I have visited Hiroshima many times; more times than I am really willing to admit. I have visited Hiroshima so many times that I am starting to forget exactly how many times I have visited. I can still recount the times and this year was my 5th time to visit Hiroshima. Hiroshima really isn’t all that special but somehow I keep returning as I keep forgetting to see things.
Having visited Hiroshima so many times, I’m not interested in visiting any of the typical tourist destinations. I have already visited the Peace Park a couple times, and I have walked up and down the shopping arcades a couple times too. I have ridden the trams all over Hiroshima and even went to Miyajima. I have even been to Miyajima twice, although I have been contemplating a third journey. The main reason to visit Hiroshima so often is that there is just so much to do!
All over Hiroshima, within an hour’s train ride, there are so many things to see and do. You can head to Miyajima, which is a must for most people, but you can head even further to see Iwakuni. It is a lesser known location but it is a beautiful place and the park is wonderful to just wander. You can head east towards Saijo and enjoy lots of sake, and you all know how much I have enjoyed Saijo. There is also the south where you can visit Kure. It just never stops and you end up missing something which means you have to go back again.
For this trip, I had less than 24 hours in Hiroshima. I basically got into Hiroshima around 6:30pm, checked into my hotel, and was drinking by 7:30. I finished a night of drinking around 1am and woke up early enough to watch a World Cup match between Japan and Cote d’Ivoire. I was then headed back on a train to Tokyo by 2:30 and my trip was over!
In the interest of public disclosure, a lot of my trip to Hiroshima city was hazy. It started off with me checking into my hotel and then heading to the Okonomimura area to eat dinner. Dinner was pretty simple. Between 3 people, we shared 2 okonomiyaki and 1 more dish (I believe it was a negiyaki). This included a couple beers to make sure everything would digest smoothly.
After dinner, we did a short walk as I could barely breathe after eating so much! We stumbled upon a craft beer shop, but my friend F doesn’t drink beer. We ended up heading to an izakaya down the street where we drank lots of sake. Let’s just say that the izakaya was a lot of fun. They had a lot of Hiroshima sake available and some nice foods as well. We were only interrupted by the two groups of guys who sat on either end of the izakaya and made so much noise that we could barely hear ourselves. Then again, it could have been the countless sake orders that had my ears ringing. 😉
Once we finished at the izakaya, my friend F and his friend had to leave. R and I felt like having one more drink before we returned to our hotels. We returned to the craft beer shop, Raku Beer, where we closed them out. We would wake up and return in the morning with my hangover.
Once we finished the game, we headed to the Okonomimura to get lunch where I was stuffed once again. We walked back to the station where we did a little shopping for gifts and I also got a few things for the long train ride home. It was a great trip and I can’t wait to do it again. I doubt I’ll be spending a lot of time in Hiroshima but I’ll do my best to return again, maybe in another 2 years or so.
- Okonomimura (Official Site – English)
- Okonomimura (Official Site – Japanese)
- Henkutsuya (Tabelog Page – Japanese Only)
- Raku Beer (Official Blog – Japanese Only)
“Hiroshima really isn’t all that special…” haha. Gotta love how you started this article! I personally love Hiroshima, so much history and beauty. Also, I went to high school there so I am definitely biased.
The Hiroshima Peace Museum building is one of my favorite architectures. So beautiful and so very Kenzo Tange. I’ve only been inside once but I like just going to the park for an afternoon picnic or lunch 🙂
Did you end up going to Onomichi? I though I remembered you saying you would be heading that way a while back.
Going to high school in any town will make you biased. I’m kinda biased against my hometown, but only because it has a bad rep.
As for Hiroshima being “not that special”, I’m talking about the city itself rather than the great places all around it. Love Miyajima, Saijo, and Iwakuni (although not in Hiroshima-ken, still close enough). Even Kure is interesting enough for a visit.
The Peace Museum is a definite must see for many people but too depressing for me. I can’t go there anymore. I don’t mind seeing photos but going there and reading more and more about what happened just kills my mood. If I’m in the area, I think I’d go a bit towards the castle along the river. Nice area there too for a picnic, but the peace museum park is still great.
Haven’t been to Onomichi yet. You will know it. 🙂 I’m still trying to figure out when I can go. The Shimanami Kaido is still near the top of my to do list, but Kanazawa and the Noto Peninsula are rising due to the new Hokuriku Shinkansen opening next year. We’ll see what happens.