Hiroshima food: You have made it to Western Japan—welcome to the most peaceful city in Japan, Hiroshima! It sounds ironic, doesn’t it? Nearly eight decades ago, Hiroshima witnessed one of the biggest and saddest tragedies of the modern world. 

79 years have passed since then, and Hiroshima’s tragic past is not the only reason the region is still making waves in the tourism industry. There’s something so delicious about Hiroshima food – it’s just pure joy. 

The must-visit district located in the beautiful Chūgoku region nicely blends both traditional and modern Japan. Since it is right beside the Seto Inland Sea, you can dig into some fantastic local dishes while enjoying the city’s majestic views. 

We spent around a month in this region, and even after spending months in the other areas, we thought that the Hiroshima food culture was just fab.

So, while the iconic Itsukushima Shrine and the historical Atomic Bomb Dome are top tourist attractions here, don’t miss out on the local specialties. 

Today, that’s precisely what we are going to talk about – Hiroshima’s specialties, which you can’t miss out on. 


So, Where To Eat In Hiroshima?

The Hiroshima food story is waiting to be told – the world is yet to find out about the delicacies you will find here! 

Did you know that Hiroshima is famous for its regional delicacies like oysters? The waters around this region are home to 80% of Japan’s total oysters. 

So, if you were wondering where to eat in this beautiful city, just walk downtown until you come across these casual, Japanese-style taverns (Izakaya in Japanese) that typically offer delicious and affordable treats – the best part? 

These taverns usually cook these treats on the spot. Most of them have oysters on their menus – so just listen to your nose! 

Also, the district happens to be home to three of the cheapest Michelin-star restaurants in the world. We loved visiting Nakashima Ryori – they have a fantastic tasting menu that will only cost you 160 USD (doesn’t include drinks). 

Trust us – you will love it! The whole experience was meticulous and fab – the bowls and plates serving the food were around 200 years old. 

Moreover, the sashimi was perfect, the gilled unagi was the best we have ever had, and the simple dashi broth is something that we can never forget. Also, don’t forget to make reservations in advance. 

Hiroshima Food Guide: 7 Best Local Specialties To Try In Hiroshima

Welcome to our Hiroshima food guide! After trying out different local specialties in Hiroshima, asking other tourists about their favorite local dishes, and whatnot, we have finally managed to make a list that is neither too short nor too long for you to complete! 

At a glance, here are the 7 best specialty Hirshoma foods that you must try out during your stay in Japan’s city of peace:

  1. Okonomiyaki,
  2. Oysters,
  3. Momiji Manju,
  4. Hassaku,
  5. Grilled Conger Eel,
  6. Shiru Nashi Tantanmen, and
  7. Setouchi Lemons.

1. Okonomiyaki:

Okonomiyaki is a cross between a frittata and a pancake – you can call it a savory pancake. Now, you will find two different types of Okonomiyaki in Japan – the Osaka style and the Hiroshima style. 

Unlike the Osaka-style Okonomiyaki, where the ingredients are blended together first and then fried, the Hiroshima style includes layering of the ingredients. In this style, the layer begins with a really thin batter layer cooked on an iron griddle (A.K.A. teppan). 

Then, it is covered with massive amounts of cabbage, a few slices of Pork, and some toppings—and then it’s flipped over. In the meantime, a large amount of yakisoba is fried right next to the mixture.  

Once the heap of cabbage reduces in volume, the other ingredients are skillfully moved on the yakisoba’s top before the whole thing is further moved on top of an egg omelet and subsequently flipped for the last time. 

Before serving the Okonomiyaki, the restaurants in Hiroshima drizzle it with some Okonomiyaki sauce and sprinkle some dried bonito fish flakes and aonori seaweed.

Sounds yummy, right? We know!

2. Oysters:

Since Hiroshima’s location is right near the Seto Inland Sea, we weren’t surprised to find fresh and delectable seafood here, particularly oysters.

In Japanese, oysters are known as kaki and are found in different restaurants across the whole district. 

However, for a memorable experience with oysters, you must visit Miyajima – Itsukushima, to be specific. 

FYI, Itsukushima happens to be a beautiful island, only few minutes from the Miyajima Station if you take a ferry.

Moreover, this is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Japan, known as Nihonsankei, which is home to the world-famous Itsukushima Shrine. Its iconic Torii gate is absolutely stunning. 

So, you can enjoy the spectacular views while trying out different delicious snacks, particularly oysters, at any of the shops on the island. 

Additionally, you have to try out the different oyster variations, such as grilled, steamed, deep-fried, or as a topping for okonomiyaki. We loved grilled oysters called yakigaki. They not only taste good but are also picture-worthy. 

Moreover, you can try oysters with various sauces on top, like butter, soy sauce, ponzu, and garlic butter. Also, once you finish eating the oyster, don’t forget to sip on the sauce directly. 

Also, if you haven’t had any oysters in a while, it is best not to eat more than one, as it can upset your stomach, and you might get an allergic reaction. 

3. Momiji Manju:

In Hiroshima, it is possible to come across small brown cakes shaped just like maple leaves at nearly every shop. These are known as Momiji Manju – these are unique to the district of Hiroshima since maple leaves represent the prefecture.

So, Manju is a type of Japanese confectionary that is made of steamed dough and is usually filled with a mashed paste known as tsuban or a smooth, sweet paste called koshian. Both these are made up of red beans. 

However, Momiji Manju is like a cake – in terms of how it’s typically baked inside an iron mold and the dough used for making it. 

The best part? You can choose from different types of fillings like matcha, lemon, chocolate, cream, and the iconic red bean paste. 

Moreover, there are several ways to enjoy this treat, particularly if you visit Itsukushima (in Miyajima). So, try it out with ice cream and a pie like Agemomiji, which happens to be a deep-fried version of Momijimanju served on a skewer stick. 

We loved the crispy texture on the outside and the soft cake inside – we also liked the melty hot filling of the snack. 

4. Hassaku:

Apart from lemons, Hassaku is another popular fruit in Hiroshima. While it is a citrus fruit that typically resembles oranges in terms of taste and appearance, Hassaku has more of a bitter and sour aftertaste, almost like a cross between an orange and a lemon. 

It is served in different forms like jelly, juice, ice cream, pudding, and mochi rice cakes. Moreover, it can be spotted in different tourist hubs throughout the district. 

If you want to try out Hassaku, we suggest heading over to Onomichi, particularly Senkō-ji, a well-known Buddhist temple. It is one of the 25 temples that is known for making up the Temple Walk of the area.  

Moreover, you can take the ropeway from the Onomichi Station and get down at the Senkō-ji Park Observatory. Here, you will come across a long and wide spiral staircase as well as a small tourist shop. 

In this shop, you can try out lemon or hassaku, or even both – either as an ice cream or a drink. Also, there are other souvenirs up for sale, such as cakes, lemon puddings, and hassaku. 

5. Grilled Conger Eel:

While we are not that fond of eels, there is no denying that they definitely deserve a spot on any list of specialty Hiroshima food due to their absolute abundance in the Miyajima region. This area is rich in seafood like shrimp, small fish, and crabs. 

This is because small fishes, shrimps, and crabs are attracted to this region since oysters are farmed here, which in turn goes on to attract conger eels who appear to the region seeking food. 

Additionally, you will spot that conger eel is served in different forms in Hiroshima: anago (conger eel grilled in seawater) with a sort of sweet sauce on top of the rice. Here’s a fun fact – people in Japan believe that consuming eels gives you the energy to beat the heat. 

But that does not mean people don’t really enjoy it at other times of the year. So, if you are visiting Hiroshima and feel like trying out some eel, then you should definitely do so. 

6. Shiru Nashi Tantanmen:

Tantanmen is a type of Japanese noodle based on tpicy Sichuan Dandan noodles, which contain creamy, rich broth, and stir-fried ground pork. In Japanese, the broth is called shiru – it contains sesame paste and spices. 

However, in Hiroshima, restaurants will serve these noodles without any broth or as shiru nashi. In the shiru nashi version, the noodles are typically served in a tasty sauce. The noodle bowlnormallyally topped was huge amounts of green onion and ground meat.

Moreover, hiroshima food diners mix all the ingredients together to ensure that the chewy noodles are entirely coated in the sauce.

Once your noodles are ready, dig in – but not before adding some condiments such as chili flakes, sauce, or vinegar, if necessary.

Moreover, if you are not a fan of anything spicy, don’t worry! You can actually select the level of spiciness – that way, you will be able to opt for spicy or mild, depending on what works for you.

Additionally, if you want to try out some really good Shiru Nashi Tantanmen in Hiroshima, then you should visit Kunimatsu Nagarekawa or Kunimatsu. 

7. Setouchi Lemons:

Of course, you cannot visit Hiroshima and not try out a local dessert or even just a dish featuring their delicious lemons! Yes – we are talking about setouchi lemons! 

The setouchi lemons mostly grow on Ikuchi Island, which also happens to be a part of the Onomichi region. This is because the Seto Inland Sea’s mild climate is ideal for cultivating refreshing and juicy, not to mention beautiful-looking lemons. 

Here, farmers are typically very dedicated and meticulous with their work. As a result, it is no surprise that these setouchi lemons are mainly used in different patisseries and restaurants across Japan

Hiroshima is also the biggest producer of setouchi lemons in Japan. So, when you are here, you have to try this out – from cakes, puddings, gelato, beverages to even pasta. For instance, we tried out the Lemon Gin Salty Cider, and it was so good! 

We also tried the Setouchi Lemon Cheese Pudding Cake – it has a good amount of pudding, a layer of delish vanilla cake, and lemon glaze. 

So, the balance of sour and sweet, accompanied by the different textures, makes the whole combination perfect!

Additionally, remember that while you can find this cake easily in different souvenir shops in and around Japan, don’t forget to refrigerate it. 

Bon Appétit!

When most people hear about Hiroshima, they only think about its tragic past. But anyone who has been to this peaceful city in recent times will tell you how the city has rebounded vibrantly with thriving food culture, historical sites, and incredible parks. 

It is also a relatively less crowded and excellent place to witness Japan’s iconic (not to mention stunning) Cherry Blossom season – it peaks here, starting mid-March and staying till the end of April. 

Whether you are planning a visit during the Cherry Blossom season or stopping at any other time of the year for the city’s other attractions, there’s so much to do here – plus, how can you forget the food?

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Barsha Bhattacharya
Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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