Hiroshima is a modern and exciting city, with a tragic history. When visiting Hiroshima today it is hard to imagine that as recently as 1945 the entire city was wiped out by the first atomic bomb ever to be used in warfare. The city was completely leveled, and everything which can be seen today has been constructed after 1945. With this itinerary you will dive deep into the history of Hiroshima, and it’s tragic past. Learn about the war, the suffering and the reconstruction of the city.
Hiroshima is a fairly large city with a population of around 1.2 million. The city sits in a flat river delta, and has been there since Hiroshima Castle was first constructed in the 1590’s. A town slowly developed around the castle, transforming in to a large city over the years. The atomic bomb of 1945 completely leveled the city and killed thousands. Naturally, this event has a big presence in the identity of Hiroshima, and this itinerary delves deep into this part of Hiroshimas history, but also covers a part of the “old hiroshima” with a visit to Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden.
While the itinerary covers all the major attractions in Hiroshima, it is recommended to spend more than one day. A recommended side trip from Hiroshima is the historic and stunningly beautiful Miyajima Island. Read the 1-day itinerary for Miyajima to learn more.
1-day itinerary Hiroshima
|09:00||Atomic Bomb Dome|
|09:30||Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park|
|10:30||Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum|
|15:00||Hiroshima Prefectural Museum|
|20:00||Peace Pagoda Night View|
Details of itinerary
Atomic Bomb Dome
The Atomic Bomb Dome (Genbaku Dome) is one of the few buildings which weren’t completely destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945. The iconic dome, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands as an important memorial in connection with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
Entrance fee: free
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (Hiroshima Heiwa Kinen Kōen), located just south of the iconic A-bomb Dome, is a park dedicated to remembering the nuclear attack on Hiroshima in 1945, and those who died during or following the bombing. The park, which is one of Hiroshima’s most visited sites, contains a large number of monuments, museums and memorials. The most prominent sites of the Pace Park, apart from the A-bomb Dome, are the Memorial Cenotaph, the Peace Flame and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The park is located near the center of the explosion. As you stroll along the paths of the now peaceful park; imagine the destruction and horror that happened here in 1945.
Entrance fee: free
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is dedicated to remembering the atomic bombing. It serves to document the tragic attack and to tell the stories of the horrors experienced by the survivors. Numerous objects and photos are displayed, giving a very visual and frightening insight into what happened in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
Entrance fee: ¥200
Hiroshima Castle (広島城), cutely nicknamed the “Carp Castle“, is located in the center of Hiroshima city, north of the Peace Park. It is a castle with history dating back to the 1590’s. While completely destroyed by the Atomic Bomb in 1945, it has been reconstructed in it’s original appearance, and today hosts a museum documenting the history of Hiroshima prior to the second world war. There is a nice view over the city from the top of the castle.
Entrance fee: ¥370
Shukkeien Garden (縮景園), located near Hiroshima Castle, is a beautiful Japanese landscape garden, dating back to 1620. The gardens name, which translates to “shrunken scenery garden”, hints at the landscape style used. The garden also features a plum grove which is especially beautiful in February when the plum trees blossom. It is a nice escape from the modern and busy city that is Hiroshima.
Entrance fee: ¥260 (combi ticket with the art museum ¥610)
Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum
Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum is located right next to Shukkeien Garden. A combined ticket for the two is available.
The museum has around 4500 pieces on display, and has a lot of focus on “Works of Art Related to Hiroshima“. One important piece is a folding screen with a motif of Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima. There are also pieces on display from international artists; one example is the exciting “Dream of Venus” by Salvador Dali.
Entrance fee: ¥510 (combi ticket with Shukkeien ¥610)
Okonomi-mura is an Okonomiyaki restaurant complex – sometimes called a theme park. Okonomiyaki is Hiroshima’s savory signature food, and at Okonomi-mura hungry visitors can choose between 24 different Okonomiyaki restaurants spread on 3 different floors. It is the perfect place to have a typical Hiroshima dinner.
Entrance fee: food purchase
Peace Pagoda Night View
End the day with a night view of Hiroshima. Hiroshima is quite a flat city, yet there is one spot in the central city where it is possible to get a panoramic view; from the Peace Pagoda located at the top of mount Futabayama, just one kilometer from Hiroshima Station. The views are stunning, especially at night. And to make it better, there are almost no tourists there.
Entrance fee: free
Suggested Hotels in Hiroshima
Planning your stay in Hiroshima
Tours, tickets and experiences
Hiroshima City and Prefecture are full of amazing experiences. Adding a couple of experiences or tours could enhance your experience further and let you dive deeper into the local culture of the historic and nature rich Chugoku Region. Below is a selection of tours, itineraries and experiences which you may find interesting.
- Japanese Sake Brewery Guided Tour (Saijo, Hiroshima)
- Okonomiyaki / Gyoza Tour
- Kimono Experience in Hiroshima
- Sushi making experience in Hiroshima
- Lion Dance Experience in Hiroshima City
- Flower Arrangement Experience (Ikebana) in Hiroshima
- Easy Japanese cooking with locals in Fukuyama
- Baseball tickets for Mazda Stadium
- Private Tea Ceremony in Hiroshima
- Ukiyo-e Prints and Used Kimono Shopping
- Kendama Experience with a Kendama Master in Hiroshima
- Samurai Ninja Theatre Tickets
- Explore local Hiroshima on a bicycle tour
- Hidden Local Spots Day-trip, Hiroshima
- 1-day Shimanami Cycling Tour from Onomichi
- Yuki River Trekking and Canyoneering in Hiroshima
- 30 minute Scenic flight over Setouchi in a seaplane
- Scenic flight over Setouchi inland sea, departure from Hiroshima Airport
- Setouchi Architecture Luxury Day Cruise and Hotel Stay
- Seto Inland Sea Tour from Fukuyama City
- Tour to the famous Rabbit Island near Hiroshima
- Trip to Iwakuni, including Iwakuni Bridge
- 3 Cultural Experiences at a 300-year-old Miyajima Zen Temple
- Experience a Tea Ceremony on Miyajima’s oldest temple
- Flower Arrangement Experience at Oldest Temple in Miyajima
- Guided Mountain Hiking Tour to Mount Misen, Miyajima
- Itsukushima Shrine Stand Up Paddleboard Experience
- Oyster Farm Experience with Visit to Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima
- Tea Ceremony, Calligraphy, & Higashi Dessert Making Experience in Miyajima
- Explore Miyajima and Hiroshima on a Full Day Tour
- Hiroshima Tour: 1-day City Tour and Miyajima Island
- See the A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima and Visit Miyajima
- Luxury Guntû Setouchi Cruise (1-3 nights), including Miyajima
- Hiroshima and Miyajima Day Tour from Osaka, Kyoto, or Hiroshima
Internet on the go
Having an internet connection can help you a great deal when navigating the streets of a new city. Booking Pocket Wi-Fi or getting a Japanese SIM-card for your phone can be a great way to help yourself out of a tricky situation or help you get the most out of your day.
Transport in Hiroshima
Hiroshima has a well developed network of trams and local trains. Most of the city’s attractions are located in the center, so the tram will be sufficient to reach most destinations. The train system consists of the JR Lines and the Astramline. The central station is Hiroshima Station, where the Shinkansen arrives and departs.
Getting to Hiroshima
Hiroshima by train
Hiroshima can easily be reached by the bullet train (shinkansen) from major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Fukuoka. The shinkansen ride is covered by the Japan Rail Pass – an all you can ride train pass for tourists. The Japan Rail Pass is highly recommended for visitors traveling around Japan.
The Shinkansen from Tokyo to Hiroshima takes around 4.5 hours with a change in Kobe. There is also a direct train, which is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
Hiroshima by plane
Hiroshima Airport (HIJ) is located about 50km (31mi) east of Hiroshima City. There are connections between the airport and Hiroshima Station by an Airport Limousine bus.
Hiroshima Airport normally has flight connections to Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, Sapporo, Sendai and Naha. There are also international connections, typically to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand.