The Quiet Port City of Onomichi in Hiroshima

Onomichi Japan Guide

Onomichi Japan History

The city of Onomichi was wealthy even during the late 11th century as it was the main port that accepts a trade with foreign countries. It was most famous for being the rice shipment center of the Hiroshima province. It started out as a small town which was located in a large district in Hiroshima. Through time, mand and more villages had been merged with Onomichi and this gives a great explanation to the current size and shape of the city.

Fumihiko Ueno [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Onomichi is famous for its historical temples, the large shipbuilding yards in the area, and the bike lane as well. It is a popular summer, and winter, a destination for people who enjoy the warmer weather. There are also shrines, castle ruins, and parks around the city.

Onomichi Japan Map

The city of Onomichi is located in the Hiroshima prefecture of the Chugoku Region of the main Island of Honshu in Japan. Onomichi is quite far from Tokyo as it is roughly 730 kilometers away. There are different ways to travel from Tokyo to Onomichi and it can take 8 hours via car, 5 hours via train, and 2 hours via plane. This city has a total land area of about 280 square kilometers and has a total area of about 141,000 people.

This place is peninsular as it provides direct access to the ports of the Seto Inland Sea. It is most famous for the 60-kilometer bicycle route that provides access from the main island to small islands of the sea. This city has been a popular setting for much historical Japanese literature and poetry – making it a famous tourist destination even during the earlier times.

Onomichi Japan Weather

Generally, the climate in Hiroshima is a humid subtropical one. Winters are very mild but the place can experience very extreme summers. Interestingly, the hottest month of the year is in July instead of August compared to other places in Japan. There are times in history when Hiroshima had experienced snowfall but their yearly average would be between 3 to 7 degrees during the wintertime. The summertime can be as hot as 30 to 32 degrees. The city also experiences a lot of very rainy weather and there is rainfall even during the driest month of December.

Getting Around Onomichi

Onomichi Accommodation

There are different types of accommodation available in Onomichi. There are modern hotels which are westernized and typical but can provide luxurious experiences. These are hotels that give the best value at the best price – the ultimate deal any traveler could ever hope for. There are also bicycle-themed hotels available in the area for bike riders and enthusiasts. For those who are in the area to experience the traditional Japanese accommodation, there are still some homestays and inns in the area that offer semi-traditional lounges. Bath hotels, onsens, and ryokans are the best place to experience traditional Japanese accommodation.

By redlegsfan21 (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Onomichi Japan Hotels

Among the most popular hotels in the area would be the Onomichi Daiichi Hotel, the Green Hill Hotel, and the onomichi Kokusai Hotel. One of the most luxurious places to stay in would be the Bellavista Spa & Marina Onomichi, which is an upscale hotel in the area. Hotel Cycle is also an interesting place to stay in as it is a bicycle-themed hotel.

Famous Onomichi Japan Restaurants

The Onomichi U2

This city in Hiroshima is heaven for biking enthusiasts. The Onomichi U2 is the starting point of most bike tours through Ehime prefecture. It is a large bike-themed restaurant that bikers can cycle through. They offer repairs, bikes, and accessories. The place does not only offer up bike services they also offer Onomichi’s local delicacies as the main highlight of their menu.


This café is a famous place to enjoy what is known as traditional Japanese ice cream. The most popular choice on their menu would be the Ice Monaka which is a biscuit or wafer type of ice cream. A scoop of ice cream will be placed on a wafer instead of a cone. It is located in Tsuchido, Onomichi.

Interesting places in Onomochi Japan

Onomichi Japan Ribbon Chapel

This chapel is one of the most interesting structures in all of the Onomichi. It has been designed to look like a pile of ribbon which is about to unravel itself. This futuristically designed structure serves and symbolizes a different purpose. Instead of unraveling itself, the ribbon is actually being brought together. It strongly symbolizes the ‘coming together of marriage’, according to its architect. The structure looks, on the outside, like a gigantic steel sculpture.

Structurally, this building is interesting. The ribbons act like stair that would lead the visitors to the top of the building. The gaps between the ribbons are constructed with glass so that there will be natural lighting entering the space. The top provides a romantic view of the Seto inland sea.

Onomichi Japan Bike (Onomichi Japan Cycling)

This city in Japan is most famous for the Shimanami Kaido which is a long bike route enjoyed by bike enthusiasts from all over the world. It is 60 km long and connects six small islands off the coast of the Seto Inland Sea.

The 60-km long road-bridge connects the Hiroshima Prefecture to the Ehime prefecture of Japan, creating a direct line between Onomichi and Imabari. What makes the Shimanami Kaido is that there is a pedestrian lane that allows individuals on a bike or on foot to visit the six small islands. Anyone can stop to take a photo of the background and simply enjoy the long, relaxing walk without the fear of being hit by fast-moving vehicles.

What makes it even more special is that since it is in Hiroshima, the city does not experience severe winter and the bike route is open even during the winter season. It is safe to travel even during the cold seasons of winter and fall.  

Kosan-ji Temple Complex

This beautiful temple is of a Buddhist origin and was founded in 1936. Although it is not as old as other temples, the structure is famous because it took a total of 30 years before the construction was completed.

What makes this place special is the fact that it feels like a miniature of many of Japan’s famous temples. Most of the buildings in Kosan-ji are modeled after famous halls of famous Japanese temples. For instance, there is a replica of Nikko’s Yomeimon gate and Byodoin’s main Pheonix Hall.

Another highlight of the temple grounds would be the Caves of Kosanji which shows images and statues of what is believed to be Eternal Suffering for the Buddhists. It is a reminder of the constant suffering believers of the religion shall experience if they fall victim to pleasure.

Another main highlight of the place is the temple’s entrance, as it is believed to purify any visitor who wishes to enter the main halls. Kosanji also serves as an artistic grounds evident from the Miraishin no Oka, which is a large walking area made from different, abstract-shaped marble statues. There is even a café in the area to allow visitors to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Miraishin no Oka (Eternal Hope for the Future in English).

This place is open all year-round and is accessible from 9:00 AM t 5:00 PM. Admission to the temples cost about 1200 yen. People who wish to visit can get here from the U2 Café of the Shimanami Kaido Cycling route after about 30 km. It can also be accessed via ferry from Onomichi, or by bus which going to Setoda port.

Senkoji Temple and Park

For those looking for an ancient structure in Onomichi, the Senkoji (or Senkou-ji) temple is the best place to visit. It was built during the year 806 and it is well-known to be the ‘10th site of the Chugoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage’. This temple has gained popularity for this and thousands of pilgrims have visited the site through the centuries.

The Red Hall is what the temple is most famous for. It is a large structure which is completely covered with vermillion-lacquer, a type of protective covering for earthenware during the early Japanese times. It makes the hall unforgettable.

By 663highland (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This place is open all year round and can be accessed via a 15-minute walk from the Onomichi Station. The main temple is located in a place called Senkoji park. This place is home to other tourist destinations in the area.

The Senkoji park is one of the most famous Cherry Blossom viewing spots in all of the Onomichi. This place is highly visited during the late weeks of March to the early weeks of April. Inside Senkoji park would be the Senkoji Observation platform. This is a place where people can hike up to enjoy a 360-degree view of the city. Lastly, the Onomichi City Art Museum can be found in the Senkouji park as well.

Hirayama Ikuo Museum

This museum commemorates a man named Hirayama Iku who was one of Japan’s most famous painters. He is most famous for his vivid interpretation of the Hiroshima bombing, being a student in 1945 Hiroshima. He had captured in his artwork the suffering of the people, the destruction of the bomb, and his personal sufferings due to the incident. This made his artwork quite emotional, deep, and heavy as they feature a dark time in Hiroshima’s past.

The Museum is a great place to enjoy a quiet day. There are exhibition halls where people can enjoy and appreciate the art. There is also a tea lounge and a museum shop where visitors can get some rest and purchase souvenirs.

The place can be accessed via bicycle as it is along the Shimanami Kaido Cycling Route. It can also be accessed via ferry and bus from Onomichi going to Sawa port or Setoda port. The museum is opened between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and the admission fees usually cost about 800 to 900 yen depending on the exhibition.

Onomichi Hondori Shopping street

The Hondori Shopping Street is one of the largest and most popular shopping districts in all of Hiroshima. It is located at the center of Onomichi and it is lined with rows upon rows of cafes, shops, restaurants, and more. It gives travelers a blend of the traditional and modern Onomichi.

There are shops from many different eras of Japan. There is a shop from the mid-20th century, and there are also shops from the late 19th century. It gives a feeling of walking down memory lane. On top of that, this place is a covered arcade which makes it a great place to see when hiding away from the heat of the sun in the afternoon. This place can be accessed from the JR Onomichi Station and access is free of charge.

Onomichi Castle

This is a small castle located in the Onomichi city of Hiroshima which was built in the late 16th century. However, through time the castle had faced severe destruction and remained in ruins. It was only in the early 1960s that the Onomichi caste was rebuilt to become a tourist spot in the city. It is also a popular place to enjoy the cherry blossom season.

By Tim Vickerman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Onomichi castle is famous for the Chrysanthemum Flower Festival which is held October of every year. The problem with this place, on the other hand, is the fact that public access had already been restricted since the 90s. The only way to see it in its full glory would be via the Senkoji Ropeway which costs about 270 yen to the top.

Onomichi dockyard Japan

The Onomichi Dockyard is one of the largest shipyards in the city. It is one of the largest ship manufacturing and repair companies in all of Hiroshima. Since Onomichi is located along the coast, it is without a doubt a home to multiple docks and shipbuilding docks. Among the most famous shipyards in Onomichi would be the Naikai Shipbuilding yard, the Mukaishima dock, and the Onomihci dockyard.