Hiroshima City (広島市 Hiroshima-shi?) is the largest city in the Chugoku Region located on the coast of Hiroshima Prefecture with a population of 1.16 million people in 2012. It lies in the Delta where Ota River and 5 others meet and flow into the Seto Inland Sea. It is also a major port and historical castle town with a long and rich cultural history. Although it is most easily identified as the city that experienced the world's first atomic bombing, it is now a beautiful, modern town, prosperous in life, industry and tourism.

Downtown Hiroshima City


Hiroshima City is made up of eight wards. Naka-ku 中区 (naka-ku?) is home to the Atomic Bomb Dome, the Peace Memorial Museum and Peace Memorial Park. It is in the heart of downtown Hiroshima City.


Local Knowledge[]


Hiroshima Prefecture is located in the southwest of the Japanese archipelago. It has the warm Seto Inland Sea and cold mountainous regions extending out and rising over 1000m above sea level lending the region a variety of natural environments. People have lived in this region since ancient times, and Hiroshima Prefecture is rich with a variety of historic tales unfolding since the early period of the Jomon Era, about 7,000 years ago.

As the climate continued to warm during the Jomon Era, people began living and working on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea. Some time after mid-10th century BC, by the 3rd century AD, rice cultivating culture was brought over from the Chinese continent. Inhabitants of the Hiroshima City bay area ate oysters found in the nature.


Getting In & Around[]

To/from the airport[]

While Hiroshima City has a small airport in its Southern Ward, it is rarely used these days. More prominent is the Hiroshima International Airport with bus services to surrounding cities. Travel from Hiroshima City to the Int'l Airport takes approximately 50 minutes by car or bus.

By train[]

Almost all visitors coming to Hiroshima by train from outside the prefecture will most likely come via the Sanyō Bullet Train 山陽新幹線 (Sanyō Shinkansen?) to JR Hiroshima Station which is located just north-east of the city-center. The local Kure, Geibi, and Sanyō Lines also stop here.

By bus[]

Hiroshima City has three bus centers. The "Hiroshima Bus Center" is located downtown on the 3rd floor of the Sogo Department store building and has buses departing and arriving from virtually every city within Hiroshima Prefecture and many of the cities outside the prefecture. Outside the JR Hiroshima Station on the southside is a bus center for intra-city travel, and on the Shinkansen Exit side of JR Hiroshima are inexpensive, private, Highway buses that travel all over Japan. The third bus center is Nakasuji Bus Terminal connected to the Nakasuji Station of the Astram Line. Almost all inter-city buses stop here before getting onto the Sanyō Highway.

By car[]

If you have a car, both Hiroshima, and Sanyō Highways pass near, or through Hiroshima City, as well as the non-toll Routes 2, 54, and 433.

Getting around[]

Walking and street cars are great options for visitors to the city, but if you plan on staying awhile, or your hotel offers it, a bicycle gives you complete, and easy access. However, parking your bike may cost you.

By train[]

The JR Sanyō Line travels through the city and the JR Kabe Line, JR Geibi Line, and the JR Kure Line terminate at Hiroshima station. To get to Miyajima-Guchi (and on to Miyajima) the west bound Sanyō Line will take you there. The Kabe Line will take you into the northern wards of Hiroshima City and is mainly used as a commutor line. The Geibi Line travels along the eastern side of the city and into the countryside to the city of Miyoshi and then on into Okayama prefecture. The Kure Line will take you to many of the coastal cities and towns of the Seto Sea.

Hiroshima City is also served by a historic street car system 路面電車 (ro-men-densha?) which runs from the JR Hiroshima Station to the Hiroshima Port, and through downtown to the Southern Ward, Yokogawa Station, Nishi-Hiroshima Station, and though Hatsukaichi to Miyajimaguchi. The street cars are operated by Hiroshima Electric Railway Co., Ltd. Routes and pricing can be found here.

Finally, Hiroshima City has its own rubber-tired metro system known as the Astram Line. This line was opened in 1994 for the 1994 Asian Games and connects the heavily populated northern ward of Asaminami-ku with the central Naka-ku.

By bus[]

All of Hiroshima City is accessible by bus. In the case of most visitors, the buses aren't necessary as the street cars and train lines offer easy access to most of Hiroshima's cultural and sport sites.


JET placements[]

Hiroshima JET is divided into two completely separate levels, CITY and PREFECTURE. There are less than 5 Prefectural JETs who live in the City, and 2 are CIRs. On the City level, there are 3 CIRs and 19 Alt positions. Because of the size of Hiroshima City, some JETs live and/or teach quite far from the actual city center. Schools range in size, from large Academic High Schools with 2 or even 3 ALTs, to remote elementary and middle schools with 1 ALT rotating between 6, or in rare cases, more. If you live along the JR Sanyo line you will still have immediate access to all the luxuries of the big city, but in some northern locations, you may need to rely on the rubber tired metro (Astram Line), local buses, or a good bike.

Foreign community[]

Hiroshima Prefecture has the 3rd largest foreign population in Japan and many can be found in the City, if for nothing else but to have a drink or dance at a club. They can be from anywhere in the world, thanks to the City's various construction, assembly, and agricultural industries, ranging from only primary to doctorial educations. The largest communities being Korean and Chinese. There are also a number of Filipinos, Brazilians and Americans. US Marines are often seen visiting from the relatively nearby Iwakuni Base. Many tourists from around the world visit Hiroshima City to see the Atomic Bomb Dome (a World Heritage Site), Peace Memorial Park and other places of interest.


Places to visit[]

For recommending tourism routes make sure to use Plan Your Trip

The most famous tourist spots in Hiroshima are:

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (Ground-Zero of Atomic Bombing)
  • Hiroshima-jo (Castle)
  • Shukkei-en (Traditional Japanese Garden)
  • Okonomimura (3 floors filled with door to door Okonomiyaki restaurants)
  • Hondori (Shopping Arcade)
  • Itsukushima Shrine (Floating Temple in Miyajima)


Of course there are the festivals for New Year's and Obon, but for Hiroshima City-spefic festivals there are: Oyster Festival - (late January to early March) If you go down to Peace Boulevard, you can find free grilled oysters and cheap oysters for sale.

Flower Festival - (early May) Based at the Peace Memorial Park, this festival of flowers of peace links Hiroshima and the world. There is both a parade and a wide variety of stage events, all with flowers as their theme. Over 1.6 million people attend every year.

Toukasan - (first Friday in June) This festival, taking place at temples in Hiroshima City, is famous all across Japan as the festival in which the denizens of the area begin wearing yukata for the season. It boasts a history of almost 390 years. During specific periods, yukata-clad visitors to the temples can also be seen. Chuo Doori is closed to traffic for pedestrians, and filled with stalls. The participatory “Yukata Dekin Matsuri” is held at the same time.

Hiroshima Port Dream Fireworks Tournament - (late July) Based around Hiroshima port, this fireworks festival lights up some of the more scenic areas of the city. Fireworks made by Japan’s most famous firework artisans, are displayed on the unique undulating stage that is the Seto Inland Sea. Approximately 10,000 fireworks are fired off.

Commemoration of the Atomic Bombing of the City of Hiroshima - (August 6) Along with consoling the victims of the atomic bomb, these ethereal lights, floating dreamily in the darkness from the Motoyasu River, make all who see them feel a strong wish for peace. Registration can be performed on the day of the event at the tents set up in the Peace Memorial Park.

Hiroshima Food Festival - (late October/early November) Takes place around Hiroshima Castle and Chuo Park. With a theme of “local production, local consumption,” this food festival brings together specialties and delicacies from all across the prefecture. Local food stalls and a flea market are all present.

Hiroshima Dreamination - (November, December) One of the staples of a Hiroshima Winter. Illuminations, centered on the Peace Boulevard, are placed all across town. A wide variety of electrically illuminated objects are also displayed.

Ebisu Grand Festivals - (late November) A festival praying to Ebisu (one of the Seven Gods of fortune) for thriving commerce. In addition to seeing a thriving shopping district, you can benefit from the numerous sales that large businesses will have.


Hanami or Cherry Blossom Viewing (Map of downtown viewing spots provided by GetHiroshima)


Hiroshima City offers the comforts of a large metropolitan city. You can find English language books and magazines at Kinokuniya in the Sogo department store and the International Exchange Lounge of the International Conference Center. Foreign foods include Chinese, Korean, Indian, South Asian and North American. Coffee shops like Starbucks and Tully's offer a variety of coffee and teas. If you are looking for omiyage to take back home, Hiroshima is famous for momiji manjuu; a traditional Japanese treat in the shape of a maple leaf, filled with things such as red bean, chocolate and custard cream!


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  1. Fresta - Fresta is a Hiroshima supermarket. The size and hours of the store vary from place to place, but they are generally open from 9:30am - 9 or 10pm. You can make a "point card" for free. When you reach 500 or so points, you will get a discount coupon that you can use for your next shopping excursion. As with other Japanese super markets, Fresta offers a number of pre-cooked meals, including sushi, okonomiyaki, oyako-don, and tonkatsu. There is a Fresta kitty-corner from the Hiroshima City Hall.
  2. Jupiter - If you are looking for foreign food, then Jupiter is the place for you. There is a Jupiter located in Shareo (underground shopping strip near Hondori and Sogo) and another one located by the Shinkansen entrance of Hiroshima Station.

Expect to pay about USD$3 for one box of Kraft mac and cheese. Jupiter also sells freshly ground coffee.

Department stores[]

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Home & Garden stores[]

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Book shops[]

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Google Map for Accommodations


The Hiroshima International Center, located on the 6th floor of Crystal Plaza on Peace Blvd. has Japanese lessons, and free consultation for anyone, in several languages, regarding Visas, Social and Labor Issues, Life in Japan, and English Interpretation (contracts, bills, mail, etc.). Hiro Club News is a monthly newsletter in English which has information on events (sporting, movies, museums, etc) that take place in and around Hiroshima City.


  • Hiroshima Ginko
  • Shinsei
  • Momiji Ginko
  • Sumitomo Ginko

Post Office and 7-11 ATMs office International ATM service. Other ATMs may only be able to read Japanese Cards, and may not support banks from other regions of Japan.

Post offices[]

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Medical facilities[]

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Hair dressers[]

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Sports facilities[]

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  1. Green Arena - Exercise equipment, swimming pool, various aerobic and dance lessons. Across from Chu-o Koen and behind Pacela.
  2. Hiroshima Big Wave - Large pool which is used as an ice rink in the winter. Located in Ushita. 9am-9pm. A 3min walk from the Ushita stop on the Astramline.
  3. Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium - The new baseball stadium (old one was located downtown) is near Hiroshima Station.
  4. Ward Sports Centers - Each ward has its own sports center, please check the Daily Life Guidebook for Foreigners page for details (scroll to the bottom).

Travel agents[]

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External links[]