12 Best Day Trips From Hiroshima, Japan

day trips from hiroshima
| 5 min read

Hiroshima is one of the most interesting destinations in Japan. From a difficult history, it has rebuilt itself into a popular destination with many fine buildings and tourist spots. During your time in Hiroshima be sure to visit Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome to learn more. You’ll also enjoy the reconstructed Hiroshima Castle and the landscape of the stunning Shukkeien Gardens. For stays, you can take refuge in the ryokans in Hiroshima for a relaxing and humbling stay. Meanwhile, backpackers have the city’s capsule hotels as modern retreats. After you’ve finished exploring all of the delights of Hiroshima you might be wondering what to do next. With excellent transport links and a good location, Hiroshima is an ideal base to explore further afield. Stay right there because we’ve got you covered with a list of the best day trips from Hiroshima, Japan.

1. Okayama

Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens
Source: Photo by user Guilhem Vellut used under CC BY 2.0

The city of Okayama lies between Osaka and Hiroshima, 160 kilometers (99 miles) away. After Hiroshima, Okayama is the largest city of the prefecture and is also its capital. During the Edo Period, Okayama was a castle town and is still an important location today. You can expect lots of amenities for tourists as the Shinkansen transfers here. During your day trip, we’d recommend the breathtakingly beautiful Korakuen Garden. This garden is considered as one of the best landscape gardens in Japan. Located just opposite the Castle you can easily explore both in one day.

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2. Miyajima Island

Itsukushima Gate
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jordy Meow used under CC BY-SA 3.0

You may not have heard directly about Miyajima, but we’re 100% certain that you’ll recognize the famous floating torii gates. This site is just 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from Hiroshima and takes less than an hour of travel time. The island’s official name is Itsukushima but thanks to the notoriety of the shrine it is much more frequently referred to as Miyajima ‘Shrine" Island. This site is one of the most famous destinations in Japan so expect there to be a lot of tourists. After your visit to the floating gates of the Itsukushima Shrine, be sure to scour the tallest mountain, Mount Misen for breathtaking views.

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3. Yamaguchi

140720 Ruriko-ji Yamaguchi Yamaguchi pref Japan01s3
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 663highland used under CC BY 2.5

Head west from Hiroshima and after 129 kilometers (80 miles), you’ll arrive at Yamaguchi one of the quaint places to visit in Japan. This spot also has a Kyoto-themed nickname, ‘Kyoto of the West.’

Yamaguchi is perfect for simply strolling around for the day. During your time there visit the five-storied pagoda Rurikoji Temple which is nestled in trees. Afterward, head to Joeiji Temple which features a garden and is a replica of one of Sesshu’s, famous artist, landscape paintings.

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4. Takehara

Takehara, Hiroshima
Source: Photo by user Kzaral used under CC BY 2.0

This beautiful World Heritage Site is just 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Hiroshima. It is an old historic town which has been lovingly preserved and is now a popular tourist site. The style of the buildings and the streets is reminiscent of Kyoto so it is often referred to as ‘Little Kyoto.’ Here, you can visit the local shrine and explore the backstreets where many famous productions were based on. There are considerably fewer tourists than the crowded Kyoto.

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5. Sensuijima Island

Sensui Jima harber
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Carpkazu used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located 100 kilometers (68 miles) from Hiroshima you’ll find this charming island. If you’re looking to get away from the hub-bub of Japanese city life, this beautiful, natural island is the perfect day trip for you. It is an ideal place for hiking, and on sunny days, you can also see people enjoying swimming in the crystal blue water. Be sure to visit Fukuzenji and Taichoro for the best Insta-worthy views of the island. Although many tourists come to enjoy the island, it is actually uninhabited.

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6. Sandan-kyo Valley

Sandan Falls (15231790506)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kuruman used under CC BY 2.0

If you want to immerse in natural beauty, an incredible destination near Hiroshima, Japan, to go to is Sandan-kyo Valley. This gorge, which includes waterfalls is just 57 kilometers (35 miles) from Hiroshima City but you’ll feel like you’re in a whole other country. Grab your hiking shoes and get ready to go exploring. If you follow the paths you’ll walk past lush green areas, narrow gorges, and even two- or three-tiered waterfalls.

The gorge itself is 13 kilometers (8 miles) long so you can easily spend a whole day here.

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7. Akiyoshido

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Thomas Stepleton used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The most popular reason to visit Akiyoshido is to discover the longest and largest limestone cave in Japan. This location is a bit further from Hiroshima, at 152 kilometers (94 miles) away. The area is filled with jagged limestone and creates a vast landscape that looks like no other in Japan. The limestone cave is 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) long in total albeit, only 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) is opened to the public for viewing. There are many viewing points across the plateau of the cave, and you can choose different routes depending on your fitness level.

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8. Iwakuni

Iwakuni Kintaikyo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Urashimataro used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

This small city is just 42 kilometers (26 miles) from Hiroshima and so makes a great day trip. If you’re there for blossom season, be sure to sit down by the famous Kintai-kyo Bridge under the beautiful blossoms. It is picture-perfect. This wooden, five-arched bridge is fun to walk across and takes you over the Nishiki River. Climb to the top of Mount Shiroyama and enjoy the sights from the reconstructed castle. The castle was originally built in 1608 but after just seven years, was torn down. The current reconstruction dates to 1962 and is a great place to learn more about the local history.

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9. Kurashiki

Townscape of Kurashiki (Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan)
Source: Photo by user t-mizo used under CC BY 2.0

This historic location is nestled on a preserved canal 141 kilometers (87 miles) from Hiroshima. The area is known for its old buildings and boutique shops. During your day trip be sure to stop by Ohara Museum of Art and the fun Rural Toy Museum which has a collection of popular toys from the 1600s. We think that you can also spend a fun day, just simply strolling down the canal side and exploring the many sidestreets.

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10. Onomichi

Onomichi, Hiroshima
Source: Photo by user Kzaral used under CC BY 2.0

Onomichi is just 87 kilometers (54 miles) away and makes an ideal quick trip from Hiroshima. The town has a very peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. Explore the mainland area with its unique hilly landscape.

If you’re interested in shrines and temples you might enjoy the Temple Walk which will take you on a route to all 25 temples. It’s worth noting that this might not be an ideal location if you have mobility issues. After exploring the mainland, hop onto a ferry and head to one of the surrounding islands.

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11. Fukuyama

1 Chome-8 Marunouchi, Fukuyama-shi, Hiroshima-ken 720-0061, Japan - panoramio (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nagono used under CC BY-SA 3.0

With its rich heritage and warm hospitality, Fukuyama promises an enriching and memorable journey. Discover the hidden gems of this captivating city and create unforgettable memories along the way.

Visit Fukuyama Castle, a well-preserved samurai castle that offers panoramic city views. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Fukuyama’s historic district, where traditional buildings and quaint shops line the streets.

When you get hungry, indulge in the local cuisine, savoring delicious Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki and fresh seafood dishes. End the day by taking a tranquil boat ride along the scenic Ashida River, surrounded by lush greenery and serene landscapes.

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12. Sandankyo Gorge

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

A trip to Sandankyo Gorge is an unforgettable journey into the heart of nature’s majesty. Prepare to be captivated by its serene beauty and enchanting landscapes.

Hike along the scenic trails that wind through the gorge, surrounded by towering cliffs, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls. Marvel at the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the river as it meanders through the rugged terrain. Immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility as you cross picturesque suspension bridges and discover hidden viewpoints that offer stunning panoramas. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the vibrant fall foliage as the gorge transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors during autumn.

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Enjoy these top day trips from Hiroshima

Hiroshima makes an ideal base to explore many more exciting nearby areas. Whether you choose to do all of these day trips or just one of them, we guarantee you an incredible experience. Japan is one of the most interesting cultures in the world and these day trip destinations attest to that. So start planning your travel itinerary in Hiroshima, Japan, and have one of the best escapades of your life.

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Frequently asked questions about the day trips from Hiroshima, Japan

1. Which day trip destinations around Hiroshima are ideal for avoiding the crowd?

Whether you’re not that much of a social butterfly or simply yearning for a peaceful escape, these destinations around Hiroshima will help you veer away from the throng of tourists: i) Yamaguchi, ii) Takehara, iii) Sensuijima Island, and iv) Sandan-kyo Valley.

2. Where can adventure seekers go hiking near Hiroshima?

If you feel like communing with nature on your day trip from Hiroshima, you can head out for an adventure in the trails that await at: i) Sensuijima Island, ii) Sandankyo Gorge, and iii) Sandan-kyo Valley.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Katie is a committed full-time global wanderer and volunteer. She possesses an unerring compass that guides her to the obscure and distant corners of the Earth, where she explores jungles,...Read more

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