Despite the passage of more than 70 years, the name Hiroshima is still synonymous with the horrors of nuclear warfare. The people of the city most definitely haven’t forgotten, but they have moved on. The city is modern and cosmopolitan with well-developed infrastructure. Hiroshima is more than just the city too, it’s the name of the surrounding prefecture which stretches along the Japan Sea from the north east to the south west.
|Tokyo => Hiroshima||Spring Airlines Japan||¥8,213 (US$78)||Details|
|Tokyo => Hiroshima||Japan Airlines||¥15,790 (US$149)||Details|
Although Hiroshima Airport does have some international flights, it’s primarily a domestic airport, with the majority of flights to and from Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Passenger volume has been decreasing in recent years though, as the Shinkansen continue to cut the travel time from Tokyo to Hiroshima with faster and faster trains.
The fastest Shinkansen (bullet train) will take you from Tokyo to Hiroshima in 4 hours and from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima in 1 hour and 22 minutes. You can book tickets online in advance. If traveling on a JR Pass, the return trip from Tokyo to Hiroshima alone more than pays for the pass. You won’t be able to catch the fast Nozomi though, so the trip will take slightly longer. There are also quite a few train and hotel packages available.
There are bus services that can be booked through Kosoku Bus which run from Tokyo (Machida) to Hiroshima Station from 9,200 yen. The overnight trip takes a grueling 11 hours.
The JR Sanyo line is the best way to get around within the prefecture. The train from Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi (where you can catch the ferry to Miyajima) is 410yen and takes 25 minutes. If you’re already in the middle of Hiroshima, getting to Hiroshima Station can take a while so it might be quicker, more convenient (and cheaper) to use the Hiroden tram (streetcar) system (from 190 yen). Line 2 (the Miyajima line) goes all the way to Hiroden Miyajimaguchi station which is a stone’s throw from the ferry terminal.
Where to Go and What to Do
Number one stop is probably going to be the Genbaku (A-Bomb) Dome and Hiroshima Peace Park. Both can be reached from Hiroshima Station using the Hiroden trams. Lines 2 and 6 both run past the area. You should get off at the Genbaku Dome Mae stop (20 minutes, 150 yen). We recommend booking a guided tour to experience these historic sites.
The other big attraction in Hiroshima is the iconic torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine that appears to float on the surface of the water at high tide. The shrine is on the aforementioned island of Miyajima. The ferry from Miyajimaguchi takes 10 minutes and costs 180 yen.