Where to Stay in Hiroshima & Miyajima: 6 Best Areas

Where to stay in Hiroshima and Miyajima for first-time tourists? It’s a question that every visitor has. There are few neighborhoods and each one is unique, so it depends on what you’re looking for. The best areas to stay in Hiroshima are downtown Hiroshima, Hiroshima station area, Peace Memorial Park area, Miyajima island, Yokogawa, and Onomichi.

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.

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Before we begin with the details of the best places to stay in Hiroshima and Miyajima, I want to give you some quick tips and info to help you come to your conclusion as quickly and easily as possible.

For example, if you’re a tourist looking for the best area where to stay in Hiroshima for the first time, downtown Hiroshima and the station area are your best bet. 

For couples who are looking for a romantic break in Hiroshima, the island of Miyajima is the best part to stay in. Miyajima’s traditional ryokans, with Japanese decor, relaxing charm, and warm welcomes are the best place where to stay in Hiroshima for couples.

If you are traveling from Kyoto or Osaka by shinkansen and wondering how long to stay in Hiroshima, I would recommend spending at least 3 days exploring both Hiroshima and the famous Miyajima island.

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.

You can find all types of accommodation in Hiroshima from budget guesthouses, traditional Japanese style inns – ryokan, B&Bs, vacation rentals to luxury international hotels. 

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Where to stay in Hiroshima & Miyajima: 6 Best Areas to Stay in Hiroshima

To help you make the most of your stay in Hiroshima, I have hand-selected the 6 best areas for you to consider. I have provided helpful summaries of what each has to offer potential visitors and listed the top attractions that you might enjoy.

1. Downtown Hiroshima, where to stay in Hiroshima for first time visitors

Located right in the heart of the city, 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. It 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.

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.

Hiroshima Museum of Art is 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 is 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. 

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is one of the most prominent attractions in the city. It’s home to the Peace Memorial Museum, A-Bomb Dome ( the Hiroshima Peace Memorial) which is 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 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!

For the best shopping experience, head to Hon-Dori pedestrian arcade which is full of shops and restaurants. You will find more shopping with large department stores on Aioi-Dori Avenue which runs parallel to Hondori shopping street. Peace Boulevard/ Heiwa-Odori Street also offers numerous 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. Some of the best hotels in Hiroshima downtown are the best 4-star hotel – Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima, 3-star hotels such as Hiroshima Washington Hotel, Daiwa Roynet Hotel Hiroshima. Most of the hotels are conveniently located within a short walk from tourists attractions, it offers private rooms with flat-screen TVs, private bathrooms, free wifi, a swimming pool, breakfast buffet.

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2. Around Hiroshima Station, convenient access to public transport

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 are the Shukkeien Garden, Hiroshima Prefectural Museum, Mazda Zoom-Zoom Baseball stadium, and Hiroshima’s Museum of Contemporary Art (Hiroshima MOCA).

Hiroshima MOCA is one of the most important museums in Hiroshima and the first public museum dedicated to contemporary art in Japan. It is located on the top of the 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.

Located just a 15-minute walk from Hiroshima station, you will find a beautiful traditional Japanese garden, Shukkeien Garden. It sits near Shukkeien-mae station (a streetcar stop), which you can also easily reach from Hatchobori station and Genbaku Dome-Mae station. There are some tea houses that organize tea ceremonies around the main pond.

Next to Shukkeien Garden, is the Hiroshima Prefectural Museum. It is a large art museum that displays a collection of modern Japanese and Western artworks.

There is not much nightlife in the Hiroshima station area, but you are staying in a very convenient public transport, well-connected area, and very near to the nightlife actions, Hiroshima city center.

Some of the hotels to stay near the Hiroshima station are the Hiroshima Garden Palace, APA Hotel Hiroshima Ekimae, Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel, and Hotel Granvia Hiroshima.

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3. Kakomachi & Peace Memorial Park area, where to stay in Hiroshima on budget

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. 

You will find the Peace Memorial Museum, A-Bomb Dome, the Fountain of Prayer, the International Convention Center, and the Cenotaph for the A-Bomb Victims inside the park. It’s the best area to stay in Hiroshima if you’re interested in history.

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.

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4. Miyajima (Itsukushima island), with floating torii gate and Itsukushima Shrine

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.

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5. Yokogawa, the old Hiroshima neighborhood with relax feel

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.

If you love the mix of both old and new, want a relaxed feel, but still close to plenty of shops and facilities, Hiroshima is a good base to stay in Hiroshima.

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6. Onomichi, best area to stay in Hiroshima for local vibe

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. 

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By now you should know which Hiroshima neighbourhood is best for you to stay in. Finding an excellent location to call home for your vacation will make your visit even more magical. 

Now you have a better idea of where to stay in Hiroshima, it’s time to get booking your dream vacation and head off on your once in a lifetime trip.

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