I wasn't sure what to expect with Hiroshima. We wanted to go to pay our respects at the Atomic Bomb Dome and see the Peace memorials. Aside from those plans, I didn't really know what to expect. I was happy to find that Hiroshima has a very warm, familial vibe to it. It was slower paced, very walkable, and the city is linked with their street car transportation system. The vintage street cars add to the city's charm and laid back atmosphere.
We stayed 2 nights and three days here. I think it was a good amount of time to walk around Hiroshima and visit Miyajima Island.
Some highlights of Hiroshima:
We walked around the Atomic Bomb Dome, went to the Children's Peace memorial and The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The museums remind you of the horrible atrocities of nuclear war and the devastating consequences. I'm very humbled to have went.
Hiroshima okonomiyaki is so good. We really loved it. Check out theよっちゃん / Yocchan restaurant in the 2nd floor of the ASSE Restaurant floor (our receipt said Reichan on the top, so that might be its name?). It has a white banner and red letters. The okonomiyaki is delicious and inexpensive (around 1300 yen for the two of us). We used this link for location info.
It took a few trips to this cutest coffee shop before we found it open during business hours. The small cafe is very serene and quaint with simplistic furniture and decor. Their menu has a handful of breakfast set options. The coffee and meal was just what we wanted that rainy morning. We wish we had more time to enjoy our meal before rushing to the train station.
We spent an entire day on Miyajima Island, from around 11am-5pm. We could have stayed longer, but it was raining and we felt we saw enough. Try to look up the tide schedule before you go. We decided on an early start time to see The Great Torii during high tide. By the time we departed, the tide went out and visitors could walk to the torii on the sand.
We didn't go into this above shrine. We were kinda 'shrined' out by this point and there was an admission cost. It was beautiful to simply walk around the grounds at no cost. Miyajima Island is known for their momiji, or red bean filled pastries. I kinda wished we bought more of them. They're everywhere and stands are trying to sell them, so I became a bit overwhelmed. But in hindsight, I wish I bought a full set. We bought a custard flavor and it was delicious.
Next Up: Kurashiki !