Where to stay in Hiroshima first time: 6 Best areas

I visited Hiroshima a few years ago as a solo traveler. I had a lovely 5 days in the city to explore its historical attractions and nearby Miyajima island. I understand that searching for the right place to stay in Hiroshima can be a headache, especially for first-timers.

That’s why, in today’s article, I will share with you what I believe are the best areas to stay in Hiroshima for first-timers and tourists (including a helpful map), where I stayed in Hiroshima, and the best hotels for all budgets.

Hiroshima is a city located in the western part of the country on the island of Honshu. It is known for its historical significance, particularly as the site of one of the most devastating events in human history: the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II.

On August 6, 1945, in World War II, the United States dropped an atomic bomb called “Little Boy” on Hiroshima. The bomb exploded above the city and caused massive destruction, killing tens of thousands of people instantly and leading to the deaths of many more due to the effects of radiation exposure, injuries, and subsequent health issues. This event played a significant role in Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II.

Today, Hiroshima is a vibrant city that has been rebuilt and is a symbol of peace and reconciliation. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial, commonly known as the Atomic Bomb Dome, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and serves as a reminder of the destructive power of nuclear weapons and a call for global peace. 

The Peace Memorial Park is home to various monuments and memorials dedicated to the victims of the atomic bombing.

In addition to its historical significance, Hiroshima is a cultural and economic hub in Japan. It has a rich culinary tradition, including the famous Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, a savory pancake. The city is also known for its beautiful parks, museums, and vibrant local culture.

Where to stay in Hiroshima for the first time?

The best areas to stay in Hiroshima for first-timers and tourists are Downtown, Hiroshima Station, Hiroshima Castle, Miyajima, and Onomichi. Hiroshima is a relatively compact city with an efficient transportation network, so getting around is generally straightforward from any area.

Most visitors to Hiroshima stay in the Downtown Hiroshima and Hiroshima Station area. Downtown is the heart of the city, making it convenient for exploring many top attractions. 

You’ll find iconic sites like the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Castle, and the Hiroshima Museum of Art in the Downtown area. There are numerous restaurants, bars, and shops to enjoy in the downtown area, offering a vibrant nightlife and dining scene.

Hiroshima Station is a major transportation hub with easy access to trains, buses, and trams, making it convenient for day trips to other destinations in the region. You’ll find a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels.

During my trip to Hiroshima, I stayed in the Downtown area at the 3-star Smile Hotel Hiroshima. The hotel has a central location, within walking distance to public transport, the Hondori shopping street, and the peace memorial park.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Hiroshima for tourists. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Hiroshima first time
Map of the best areas to stay in Hiroshima first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Hiroshima, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Hiroshima have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

6 Best areas to stay in Hiroshima for tourists:

1. Downtown Hiroshima

Downtown is one of the most popular places to stay in Hiroshima for tourists, especially for first-timers. Staying here offers easy access to major attractions such as Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Castle, Shukkeien Garden, and Hiroshima Museum of Art.

Downtown offers a mix of cultural attractions, shopping districts, and dining options, making it a central point for visitors exploring Hiroshima.

Hondori Shopping Arcade is one of Hiroshima’s main commercial areas. It’s a covered shopping street lined with shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes, making it a popular spot for shopping and dining.

Nagarekawa District is the entertainment district of downtown Hiroshima, known for its nightlife. You’ll find a wide range of bars, clubs, and restaurants catering to various tastes and preferences.

Hiroshima Orizuru Tower, a modern observation tower, offers panoramic views of the city from its observation deck. It also features exhibits related to Hiroshima’s history and the art of origami (paper folding).

Best places to stay in Downtown Hiroshima for first-timers:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hilton Hiroshima, 5-star hotel, located in a fairly central location, close to Myoei-ji Temple and Hiroshima City Minami Ward Community Cultural Center. It has a 24-hour front desk,  and currency exchange.
  • Mid-range ($$): THE KNOT HIROSHIMA, popular 4-star hotel in an excellent location in Downtown Hiroshima, easy access to major attractions such as the Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Myoei-ji Temple.
  • Budget ($): Smile Hotel Hiroshima, great 3-star hotel, easy access to the train stations, as well as attractions such as Myoei-ji Temple, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Dome. 

2. Hiroshima Station Area

Staying near Hiroshima Station is convenient if you plan to use the city as a transportation hub for exploring other parts of the region. You’ll find a variety of hotels and dining options around the station, making it a convenient base for day trips.

Hiroshima Station is a major transportation hub with excellent rail connections, including the Shinkansen (bullet train). This makes it easy to access other cities in Japan, such as Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo, for day trips or longer journeys.

Best places to stay in Hiroshima Station Area:

  • Luxury ($$$): Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel, 5-star hotel, conveniently located only 1-minute walk from Hiroshima Station. It has a fitness center,  laundry services, luggage storage, and a 24-hour front desk.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Granvia Hiroshima, popular Michelin 3-star rated hotel, located directly connected to the JR Hiroshima Shinkansen (Bullet Train) Station. Short distance from Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, Hiroshima Castle, and Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium.
  • Budget ($): Sotetsu Fresa Inn Hiroshima, 3-star hotel, well located in the Hiroshima City Centre, a short walk from Hiroshima Station.

3. Peace Memorial Park Area

Staying near the Peace Memorial Park means you’re within walking distance of the Atomic Bomb Dome,  and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

This park is one of the most significant landmarks in Hiroshima and is dedicated to promoting peace and remembering the victims of the atomic bombing that occurred during World War II. 

The UNESCO World Heritage Site – Hiroshima Peace Memorial stands as a stark reminder of the city’s history.

Best places to stay in Hiroshima in Peace Memorial Park Area:

  • Mid-range ($$): Grand Base Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, 4-star accommodation located within walking distance from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb Dome. Close to the river, a convenient store, and Dobashi tram.
  • Budget ($): Hiroshima City Bunka Koryu Kaikan, 3-star hotel, located only 10 mins walk to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and a 20 mins bus ride from Hiroshima Train Station.
  • Budget ($): Hostel Mallika, a star good value for money hostel, located within a short walk from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and International Conference Center Hiroshima.

4. Hiroshima Castle Area

Hiroshima Castle is a historic site, and staying in this area gives you easy access to it. It’s also relatively close to downtown Hiroshima.

Hiroshima Castle is a reconstructed castle that offers visitors a glimpse into Japan’s feudal history. The castle grounds are beautiful, especially during cherry blossom season, and the main keep houses a museum about Hiroshima’s history.

Best places to stay in Hiroshima Castle Area:

  • Mid-range ($$): Candeo Hotels Hiroshima Hatchobori, 4-star hotel, 11 mins walk from Hiroshima Castle, close to many good cafes and restaurants, easy access to boat that take you to Miyajima Island.
  • Mid-range ($$): Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima, 4-star hotel, within walking distance from Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Museum of Art, and Hiroshima Castle. 50 mins train ride from Miyajimaguchi Station.
  • Budget ($): Hiroshima no Yado Aioi, 3-star family-friendly ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), close to major attractions such as Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park and Myoei-ji Temple.

5. Miyajima Island (Itsukushima)

Miyajima Island, also known as Itsukushima Island, is a picturesque and serene destination famous for its Itsukushima Shrine and floating torii gate. Staying on the island allows you to experience its unique atmosphere.

Itsukushima Shrine is the most iconic attraction on Miyajima Island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site and Shinto shrine is known for its dramatic “floating” torii gate, which appears to be standing in the water during high tide. The shrine’s buildings are built on stilts over the water, creating a unique and beautiful sight.

Mount Misen, a sacred mountain on Miyajima Island, offers excellent hiking opportunities and breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding islands and sea. There are several hiking trails that lead to the summit, where you can find a small shrine and observatory.

Miyajima Island is home to a population of wild deer that roam freely. These friendly deer are considered sacred and are a symbol of the island. You can interact and feed these animals.

Momijidani Park is particularly popular during the autumn season when the maple trees turn vibrant shades of red and orange. It’s a beautiful place for a leisurely stroll and photography.

Daisho-in Temple, a Buddhist temple, is known for its unique statues, including the hundreds of small Jizo statues, each with a red bib, representing the souls of unborn children. The temple also has a lovely garden and several hiking paths.

Miyajima is known for its delicious street food, including Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), oysters (a local specialty), and maple leaf-shaped manju (sweet filled buns).

The island hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival, which features a stunning display of fireworks over the water.

There are limited accommodation options on the island, and it can be more expensive than staying in Hiroshima city. You can choose to stay in ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) for unique experiences. 

To reach Miyajima Island, visitors typically take a ferry from Hiroshima to the island’s port. 

Best places to stay in Miyajima Island:

  • Luxury ($$$): Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto, 4-star hotel, located within a short walk from  Itsukushima Shrine, offering a free shuttle from Miyajima Pier. Also close to Pagoda Goju-no-To, Senjokaku Hall, and Miyajima Ferry Terminal.
  • Mid-range ($$): Miyajima Seaside Hotel, this beachfront accommodation offers free shuttle service from Miyajima Ferry Port, as well as a short drive from Daisho-in Temple and Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, a Unesco World Heritage Site. 20 mins walk from Miyajima Ropeway lift.
  • Budget ($): Miyajima Guest House Mikuniya, 1-star accommodation offering Japanese-style rooms and a small garden. 20 mins walk from Miyajima Ferry Terminal.

6. Onomichi

Onomichi is a charming town known for its historical streets and temple walks. It’s a great place for a quieter, more traditional experience. Onomichi is not in Hiroshima city itself but is accessible by train. It’s ideal for those who want a more rural, relaxed experience.

Onomichi is renowned for its scenic beauty, with hilly streets and alleys that offer panoramic views of the Seto Inland Sea. The Temple Walk and the Cat Alley (Neko no Hosomichi) are narrow lanes lined with traditional buildings, shops, and cafes.

Onomichi is famous for its regional style of ramen known as “Onomichi Ramen.” This local specialty features a soy-based broth, thin noodles, and various toppings such as pork and green onions. It’s a must-try for visitors to the city.

Onomichi has literary significance in Japan, as it was the hometown of several famous authors, including Shiga Naoya and Hayashi Fumiko. Many of their works are set in Onomichi, and you can find literary landmarks and museums dedicated to their legacy in the city.

Onomichi has also been featured in various Japanese films, most notably in Yasujirō Ozu’s classic film “Tokyo Twilight” (1957). 

Senko-ji is a historic Buddhist temple located on the hills overlooking Onomichi. It’s known for its stunning views of the city and the sea. The temple complex includes a beautiful pagoda, gardens, and hiking trails.

Onomichi City Museum of Art features a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art. It’s located near Senko-ji Temple and offers a cultural experience for visitors.

Onomichi is a starting point for the Shimanami Kaido, a famous cycling route that connects several islands in the Seto Inland Sea. You can rent bicycles in Onomichi to explore the route.

Best places to stay in Hiroshima in Onomichi:

  • Budget ($): Onomichi Guest House Miharashi-tei, 2-star accommodation, located in Onomichi, a short walk from Senkoji Temple. 
  • Budget ($): Singai Cabin, great guest house, close to the MOU Onomichi City University Art Museum, Jodoji Temple, Saikokuji Temple, and Onomichi History Museum.
  • Budget ($): SIMA inn, close to Onomichi History Museum, Senkoji Temple, and Oogamiyama Omoto Shrine. It features family rooms.

In conclusion, Downtown, Hiroshima Station, Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Castle, Miyajima Island, and Onomichi are the best places to stay in Hiroshima for first-timers and tourists. These areas have plenty of accommodations and activities for all travelers.

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There you have it, my recommendations for the popular areas and neighborhoods that you can stay during your trip to Hiroshima. I hope you found my article helpful and enjoy your holiday!

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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