a 40-minute walk

Click HERE for a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Ishigatani Valley (石ケ谷峡)

If you visit Hiroshima in the middle of summer and are seeking some coolness from the scorching heat, head to Ishigatani Valley near Yuki Onsen (湯来温泉).

The 7 km valley is the prefecture’s designated site of scenic beauty. In summer, it is the natural pool for locals to relax and have some fun in the clear mountain stream.

When the weather starts turning cold, and the scenery is dyed with vibrant color, the valley is a hidden gem for some autumn foliage hunting!

How to Get to Ishigatani Valley

From the south exit of Itsukaichi Station (五日市駅), take buses bound for Yuki Onsen until you reach Ishigatanikyō Iriguchi (石ヶ谷峡入口).

Click HERE for a list of attractions in Hiroshima.

Discover the Astonishing Attractions in Miyajima

Click the photo to find out more information about Miyajima!

Another reason that tourists visit Hiroshima Prefecture is for Miyajima, a sacred island that houses not one but two World Heritages.

But Miyajima isn’t just about the Great Torii Gate. So if you haven’t already, check out our Miyajima article for all the attractions on the sacred island!

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