TF Top 10……Day Trips In Hiroshima Prefecture

Thanks to countless trips to visit my in-laws in Hiroshima over the years, I’ve been very lucky to have explored a fair proportion of this quite large prefecture. The last post covered all the things to do in Hiroshima city once you’ve done the main two sights (A-Bomb Dome and Miyajima) and this one takes you a bit further. All these places are doable in a day from Hiroshima city centre but some of them will be long, long days. Here, in no particular order, are my recommendations….

1. Kure City – One of the closest and easiest places to visit in this list. It’s a 30 minute train journey down the coastline to the east of the city. The Yamato Museum (500 yen) and the JMSDF Kure Museum a.k.a. the Whale of Iron Museum (Free entry) are the major attractions of the area and very deserving of your time. More details here


2. Tomonoura – This quaint port town is a little over 100 kilometres east of Hiroshima city and is known as the inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Ponyo‘ (2008), and more recently it featured properly as a filming location for ‘The Wolverine‘ (2013). Tomonoura stands on the southern point of the Numakuma Peninsula and offers some fine panoramic views of the bay, and there are two islands nearby which can be reached within a very short time by boat. More details here


3. Okunoshima (a.k.a. Rabbit Island) – Quite possibly the most famous place in this list for visitors from overseas as it has received worldwide attention and gone viral a few times. Its history is so contrasting to its cuteness appeal these days though as during WWII the Japanese army secretly produced poison gas on this isolated island which was considered to be discreet and away from civilisation. There are some abandoned ruins on the island and there is debate as to how the rabbits came to be on the island. More details here


4. Onomichi – It’s ramen is definitely among the best I’ve had in Japan but this place, 85 kilometres east of Hiroshima city, is more famed for it’s many beautiful temples and the views of the Inland Sea. It was also depicted faithfully in the 16 part 2005 Japanese animation ‘Kamichu!’ More details here


5. Sandankyo – As part of the Western Chugoku Mountains Quasi-National Park this canyon is designated as a national place of scenic beauty and is considered one of the top 5 special valleys of scenic beauty and one of the top 100 scenic spots in Japan. It’s a fairly vast area with many hiking courses ranging from five minutes to five hours which feature some fine picturesque spots including waterfalls, caves, streams, rocks, rapids and deep pools. More details here


6. Ini No Tanada – These rice fields appeared in this CNN article detailing the 31 most beautiful places in Japan. There are over 300 rice paddies in the area and some of them date back about 500 years. They use pure natural water from mountain valleys thereby making the rice popular in terms of its taste and fragrance. The more aesthetically pleasing seasons are supposed to be Spring or Autumn and not Winter which is when I went! More details here


7. Gensobo-ji Temple – This quirky temple in Shimizu on the west side of Kure really is not easy to get to. Even locals living in the vicinity had never really heard of it but eventually we got there thanks to the kind help of local children who led us on up through the narrow paths and alleys ascending to the temple. There’s a big concrete Fudō-myōō statue complete with his huge foot sticking out beneath the concrete wall that surrounds his body. It’s a pretty bizarre place with statues of Buddhist gods dotted all around the place amidst the greenery. More details here


8. Yuki Town Onsen – The waters of Hiroshima’s most renowned hot spring resort are known to have one of the world’s highest radon contents which is supposedly good for rheumatism, stomach troubles and skin diseases. Or you could just soak, relax and forget about any troubles and stresses. It’s an hour outside of Hiroshima and mountains, forests and waterfalls dominate the area. More details here


9. Fukuyama –  This place is the gateway for travelling further south to more interesting places like the aforementioned Tomonoura but it’s worth a quick look if you have time. There’s a nice castle, the interesting Fukuyama Auto & Clock Museum and it also featured in ‘The Wolverine‘ for 17 seconds! More details here


10. Mikura-dake Mountain – Much of Hiroshima prefecture consists of mountains leading towards bordering Shimane prefecture. This 702 metre high mountain is located in Ōtake city and is a beautiful sight thanks to the sacred mountain of granite protruding from the forested area surrounding it. More details here


Bonus: Iwakuni – Technically it’s not in Hiroshima prefecture but Iwakuni is one of the easiest day trips from Hiroshima city as it’s just 40 minutes to the west. The five arched Kintai-kyo bridge, originally constructed in 1673 with no nails or nuts and bolts, is the main draw. More details here


Click here to read ‘TF Top 10……Things To Do In Hiroshima Once You’ve Done The Big Two’ 

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
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