Where to stay in Hiroshima first time? on a budget, with family, couples? In this post, we well look at the best areas to stay in Hiroshima for tourists (include map and video), the advantages and disadvantages of each area,, best hotels in Hiroshima for all budget travelers, and safest places to stay in Hiroshima and Miyajima.
Hiroshima attracts thousands of tourists each year to visit to learn about the tragic event of 1945, the devastation of the atomic bomb attack during World War II, excellent food and great day trips. Hiroshima Castle, Shukkeien Garden, and Peace Memorial Park are some of the best attractions in Hiroshima.
Hiroshima is a very safe city with very low crime rates. The radiation in Hiroshima today has no effect on human bodies, and is on a par with the extremely low levels of background radiation present anywhere on Earth.
Where to stay in Hiroshima for the first time?
The best areas to stay in Hiroshima for tourists and first-time visitors are Downtown Hiroshima, Hiroshima station, Peace Memorial Park, Miyajima island, Yokogawa, and Onomichi. These are popular and safe neighborhoods, offering a wide variety of attractions and amenities.
Each of these areas has its own unique charm and offers different experiences for first-time visitors to Hiroshima. Choose the area that aligns best with your interests, preferences, and planned activities.
If you are traveling from Kyoto or Osaka by shinkansen, I would recommend spending at least 3 days exploring both Hiroshima and the famous Miyajima island. There are a wide selection of accommodation options ranging from budget guesthouses, ryokan (traditional Japanese style inns), B&Bs, vacation rentals to luxury international hotels.
|💖 Best Area for first-timers:||Hiroshima Downtown|
|💎 Best luxury hotel:||Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima|
|💰 Best budget hotel:||Hiroshima Washington Hotel|
Map of areas and neighborhoods in Hiroshima:
Overviews of best places to stay in Hiroshima for first-time tourists
Here is an overview of recommended areas in Hiroshima for first-time visitors:
|Best areas in Hiroshima for first-time tourists||Why should you stay in this area?|
|Downtown Hiroshima||best overall area due to its central location. it’s a bustling area with numerous shopping streets, restaurants, and nightlife options. It offers a vibrant atmosphere, easy access to public transportation, and proximity to attractions like Hiroshima Castle and Shukkei-en Garden.|
|Hiroshima station||a budget-friendly and convenient area to stay in. It provides excellent connectivity to other parts of the city and serves as a gateway to popular destinations like Miyajima Island and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.|
|Peace Memorial Park||If you wish to immerse yourself in Hiroshima’s history and pay homage to the atomic bomb victims, staying near the Peace Memorial Park is ideal. This area offers a tranquil atmosphere and is within walking distance of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, A-Bomb Dome, and other significant memorials.|
|Miyajima island||the best place to stay in Hiroshima for couples. Staying on the island provides a unique experience, especially during early mornings and evenings when the day-trippers have left. The famous Itsukushima Shrine and the scenic Mount Misen are major highlights.|
|Yokogawa||a charming neighborhood known for its retro atmosphere and local vibes. It offers a more relaxed ambiance compared to downtown Hiroshima while still providing easy access to the city center. The area features traditional shopping streets, cozy cafes, and the Yokogawa Art Museum.|
|Onomichi||a picturesque town located around one hour east of Hiroshima city. It’s worth considering if you’re looking for a quieter, more off-the-beaten-path experience. Onomichi is famous for its scenic landscapes, historic temples, and the Shimanami Kaido cycling route that connects to the islands in the Seto Inland Sea.|
🎬 To get an overall idea of Hiroshima, check out this video:
The Best Areas to Stay in Hiroshima for tourists are:
1. Downtown Hiroshima
Downtown is the best overall area to stay in Hiroshima for first-time travelers because it is the heart of the city. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of actions, within easy walking distance to tourist attractions, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.
Downtown Hiroshima is the area between Hiroshima station and the Peace Memorial Park area. It’s just within a 20 minute walk and a very short tram from the west of Hiroshima Station. This central location offers you plenty of things to do, from the most popular attractions to a variety of bars and restaurants, and plenty of shopping options.
The major tourist attractions downtown are Hiroshima Castle, Okonomimura, the Hiroshima Museum of Art, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and the Atomic Bomb Dome.
You can easily visit these attractions with the Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus (Meipuru-pu).
Hiroshima Castle (Carp Castle) is one of the most beautiful castles in Japan and offers beautiful views of the city. It was built in the 16th century by Mori Terumoto, and was destroyed by the atomic bomb of August 1945.
Hiroshima Castle was reconstructed in 1959 and is home to the museum. Nearby, you will find a Shinto shrine, the Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine, and willow, and a eucalyptus tree that survived the tragic event of 1945.
Another prominent attraction in the city is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Covering an area of 120,000 square meters, it is a memorial of many people who died in the world’s first nuclear attack.
You can find the A-Bomb Dome (Hiroshima Peace Memorial), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims, the Children’s Peace Monument, the Flame of Peace, and the Peace Clock-Tower. If you visit the Peace Park in spring, you will encounter beautiful cherry blossoms.
Downtown is home to numerous museums for history buffs to explore, such as:
- Hiroshima Museum of Art, located within walking distance from the Hiroshima Bus Center and the streetcar station Kamiyacho-higashi. It displays works of art by French masters and Japanese artists, an ideal place to visit for art lovers.
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, located in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It is a good place to visit to learn more about the tragic history of Hiroshima before and after the atomic bomb in 1945.
Downtown not only offers plenty of sightseeing and shopping in the time, but also it has a vibrant nightlife. Mac Bar and Stevie’s Wunder Bar are some of the best places to enjoy your night out!
If you’re a foodie, make sure to check Okonomimura (Okonomiyaki Village). Located just a few steps from Hondori street and next to the shopping center PARCO, Okonomimura is the best place to try Hiroshima’s famous pancake, Okonomiyaki (Hiroshima-yaki). It’s one of Japan’s most popular food theme parks with a collection of restaurant stalls.
For the best shopping experience, head to:
- Hon-Dori pedestrian arcade, full of shops and restaurants.
- Aioi-Dori Avenue, more shopping with large department stores.
- Peace Boulevard/ Heiwa-Odori Street, karaoke shops, restaurants, and bars.
If you visit Hiroshima in November and December, you will take part in a winter festival of electric light, Hiroshima Dreamination, in the center of Hiroshima city including the Peace Boulevard.
With a central location, easy access to attractions by the Electric Railway, and plenty of shopping, nightlife options, Downtown is definitely the best place where to stay in Hiroshima for tourists.
There are plenty of accommodations in downtown, from budget hostels to mid-range and luxury hotels. Most of the hotels are conveniently located within a short walk from tourists attractions, it offers private rooms, private bathrooms, free wifi, a swimming pool, and breakfast buffet.
Pros: Central location, excellent access to public transportation, proximity to many cultural attractions, and wide range of shops and restaurants.
Cons: an be crowded, especially during peak travel seasons; can get lively at night;
Best Suited for: first-timers, sightseeing enthusiasts, shopaholics, foodies;
Best places to stay in Hiroshima Downtown for first-timers:
luxury ($$$): Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel, 5-star hotel, located in the heart of Hiroshima, only a 1-minute walk from Hiroshima Station, featuring 4 dining options, an indoor pool and a fitness centre.
mid-range ($$): Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima, 4-star hotel, located in central Hiroshima, within walking distance from major attractions such as the Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, Museum of Art, and Hiroshima Castle. It is only a 50-minute train ride from Miyajimaguchi Station.
budget ($): Hiroshima Washington Hotel, 3-star popular hotel in downtown area, one of the best places to stay in Hiroshima on a budget, located within a short walk from Hatchobori Tram Station and a short tram ride away from Hiroshima Station.🔍MORE HOTELS IN HIROSHIMA DOWNTOWN
See more: 22 Best things to do in Hiroshima, Japan
2. Hiroshima Station
Hiroshima Station is a transport hub and important station with Shinkansen trains coming from Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, and Shin-Kobe. If you are traveling around Japan by train or want easy access to other parts of the city by tram, Hiroshima station is the best area in Hiroshima to stay in.
You will find the Tourist Information Center near the exit of the Shinkansen platform and inside the ASSE Building near the Hiroshima streetcar stop.
It’s also within walking distance from the famous Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima city center. The area around the station is packed with cafes, restaurants, pubs, souvenir shops, office buildings, and hotels.
Attractions around Hiroshima Station area are the:
- Hiroshima’s Museum of Contemporary Art (Hiroshima MOCA), one of the most important museums in Hiroshima and the first public museum dedicated to contemporary art in Japan.
- Shukkeien Garden, a beautiful traditional Japanese garden, located just a 15-minute walk from Hiroshima station. There are some tea houses that organize tea ceremonies around the main pond.
- Hiroshima Prefectural Museum, a large art museum that displays a collection of modern Japanese and Western artworks.
- Mazda Zoom-Zoom Baseball stadium.
Shukkeien Garden is located near Shukkeien-mae station (a streetcar stop), easy to reach from Hatchobori station and Genbaku Dome-Mae station.
In addition to Shukkeien Garden, you can find a large public park, Hijiyama Park. If you follow the Hijiyama Skywalk, you will reach one of the largest department stores in the city on the foot of the hill, Saty.
There is not much nightlife in the Hiroshima station area, but you are staying in a very convenient public transport, well-connected area, and easy access to the nightlife of the downtown area.
Due to its convenient locatio, the area around Hiroshima Station has plenty choices in accommodations ranging from budget hostels and guest houses to luxury 5-star hotels.
Pros: excellent transportation links, abundance of amenities, and proximity to major attractions.
Cons: can get quite crowded and bustling, especially during peak hours; Lack of Local Charm; Limited Nightlife;
Best places to stay in Hiroshima Station for first-time tourists:
luxury ($$$): Daiwa Roynet Hotel Hiroshima-ekimae, great hotel, located only 5-minute walk from Hiroshima Station, featuring air-conditioned rooms, a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi.
mid-range ($$): Hotel Granvia Hiroshima, 4-star family-friendly hotel, located directly connected to the JR Hiroshima Shinkansen (Bullet Train) Station. It is a short tram ride from Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park.
budget ($): Via Inn Prime Hiroshima Shinkansenguchi, 3-star budget-friendly hotel, located in central Hiroshima, within walking distance from Hiroshima Station. It has a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Also close to Myoei-ji, Chosho-in Temple, and Katō Tomosaburō Bronze Statue.🔍MORE HOTELS IN HIROSHIMA STATION
3. Kakomachi and Peace Memorial Park area
As parts of the Naka Ward, The Peace Memorial Park and the nearby Kakomachi are located between the Motoyadu and Ota and Rivers.
These central neighborhoods are very well-connected with a lot of light rail stations. It also offers plenty of choices of budget accommodations within a short distance from the best bars, clubs, and shopping of the city.
Peace Memorial Park was the political and commercial heart of the city before a nuclear attack. After the bombing, it was devoted to peace memorial facilities. It’s the best area to stay in Hiroshima if you’re interested in history, you will find the:
- Peace Memorial Museum,
- A-Bomb Dome,
- Fountain of Prayer,
- International Convention Center,
- Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims.
To get to Peace Memorial Park, take tram line 2 or 6 from Hiroshima Station to the Genbaku-Domu Mae stop or take the Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus.
Pros: Quaint and historic atmosphere, peaceful surroundings, proximity to attractions, and opportunities to experience local culture.
Cons: Limited nightlife and entertainment options, Limited dining choices;
Best places to stay in Hiroshima in Peace park:
mid-range ($$): The Knot Hiroshima, popular 4-star hotel, well located in Hiroshima, close to major landmarks such as the Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Myoei-ji Temple. It has rooms for singles, couples, and families.
mid-range ($$): Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima, 4-star hotel, ideally located within walking distance from the Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, and Museum of Art. It is also a short drive by car from JR Hiroshima Train Station.
budget ($): Hiroshima City Bunka Koryu Kaikan, 3-star family-friendly hotel, located in Hiroshima city center, within 10-minute walk to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It offers views of the Hon River, 2 restaurants and air-conditioned rooms with free wired internet access.🔍MORE HOTELS IN PEACE PARK MEMORIAL
4. Miyajima (Itsukushima island)
Along with Iwakuni, Saijo Sake Brewery Town, Onomichi, Fukuyama city, and Sandan Gorge, Miyajima is one of the popular day trips if you stay in Hiroshima for a few days.
Miyajima (Itsukushima) is a Unesco World Heritage Site and National Treasure, a sacred island less than an hour outside of Hiroshima city. There’s plenty of history and cultural attractions in this part of Hiroshima Bay. It’s famous for its floating torii gate and Itsukushima Shrine.
The giant torii gate is one of the three best views in Japan. It seems to float when high tide.
For a day trip, you can start from Miyajima Ferry Terminal (in the north of the island), and head to busy shopping street, Miyajima Omotesando Shotengai. It is a tourist area with a lot of souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants in narrow streets. Be sure to try special dishes like okonomiyaki and grilled oysters!
After that, you can follow the waterfront and reach the well-known attractions, 16 m tall and 60 tonnes floating shrine gate of the Shinto shrine Itsukushima.
Continue the seafront and you will reach Itsukushima-Jinja Shrine. The shrine was built in the 6th century, consists of a few buildings linked by wooden walking paths.
Within walking distance from the shrine, you can find the dark wooden Senjokaku Pavilion and the red five-story pagoda at Toyokuni Shrine.
You can also hike up or take the Miyajima ropeway to the highest mountain in Miyajima, the sacred Mount Misen. Mount Misen is especially breathtaking during spring with pinkish cherry blossoms, and colorful in the autumn when the leaves turn their color.
On the top of Mount Misen, you will find Mount Misen Observatory which offers stunning views of the Seto Inland Sea and Hiroshima city. There’re also Buddhist statues, shrines, and temples nearby. Be sure to visit the Daishoin Temple with its cave and statues at the foot of Mount Misen.
There are several festivals on the island such as the annual Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival in mid-august where the Japanese wear their summer kimono. Miyajima Kangen-Sai Festival is held between the end of July and early August.
If you decide to stay in Miyajima island overnight, be sure to stay in traditional Miyajima ryokan and book your dinner in advance because most of the shops and restaurants close after 5pm. It is quieter and more peaceful at night.
There are also wild deer on the island that has become familiar to people. They wander around the same sites as the tourists during the day and sleep along the walking paths in the evening.
Pros: Stunning natural beauty, cultural and historical significance, peaceful atmosphere, wildlife encounters, and authentic local cuisine.
Cons: Limited accommodation options, require a short journey from Hiroshima City, can get crowded during peak seasons.
Miyajima is an excellent choice for first-timers in Hiroshima who appreciate natural beauty, cultural heritage, and a peaceful atmosphere. If you prefer a wider range of accommodation options or want to stay in the heart of the city, Hiroshima City itself might be a better choice.
Best places to stay in Miyajima for first-timers:
luxury ($$$): Kurayado Iroha, 5-star family-friendly hotel, located in Miyajima’s Omotesando Avenue, a 5-minute walk from Itsukushima Shinto Shrine and Miyajima Pier.
mid-range ($$): Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto, 4-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Hiroshima for couples, located only 3-minute stroll from Itsukushima Shrine. It has an outdoor hot spring bath, 3 restaurants and karaoke and a free shuttle from Miyajima Pier.
budget ($): Sakuraya, 3-star famlily-friendly hotel, offering affordable Japanese-style rooms with mountain or sea views. Miyajima Ferry Terminal is a 3-minute walk away.🔍MORE HOTELS IN MIYAJIMA
Located just outside Hiroshima city center, in the western part of Hiroshima. It is well-known for its arts scene and historic Showa feel. It is a great place to wander around and take a photo.
The Yokogawa neighborhood is served by Yokogawa Station. Around the central station, you will find a few bakeries, Futaba Bookstore, Tully’s, the local supermarket, Wants, and a Daiso.
Be sure to check out Kofuji Mochi Yokogawa, the Japanese-style sweet shop for traditional sweets and tea, coffee, and udon. You will also find colorful murals by graffiti artist SUIKO, and Yokogawa Cinema. The small bookshop Hon to jiyuu, is also a must-see.
Not only does it have lots of interesting shops and places to eat, but also the town hosts many fun events throughout the year. The Fushigiichi Festival, the annual Yokogawa Zombie, the Yokogawa Charity Auction, and the Valentine’s Day fireworks.
Pros: authentic local experience, away from the tourist crowds; convenient for transportation, peaceful environment.
Cons: Limited tourist attractions, lack of nightlife, distance from major sights;
If you love the mix of both old and new, want a relaxed local feel, but still close to plenty of shops and facilities, Yokogawa is a good base to stay in Hiroshima.
Best places to stay in Yokogawa for first-time visitors:
- budget ($): Hiroshima Hostel EN, a hostel combined with an on-site restaurant, located a 3-minute walk from JR Yokogawa Station, and 2 train stops from JR Hiroshima Station. You can walk alongside the river to reach the Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park.
- budget ($): Roku Hostel Hiroshima, great backpacker accommodation in Hiroshima, easy access to the train station and the downtown area.
Onomichi is one of the popular day trips from Hiroshima, but if you want a quieter area with more real Japanese life, and lots of outdoor activities, you can consider staying here. It is a hilly and quaint town situated along the Seto Inland Sea.
Top attractions in Onomichi are The Shimanami Kaido Expressway, Temple Walk, Senkoji Park, the Hirayama Museum, and the unique Kosanji Temple.
Shimanami Kaido is one of the most unique attractions of Onomichi. It’s a 60km route that runs from Onomichi to Japan’s fourth-largest island, Shikoku. It’s popular for cyclists and pedestrians.
Temple Walk is located in downtown Onomichi, a beautiful walk that will take visitors up and down the slopes over 2.5km with 25 temples.
Senkoji Park is on the list of the “100 Famous Cherry Blossom Sites of Japan”. From the top of the park, you will enjoy a fantastic view. Around the park, there’s Senkoji Temple, and Onomichi Castle nearby.
Pros: Scenic beauty, Cycling paradise, serene and laid-back environment.
Cons: Distance from central Hiroshima, limited nightlife and shopping options, and language barrier:
Best places to stay in Onomichi:
budget ($): Onomichi Guest House Anago-no-Nedoko, great guest house, offering beds in shared dorm rooms, a 5-minute walk from Senkou-ji Ropeway Station, and the shops, restaurants and cafes. Also close to the 2 km long Onomichi Koji Meguri Course along historical temples and JR Onomichi Station.
budget ($): SAKURAHOTEL onomichiekimae, great accommodation in Onomichi, located close to MOU Onomichi City University Art Museum, Jodoji Temple and Saikokuji Temple.
budget ($): Singai Cabin, budget-friendly hotel in Onomichi,close to several noted attractions, including MOU Onomichi City University Art Museum, Jodoji Temple, Saikokuji Temple, and Onomichi History Museum.🔍MORE HOTELS IN ONOMICHI
Where should I stay in Hiroshima for the first time?
Downtown is the best area to stay in Hiroshima for first-time travelers due its super central location. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of action, within walking distance to the top sights, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.
What are the best areas to stay in Hiroshima?
Downtown, Hiroshima Station, Kakomachi & Peace Memorial Park area, Miyajima, and Yokogawa are the best areas to stay in Hiroshima for tourists because they are the most popular and safe neighborhoods that offer a wide range of attractions and amenities.
How many days in Hiroshima is enough?
Three to four days in Hiroshima is enough time to explore its famous landmarks such as the Peace Memorial Park and the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island.
Should I stay in Hiroshima or Miyajima?
It ultimately depends on what you want to see and do. Hiroshima offers historical sites while Miyajima boasts scenic beauty and wildlife. Consider your preferences and itinerary.
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In conclusion, Downtown Hiroshima, Hiroshima station, Peace Memorial Park, Miyajima island, Yokogawa, and Onomichi are the best places to stay in Hiroshima for tourists. They offers safe locations with wide range of accommodations for all budget travelers.
Downtown Hiroshima immerses you in the vibrant city life, while Hiroshima Station provides convenient access to transportation. Peace Memorial Park allows for reflection and historical exploration. Miyajima Island captivates with its natural beauty, and Yokogawa and Onomichi offer unique cultural experiences.
Personally, I recommend Downtown as the best area to stay in Hiroshima for first-timers due to its central location , easy access to bypublic transport. Staying here puts you in the heart of the city, within walking distance to major attractions, restaurants, and shops.