Where to stay in Hiroshima, the city of international peace
Hiroshima is a major city on the island of Honshu, Japan. Home to the world-famous Mazda corporation, the city serves as a crucial industrial zone and major harbor for importing and exporting of goods. With a long and turbulent history, the city has been reborn multiple times and now holds the title of “international city of peace.”
This article will help you pick the right place where to stay in Hiroshima.
Best neighborhoods in Hiroshima, depending on your preference
For the best and most convenient stay, ideally, you will be as close to the center as possible.
Downtown Hiroshima is well connected and has plenty to offer on its own, especially things of historic and cultural value.
|Best area for first-timers||Otemachi|
|Best area for the nightlife||Horikawacho|
|Best area on a budget||Tokaichimachi|
Transportation, getting around Hiroshima
The public transportation system in the city is very well developed, as is common throughout Japan. The difference that tourists notice about public transport in Hiroshima is, the fares are paid at your destination, not upfront. The ticket you get when you enter is put into fare boxes at the exit, and they tell you the price based on time and distance traveled.
Here an overview of the available options:
- Hiroden streetcar
Hiroden is a popular name the Japanese use for their tram lines. There are a total of 8 tram lines connecting the entire city and often intersecting in the city center. This is a well-developed method used every day by the people of Hiroshima and it’s fairly cheap – around 200 Yen depending on the destination. Tickets for the tram can be bought from ticket dispensers, they can return change and there’s also a conductor who can help you out.
They can be found all throughout the city. There are designated taxi stops, but you can hail a cab on the street as well, just look at the taxi sign on top: if it’s flashing it means the cab is available, if it’s turned off it means it’s occupied. The price will depend on the taximeter, but you can typically expect somewhere from 400 to 700 Yen, depending on how far you’re traveling. Here are some recommended taxi companies:
- Hiroshima Kintetsu Taxis: +082 253 2235
- Hiroshima Taxis: +082 292 2121
- Hiroshima Daiichi Kotsu: +082 278 5511
- Tsubame Kotsu: +082 221 1955
There are plenty of buses that operate for both inner city and outer city transport. The inner-city buses operate between the center of the city and the suburbs, often connecting major tourist landmarks. The most common buses are by Hiroden, typically green in color and Hiroshima buses, typically in red.
Although there are many routes and several large ports, you’ll only really use them if you want to visit nearby islands or as a tourist attraction. Tickets are bought at the counter near the entry point.
Note: There is also a thing called the “Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass”, which serves as a multi-purpose pass for different types of transportation, depending on which package you chose. These can save you money and are convenient, but the pricing can also be a tourist trap if you don’t find yourself traveling by public transport too much (or prefer a taxi).
Where to stay for first-timers in Hiroshima – Otemachi
Otemachi includes areas of Komachi and Kakomachi (peace park). The area is centrally located, while still being just outside the action, meaning it won’t be as busy or overcrowded. Most of the main entertainment districts are within a ten-minute walk, and the most important historical monuments are nearby.
Where to stay in Otemachi, our top Airbnb’s
Affordable price range: Japanese Home – very traditional looking apartment
Moderate price range: Royal River Suite – gorgeous modern apartment
Luxury price range: 3 Bedroom Peace Park Apartment – very spacious, lots of utilities and well furnished
Where to stay for the nightlife in Hiroshima – Horikawacho
Horikawacho and its surrounding areas are the most packed entertainment districts in Hiroshima.
The highest concentration of nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and similar are found here.
On top of that, it’s also centrally located and near many art galleries, as well the important memorials which are just across the bridge.
Where to stay in Horikawacho, our top Airbnb’s
Affordable price range: Apartment near Hondori Centre – well equipped in a premium location
Moderate price range: Hondori Centre Arcade – B – elegant and spacious
Luxury price range: Beautiful 6 people apartment – gorgeous, spacious, lots of modern utilities, premium location
Where to stay on a budget in Hiroshima – Tokaichimachi
When comparing the prices of accommodation, basic food, and entertainment, this district stands out because it’s very well located but more affordable than nearby areas.
You’ll be very close to the main parks, historic memorials, and landmarks, plus you’re connected to the rest of the city with three passing tram lines.
You can find a lot of traditional Japanese street food, like Ramen shops, a farmers market which is cheaper than supermarkets and offers fresh produce, dollar stores, and souvenir shops.
Where to stay in Tokaichimachi – our top Airbnb’s
Since we’re talking about an affordable stay, here are some great options under $50
1-bedroom apartment near Peace Park – premium location in the area
Apartment 3 mins from Dome – a nice apartment that offers 2 bikes as a means of transport
Huge apartment near Peace park – very spacious, lots of utilities and offers 4 free bikes to use as transport
Where to go and what to see in Hiroshima?
We chose to group the section of things to do in one because Hiroshima is a historic city first and foremost, so we believe that wherever you stay, some things must be visited.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima became the first city to suffer a nuclear attack. The park, with all it’s monuments, servers as a reminder of what happened. There are many notable things to see in and around the park as well.
The Peace Flame
Lit up in 1964 and burning constantly since it’s said it will burn until the world is free of the nuclear threat.
The Gates of Peace
Ten gates made to represent the symbolic nine circles of hell, with the final gate explained as “living hell caused in Hiroshima”. Each gate is nine meters (around 30 feet) high and 2.6 meters (around 8 feet) wide and they’re covered with the word “Peace” in 49 different languages.
Memorial Tower of Mobilized students
The tower is 12 meters (around 40 feet) tall, has five stories, with a depiction of the Goddess of Peace and eight doves placed around the tower. It serves a remembrance to nearly 10 000 students. About 8000 were mobilized during the war and around 7000 killed by the atomic bomb.
Peace Park Museum
Located within the Peace memorial park, the museum holds exhibits mostly dedicated to the disaster after the bombing. The main exhibit permanently features real-life items left by the victims, before and after photos, and other items that tell the story of what happened. A section of the museum is dedicated to the dangers of nuclear weapons, with videos of real testimonies left by survivors. There’s also a section dedicated to the history of Hiroshima pre-bombing, as well as showcases of its rebirth.
Atomic Bomb Dome
Opened in 1921 and originally known as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, the building served for artistic and educational purposes. It’s located near the epicenter of the blast and is the only surviving building close to the explosion. Because of this, the government has made an effort to preserve it as a memento of the destruction that was caused. Known also as Genbaku Dome or A-Bomb Dome, in 1996, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Popularly known as Miyajima, which means “Shrine Island” in Japanese, the island is known for its dense forests and ancient temples. It has been considered a holy place for the followers of Shinto since as early as the 12th-century a.d. As you approach the island, you’ll be greeted by the submerged Great Torii Gate. Depending on the sea level, it will either be surrounded by water or approachable on foot. Some notable things to visit on the land are the Daisho-in Buddhist temple, Mount Misen Observatory, Miyajima History, and Folk Museum, among others.