10 best ideas to make a day trip to Hiroshima more meaningful

Today, Planetyze will list 10 amazing spots for you to discover Hiroshima and your trip the most meaningful: Sandan-kyo Valley,Preserved District of Takehara, Senko-ji Temple, Sensuijima  Island, Onomichi, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Castle, Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, or Itsukushima Shrine...

Hiroshima, a part of Japanese land, was once damaged by atomic bombs in 1945. Like a phoenix rising from ashes, Hiroshima nowadays is devastatingly beautiful and as peaceful as like the bombing had never happened before. Hiroshima, a land of pure souls, like Sasaki Sadako would never be forgotten. Visiting Hiroshima is to express the sympathy and appreciation to the greatness of the Japanese. Hiroshima is an ideal place for visitors who like history.

10. Sandan-kyo Valley    


Sandan-kyo Valley (三段峡), one of the five most well-known ravines in Japan with the length of 16-kilometer, is a ravine in northwestern Hiroshima, running along the Shibaki-gawa River. The valley look as a pearl protected by  forests, and other natural landscapes such as Kuro-fuchi Pool and Sarutobi, a narrow small passage created by green mossed precipices, Sandankyo-onsen Hot Spring and Mt. Osorakan-zan.

Another scenic spot is Sandan-no-taki Falls, meaning three stage waterfalls. Tourists can immerse themselves in the splendid three stages of 30-meter-high waterfalls plunge into the 120-meter long passage with the energetic thunderous roar. If you are an adventurous person, taking a riverboat to sail through the Nidan-no-taki and Sarutobi is definitely a thrilling and breath-taking experience that you do not want to miss when coming to Sandan-kyo- Valley.  

9. Preserved District of Takehara


Also called Street of Takahara, is an old street on which the old 1640s-houses still standing and well-preserved. Once was famous for salt industry, there come the old scholars’ and merchants houses. Coming to Takehara street, tourists would see an old but yet skilled architecture back in the day. The houses with their tiled roofs and white walls were built during the Edo period, showing a new trend in the civilization of Japanese architecture. Being highly noted, those streets have become traditional values and historical sites of Hiroshima.

8. Senko-ji Temple


Another historical site of Hiroshima that you cannot miss is Senko-ji (千光寺-meaning a thousand lights), a historic temple. It is said that the pagoda has been built in the year of 806 in the very first year of Daido era. The Red Hall, or a vermillion-lacquered hall, together with the bell tower famous for chimes on New Year's Eve, is a symbol of Onomichi city.

Access: From Hiroshima Station (approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes).

1. From Hiroshima Station (approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes).

Take the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen to Fukuyama Station. Next, take the JR Sanyo Line from Fukuyama Station to Onomichi Station. Senkoji Park is a short walk from Onomichi Station

2. From Hiroshima Airport (approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes)

Take the airport limousine bus to Mihara Station. Next, take the JR Sanyo Line from Mihara Station to Onomichi Station, then walk about 15 minutes to go to Senkoji Park. Parking is available

7. Onomichi


Onomichi (尾道), facing the Inland Sea is a town was founded in 1898. The town is known for nostalgic port with small ferries. Coming to Onomichi is as like as coming back in time and breathe in that atmosphere. The attractions of the town are when it comes to slopes, narrow lanes, up and around which the town spreads. Take 25 minutes walk to the temple is also a popular activity to perceive the beauty of this old small town. The town’s views and landscapes capture the old lifestyles of Japan. The town has been chosen to be the place to film and make videos for numerous television dramas and movies.

The Shimanami Kaido begins on Honshu and leads across the six islands of Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima and Oshima, before eventually stopping at Shikoku in Imabari City. Along the way the attractive and modern bridge which was built in 1990, tourists would enjoy a beautiful scenery of the Seto Inland Sea and the islands' small towns.

6. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where President Obama had made the historic visit and read the moving memorial speech in 2016, is the place that would certainly appear to your mind when you hear the word ‘Hiroshima’. "Seventy-one years ago, on a bright, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed," President Obama said in the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to Hiroshima. The memorial park is located in the center of Hiroshima, Japan. It represents the legacy of Hiroshima, the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear bomb, and to the memories of the war and bomb's direct and indirect victims.

Coming to the memorial park, tourists can see all the proof and what was left after the bomb. There are also videos and documentaries in many languages. Moreover, the east wing of the museum has been accomplished in April 2017, and has been innovated with the ’senses in mind’ to bring the visitors the real genuine perceivement. Tourists can literally touch the A-bomb Dome, a recreation of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, as it was before and after the atomic attack, feeling the heat and fierce attack. Moreover, the ‘White Panorama’ exhibit, which is for us to stand around a miniaturized version of the city as it is consumed by a virtual blast, bright and terrifying.

Note: the artifacts and all the information delivered in the Museum might be very scary and terrifying for some people, especially adolescents or children, or people who were used to suffer from wars. Please consider carefully and check some pictures before visiting.

Access: From Hiroshima Station, take tram line 2 or 6 to Genbaku-Domu Mae (原爆ドーム前) station. (approximately 15 minutes and costs 160 yen).

Open Hours: 8:30 to 18:00 every day (until 19:00 in August, until 17:00 from December to February); admission ends 30 minutes before closing.

Ticket: 200 yen

5. Hiroshima Castle


Hiroshima Castle (広島城 Hiroshima-jou), or the  Carp Castle (鯉城 Rijō), was the home of feudal lords. The castle was constructed in the 1590s but was destroyed by the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. It was rebuilt in 1958, a replica of the original that now serves as a museum of Hiroshima's history before the Second world war.

Features: The beautiful view of the city can be seen from the top floor of the castle. If the weather is good, you can see the island of Miyajima in the distance.

As being said, the Castle is also known as the castle of carps. Many say that this name comes from a geographic name, but some say that the name comes from the fact that in the old days, there were many carps swimming in the moat. Whichever the case may be, today, many carps swim around in the moat. the interior of these structures is open to the public. A gate of sophistication and grace, the pillars of the omotegomon gate are partially made of wood from a thousand years old hinoki tree. The moat and stone walls remain in the conditions they were at the time of the bombing. Hiroshima Castle has been selected as one of the 100 great castles of Japan. Also, on the grounds of the castle are a large eucalyptus tree and a willow tree which survived the atomic bombing. At night, the tower keep is lit up; the upside down view of the tower keep reflected on the water of the moat is breathtaking.

Access: Walk from Kamiyacho-nishi or Kamiyacho-higashi tram stop to get to the Castle (12 minutes, 160 yen from Hiroshima Station by platform 1, 2 or 6).

Open Hours: 9:00 to 18:00 (March to November)

9:00 to 17:00 (December to February)

9:00 to 19:00 (during Golden Week and Obon holidays)

Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.

Ticket/Admission: 370 yen (main keep),  the rest of the castle grounds is free

4. Atomic Bomb Dome


The building called Atomic Bomb Dome or A-Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム Genbaku Doumu), or Hiroshima Peace Memorial (広島平和記念碑 Hiroshima Heiwa Kinenhi), is a part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It has become one of the UNESCO world heritages in 19996. The ruin of this Product Exhibition Hall building distributes as a memorial to the lives who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August 1945. The work was originally designed by the Czech architect, Jan Letzel. It was completed in April 1915 and was named the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition(HMI). It was formally opened to the public in August that year. The name of the building had been changed twice before the bomb attack. In 1921, the name was changed to the Hiroshima Prefectural Products Exhibition Hall; and in 1933 was the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. The building was located in the large business district next to the Aioi Bridge (相生橋 aioi hashi) and was primarily used for arts and educational exhibitions.

Although what has left now that tourists can see is the ruin of the building, everybody goes to see this heritage site when they go to Hiroshima. It takes only about five to ten minutes to go around the ruin and tourist are not allowed to get inside the dangerous wreckage, however, looking from a distance is also enough to picture how the city looked like when it was devastatingly attacked, perceive how lucky we are when standing here in a peaceful city which was reborn from death.


From Hiroshima Station (approximately 17 minutes)

Take a Hiroshima Electric Railway streetcar to Genbaku Dome-mae (Atomic Bomb Dome) Station (16 minutes). The ceremony is a short walk from Genbaku Dome-Mae (Atomic Bomb Dome) Station (1 minutes).

From Hiroshima Airport (approximately 56 minutes)

Take the airport limousine bus to Hiroshima Bus Center (51 minutes). The ceremony is a short walk from Hiroshima Bus Terminal (5 minutes). 

3. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park located in the central of the city, is on the opposite side of The Atomic Bomb Dome across a river. Praying for eternal world peace, this park was established near the hypocenter of the atomic bomb explosion. A large number of monuments to the atomic bomb victims and peace monuments are set up in the expansive grounds of the park. The monument at the center of the park dedicated to the atomic bomb victims is shaped in a form of a house to protect the souls of the victims from rain and wind. When looked at from the front, you can see The Atomic Bomb Dome in the distance just under the “roof” of this house-shaped monument. The engraving on the stone plate inside this monument reads “Please rest in peace; for we shall never repeat the error.” The rock chamber in the center contains 107 booklets that list the names of atomic bomb victims (292,325 people).  

The Japanese girl Sadako Sasaki with the famous story of one thousand origami cranes was chosen for the model of the Children’s Peace Monument. Sadako became one of the most widely known hibakusha, or a ‘bomb-affected person’. She is remembered as a symbol of the innocent victims of nuclear warfare from that day. Prompted by the suggestion of a young man who found out about Sadako’s death from a newspaper article, funds were raised and this monument was built to commemorate the souls of the children who lost their lives due to the atomic bomb. The Bell of Peace built in the park in 1964 is used every year at the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony held on August 6. Also, it has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 sound-related spots people wish to preserve for future generations. In addition to the annual ringing of this bell, a chime is played every morning at the park at 8:15, the time when the atomic bomb was dropped.

Address: 1-2 Nakajimacho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0811, Hiroshima Prefecture

Ticket/Admission: Free

2. Itsukushima Shrine


Itsukusima Shrine is definitely another attraction for your day trip to HIroshima. The shrine  wasconstructed in the architectural style of the Heian period (794 – 1185); it is a unique building which likens the Seto Inland Sea to a pond. This grandeur, red lacquer-coated shrine blends natural and man-made beauty in perfect harmony; the view completely changes during high tide when the shrine and corridors appear as though they are floating in the sea. The entire island is considered as a holy object in which a deity resides; in the front of the holy island is Seto Inland Sea and in the background is Mount Misen where the gods descend. Itsukushima embodies the form of the ancient Japanese Shinto worship in which people found gods in nature and worshipped mountains, oceans as well as natural phenomena. For this reason, it has been listed as a World Cultural Heritage site. The Island can be accessed by a 10-minute ride on a ferry leaving from the JR Miyajimaguchi Station and arriving at the Miyajima Sanbashiguchi. It is a 15-minute walk from here to Itsukushima Shrine. You will be walking through the Omotesando shopping avenue which is filled with souvenir shops and restaurants. While walking through this avenue, we recommend checking out the world’s largest wooden scoop on display. We also recommend munching on Hiroshima’s famous grilled oysters or maple shaped steamed sweet buns. The highlights of Itsukushima Shrine include the 60t, 16m high grand torii gate, the 275m long corridor, and the delicate yet extravagant main sanctuary.  

Mount Misen is another spot you don’t want to miss. The cable car stop “Koyodani Station” is a 15-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine. When heading to this station, you will be walking through the Koyodani Park where you can enjoy cherry blossoms in spring, tender new leaves in summer, and colored leaves in autumn. Especially, the park’s approximately 200 maple trees display a spectacular view of vibrant colors in November. Enjoy a “walk in the sky” on the cable car while looking down at the magnificent views of the Seto Inland Sea and virgin forests. The final stop is Shishi-iwa Station from which you can walk to the Shishi-iwa Observation Deck and then onto the Seikado building of the Daishoin temple that houses the “ever burning fire” which is said to have been burning for 1,200 years. After that, walk through the tunnel of the enormous Kuguri-iwa rock to get to the best highlight of the mountain, the Mount Misen Observation Deck. It is located at the mountain peak from which you can enjoy a panoramic view of the islands dotting the Seto Inland Sea. Before leaving the island, we recommend watching the sun set into the sea at Miyajima’s sunset spot Mikasa-no-hama. Enjoy the magical view of the grand torii gate “floating” in the sea, lit up by the setting sun.

Ticket/Admission: Adult: 300 yen / Child: 100 yen

1. Sensuijima  Island


If you are a beach person, you cannot miss Sensui-Jima when travelling to Hiroshima. Coming to Sensui-Jima brings you a very different feeling from other islands you have been before because this is very  peculiar Japanese style of a Mediterranean island. Sensui-Jima welcomes you with a giant great fish sculpture. People play a xylophone tune for the four tourists and the two fishermen at the resort Kokumin Shukusha. Take the train to Fukuyama, then take the bus to Tomo No Ura at the station. Then go to the terminus on the harbor where you can buy a two way ticket to Sensui Jima. There are boats all the time, and five minutes later you might yourself immersing the touching beauty of setting and the xylophone music.

Moreover, Goshikiiwa is called as the place where the spirit of Heaven has gathered, magma from the earth rose up long ago to create a high area of land protruding from the ground. With 4 hiking trails including courses for Senningaoka Observation Point which has been chosen as one of the Top 100 Sunsets in Japan and Goshikiiwa, you can take a walk on the island and enjoy this spectacular romantic landscape. With only 55 sites in the world, Goshikiiwa is the only such site in Japan, located on Sensuijima. Rocks that are colored in blue, red, yellow, white and black continue for up to 1km on the shore going to the island.  





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