Located in the southwest of Japan’s largest island – Honshu – and with a rich and varied history, Hiroshima prefecture is a draw for many tourists to the country and has also become the home to many expat settlers. Among its attractions are several parks that provide not just great scenery but also historical context to the area. Here is a selection of the best spots worthy of a visit.
One of Hiroshima’s most important and visited spaces, this park in the downtown area of the city spans across 120 square meters and has become a commemorative site for the victims of the 1945 bombing. Alongside the paths, trees and grassy areas, you can find monuments including the Peace Bell, the A-Bomb Dome (what remains of the former Industrial Promotion Hall) and the Cenotaph for the more than 200,000 victims.
The park also contains a Peace Memorial Museum where you can learn about what happened to the city during the war.
Website: Peace Memorial Park
Translating into English as “shrunken scenery garden”, this sumptuous 17th century garden in central Hiroshima is another of the city’s top tourist treats. Along its beautiful pathways, you can view miniature creations of Japanese mountains, valleys and forests, while the garden’s main pond is lined with several traditional tea houses.
A hillside park in Minami Ward, Hiyajama Park is a great vantage point in the city for panoramic views. From here you can stroll along and soak in the sights of the Seto Inland Sea, the Kyobashi river and the city of Hiroshima itself. The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art is located here, so it’s a popular jaunt for culture lovers. It’s also a lovely spot during the cherry blossom season as there are over 1,300 cherry blossom trees within its grounds.
Address: 3 Hiyajamakoen, Minami Ward, Hiroshima 732-0815
Located in the western Saeki ward on a hill overlooking the Seto Inland Sea, this tranquil garden is a bit of a trek to get to – you need to take a train to Itsukaichi Station and then a bus – but it’s well worth the effort as it’s one of the most delightful spaces in Hiroshima. The garden opened in 1976 and houses around 10,000 different species of plants and flowers from Japan and across the world. There are greenhouses and gardens containing the likes of begonias, fuchsias, camellias, lillies, orchids and Japanese primroses. You can also see plenty of birds that come to rest within the grounds and eat Japanese food at the garden café.
The entry fee is 510 yen. Seniors and children get in for 170 yen.
One of the best parks in Hiroshima for a relaxing stroll. Momijidani Park is known for the hundreds of maple trees lining its many paths, which look particularly lovely in autumn. The park has some pretty ponds and plenty of benches, making it a good spot to come and enjoy a spot for lunch. As it sits at the foot of Mt. Misen, it’s also a good starting point for a more energetic hike.
Address: Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 739-0541