Japan Travel Hack: Fly to Hiroshima
Kansai is one of the most popular regions in Japan, it’s where local favourites Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara are located. But because of how well loved these prefectures are, it’s often very expensive to fly directly there. And even if you are willing to pay for the ticket, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get a seat on the flight!
Thankfully, there’s a way to score affordable tickets AND head to the most beautiful parts of Kansai! Instead of taking a direct flight to Osaka/Kyoto, fly to Hiroshima Airport. Local carrier SilkAir flies directly there, with an approximate flight time of 6h 15m. From Hiroshima, you may take the train or shinkansen to Osaka and/or Kyoto (estimated travel time: 1h 40m). This is covered by the Japan Rail (JR) West Pass!
Hiroshima, Full of Heritage and History
Once you’re there, don’t make the mistake of skipping over this prefecture. Hiroshima is best known for the WWII atomic bombing, but while much of the city was destroyed, what remains is a heritage city with lots of history.
Along with YouTubers Tree Potatoes, our team spent a weekend exploring Hiroshima. Here’s our itinerary (travel vlog at the end of the post!).
[RELATED] Grab the Japan Rail Pass, an efficient and economical means of getting around Japan!
Changi Airport –> Hiroshima Airport
SilkAir flies to Hiroshima thrice a week, on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. We took the Thursday flight to land on the same day.
Tip: If you’re a movie buff and love in-flight entertainment, make sure you download the SilkAir Studio app into your smart phone. The app works with the flight’s WiFi system and hence can only be used on board.
Hiroshima Airport –> Hiroshima station
From Hiroshima Airport, you’ll need to take the local shuttle bus to get to the heart of the city, Hiroshima Station. Adult tickets cost 1340JPY (S$16.50) and the ride is less than an hour.
We booked a night at Hotel Granvia Hiroshima, which is a convenient two-minute walk from the station. After checking in and washing up, we headed out to our next stop:
Okonomimura, The Okonomiyaki Building
Okonomiura is a four-storey building with 25 okonomiyaki stores from levels 2 to 4. Okonomiyaki is a famous pancake-vegetable dish from Hiroshima, and is typically grilled on the spot. Different stores serve slightly different styles with different specialty ingredients; we chose Teppei on the third floor and ordered a cheese and pork okonomiyaki.
From Hiroshima Station, take the Hiroshima Meipuru Pu sightseeing bus. It is covered by the JR West Pass, and brings you to all the major tourist landmarks in the city. It is a loop service.
The sun had not set and we had a belly full of food, so we decided to walk it off at the scenic Shukkeien Garden.
Its name literally translates to “shrunken garden”, which is why you’ll see miniature trees, valleys, and mountains in the landscape. Near the center of the garden is the beautiful bridge, where you can get food (for a 100JPY donation) to feed the carp.
Hiroshima Castle & More
We spent the rest of our afternoon at our third stop, the Hiroshima Castle, also known as the Carp Castle. The beautiful castle is built right in the middle of the city, and features a five-storey keep.
Fun fact: The Hiroshima Castle was preserved even through the Meiji Restoration, but did not survive the atomic bombing. It is still being restored and repaired, but is open to visitors. In fact, the exhibits within the castle include those centered around the recent restoration efforts.
With that, we retired for the day and headed back to rest up for day three—Miyajima Island!
Miyajima Island: Itsukushima Shrine, Deer, and More
Miyajima Island is one of the most iconic destinations within Hiroshima. It’s home to the famous Itsukushima Shrine, and is known for the fresh oysters.
The island is mainly known for the “floating” torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine. In fact, the island was actually previously called Itsukushima, but is now known as Miyajima, which means “Shrine Island”. The gate is built over the Seto Inland Sea, and the temple is on an inlet over the water.
After a spiritual journey at the Shinto shrine, we made a stop for lunch at the Michelin-star oyster restaurant, Kakiya.
Tip: We ran into some mischievous deer on our way! They seem to be attracted to paper items, so if you have a map or paper bags, make sure to keep them away.
Catch our adventure with the Tree Potatoes here:
Ready to embark on your adventure?
Reserve your ChangiWifi router for UNLIMITED internet 24-7, at as low as $5/day*.
Beat the queue and book those attraction tickets and day tours with us—no frills, no fuss.