I made the trip to Japan in this past February. At that time, I visited Hiroshima, Kakunodate, Yamadera, Magome, Matsumoto, Shirakawago, Takayama, Kanazawa, Nagano Snow Monkey valley and Kurashiki. That was super busy trip and visited many many places in just 7 days. I do not think you can copy this trip and I do not want you all to follow this itinerary. I really really enjoyed this trip but it was super super crazy.
But I will share my experience and it may give you some idea for your trip. I will enjoy writing about my trip and I hope you will enjoy reading my trip report.
In this post, I will show you the first day that was quick trip to Hiroshima.
Shin-Osaka station to Hiroshima station
I spent two nights in my brother’s house near Osaka after I arrived in Japan. On second day, I supposed to stay there but I had half day free. I decided to go somewhere because I had JR pass. I had not been Hiroshima for a while. And I missed Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki (savory pancake). This was the biggest reason why I went to Hiroshima. 🙂
I hopped on Shinkansen Sakura from Shin-Osaka. At this time, I spent some extra money to get JR Pass Green!
I enjoyed 1.5 hour ride to get Hiroshima.
And I got Hiroshima. I visited Peace Memorial Park before eating Okonomiyaki.
Visited Peace Memorial Park by city sightseeing loop bus, “Meipuru-pu”
Hiroshima station 16:45 (Sightseeing loop bus Meipuru-pu) Atomic Bomb Dome 16:59
Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park is the icon of this town. You can visit there by bus or streetcar. But if you have JR Pass, you can take sightseeing bus “Meipuru-pu”. Actually I did not know this bus service before. One of my readers told me this bus service before. This bus runs very frequently and you can visit most of the popular spots in Hiroshima by this bus. This bus service is fully covered by JR pass. Only JR Pass (Japan Rail Pass) covers this bus service. Other JR deals, such as Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass, Sanyo Sanin Area Pass do not cover this bus service. Please be careful.
When I took this bus, I did not check the bus stop and went to south exit. Hiroshima station has two side, south and north. I knew that there are many bus stops at south side. I thought Meipuru-pu departs from one of these bus stops.
But it did not. The bus departs from bus stop at north side. North exit is called “Shinkansen exit” as well in Hiroshima station. Please make sure which side you need to go if you use this bus.
The bus is nothing special. It is same type of bus as ordinary city bus.
When you ride this bus, you just hop on the bus. And show your JR pass to the driver when you get off.
If you want to catch this bus somewhere in town, you can find the sign in the photo below. This is the sign of Mepuru-pu bus stop.
It takes 15 minutes to get Atomic Bomb Dome. It is located at the north end of Peace Memorial Park.
I walked through this park. It was the first time in the last decade. I prayed for Hiroshima.
When I went back to Hiroshima station, I could catch Meipuru-pu again. But I did not because I love streetcar much more than bus.
Go back to Hiroshima station by streetcar
Genbaku Dome-mae (Atomic Bomb Dome) 17 minutes Hiroshima-eki station
I got on the street car in front of Atomic Bomb Dome.
Streetcar is very convenient transportation to move around Hiroshima city. Streetcar is operated by Hiroshima Electric Railway (a.k.a. Hiro-Den).
Actually you can take this streetcar to get Miyajima too. But it is much slower than JR train. I believe most of you who intend to visit Miyajima will have one of JR deals. Obviously JR train is the best way to get Miyajima. However if you want to have something different, streetcar may be your choice.
You can use ICOCA to take this streetcar. But you cannot use other IC card, such as Suica, Pasmo to take this train. Of course, you can pay by cash too. As long as you take streetcar in the city, 160 yen is flat rate.
By the way, streetcar’s Hiroshima station is “Hiroshima station” station.
When you check the timetable of this streetcar at Hyperdia, you need to choose “Hiroshima station”. JR’s station is just “Hiroshima”.
Eating Okonomiyaki at Hiroshima station
Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki is “Must-Eat” in Hiroshima. It is the soul food of Hiroshima. There are huge number of Okonomiyaki restaurants in Hiroshima. Especially “Okonomi-mura” (means the village of Okonomiyaki) is very popular site to eat Okonomiyaki. But I picked the restaurant in Hiroshima station because it was convenient for me.
I ate Okonomiyaki in “Mitchan”. I checked several customer’s review and I believe this is the best one around the station.
As I mentioned, Hiroshima station has two sides, north and south. There are shopping complex at both side. This restaurant is located at north side that is called “Shinkansen Meitengai”. There are two levels and this restaurant is on the first floor.
I ordered DX Special Okonomiyaki.
It was so yummy. My choice was right!
This restaurant has the menu in English too. You can pick exactly what you want.
Hiroshima station to Shin-Osaka station
Hiroshima 19:03 (Sakura 566) Shin-Osaka 20:34
That is all of my trip in the first day. It was crazy short stay but I had to leave early morning on next day. I tried to go back to Osaka as early as possible.
On next day, I flied to Akita and visited Kakunodate.
Continue to the post, Trip to Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku in 2016 winter – Part 2, Akita airport to Kakunodate.