There are three small towns near Hiroshima I’d definitely recommend you to visit. Usually Hiroshima itself could be explored within 2 days, so most tourists make some time to visit some other cities nearby.
I guess it’s a place you shouldn’t miss when you are in Hiroshima, it takes around an hour to get there, depending on what transportation you take. I took a streetcar from Hiroshima Station and it got me an hour, after that there’ll be a boat trip. Don’t worry, it’s only a 15 minute journey. (If you have a Hiroshima pass, it’s all free, except JR railways)
Miyajima is a peaceful island but also full of tourists. There are lots to do, the village overflows with nice food places, souvenir shops, but if you aren’t interested in them, it’s still okay, it’s also nice to walk around. It was a shame that as soon as I got there all the stores were closed already.
Surprise! Those iambi-like deers were the first ones welcoming me. They wander around through the crowds, according to a Spanish woman I met there, deers in Miyajima aren’t as aggressive as the ones in Nara. They’re really cute to look at.
Note – Beware of the crowds on the weekend, it gets completely packed. So what I suggest you is to go there early. Miyajima could be a great weekend getaway especially if you are fed up city life and boring daily life.
This shrine is everything! Incredibly beautiful. The best scene of this would be seen if you come around high tide.
It’s amazing how this shrine always stays in its own place, no matter earthquakes, atomic bomb and waves. It’s still standing.
So, overall at least half a day would be needed if you want to explore this amazing island. Not only the shrine is a must-see place, but all those small shops next to it, also the deers are great to see, right? If time allows you, you can also take the cable car (ropeway).
My photo shoots :
Make sure to visit this island when you are in Hiroshima! 🙂
Look how beautiful the whole island becomes with the sunset
Happy man with a beautiful sunset out there
If you ever think going to Miyajima is exhausting, Onomichi does it even harder! But for sure, it’s worth all the efforts you put. In order to go to Onomochi, take a bus from Hiroshima bus station. Once again, get a Hiroshima card! It’s free to use the bus if you have the card. After a two hour bus trip I got in Onomichi and had endless walks. I hiked through very high hills, got some nice traditional Onomichi food, drinks and so on.
I was rather gonna try hiking until the end of the hills but it looked impossible to achieve, so I decided not to and use the ropeway and I’d say it was a life saver. Don’t ever try to hike, maybe you can do what I did. (Ropeway to the top and walking down on the way to the gate from the top)
It was really beautiful to see all the houses, little schools, singing children, cooking women and if you get lucky you will be able to listen to some nice songs during the day.
Stunning views from the top.
Being in Senkoji Park gave me great experiences, the views are obviously included. The inner sea of Onomichi could be seen as well.
Onomichi is also quite famous for its homeless cats. Many tourists fall in love with cats when they are in Onomichi. Numerous of cats are living there. Well, I’m not a cat person but it was really easy to interact with them as they aren’t afraid of people, they actually enjoy playing with humans. I learned a very important fact of cats recently, they are outwardly mad at something but they are so friendly and most of them want some attention from people.
There are a couple of temples you can possibly visit during your way down the mountain.
U2 is the right place if you seek some shopping spot in Onomichi, they have got nice boutique stores, bike shops and premium restaurants.
I got a pretty nice bag there 🙂
Too bad, my time in Onomichi was kinda limited since I wanted to move to Takehara after a while. But that means I’m gonna have another nice stuff when I’m back there next time. I will definitely cycle. There’s one place that is well known for a great cycling spot next to the island. Well, maybe not in the summer season though.
Nice place if you want to try some local ramen, not necessarily luxurious nor expensive, just ordinary food the locals usually eat.
Takehara is absolutely true to its own name! I was informed that this city offers what foreign tourists eager to see (the real frames of old Japan) but the expression lives up to the hype. I honestly wasn’t completely sure if it was a good decision to make it to Takehara from Onomichi by JR, which meant it’d cost as the Hiroshima pass doesn’t apply railways and also it’d take some time to get there, but you know what? It merits such big efforts.
You will most likely discover Saiboji Fumeikaku Temple by chance, Takehara is really small so I don’t even think A map is needed. This is a very interesting temple in that it has such a nice platform to stand out and see a view over the small town. Funnily, this temple has been talked as a small version of Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera temple.
Takehara is also the historic town where the founder of Taketsuru Syuzo Brewery (Nikka Whisky) was born (Masataka Taketsuru).
I had some spare time to wander Takehara after a tea time and I’m so glad I did it, it turned out to be plenty of amazing traditional houses and shops to stop by.
I’d say if you still look for the real old Japan but want to avoid being surrounded by numerous tourists in Kyoto, hands down! Takehara is your choice.
Excuse my oily face, I was sweating like hell.
Takehara is a real photogenic city, every photoshoot you make, it makes you look like a solidly well educated professional photographer. I can no longer wait to go back there with a better camera next time.
Trust me, you are gonna love this peaceful town, along with Miyajima it’s also a splendid getaway place on the weekend.
Tip – It’s not really necessary to stay in the town for too long, maybe a couple of hours only.
Have you been to any of those cute cities near Hiroshima? How was your adventure there?
All the love,