Exploring Hiroshima - Day Two

From Saijo to Miyajima

By Rey Waters    - 3 min read

Hiroshima Sake is famous for its soft water brewing which began in 1898. The rice is grown locally at several mountain farms. Combined with special strains of yeast and crystal-clear water make for an award winning, high quality sake. Hiroshima is home to over 50 sake breweries.

The very first Sake fair in Japan was held in 1899 at Hiroshima and the first one in Tokyo in 1907. There, Hiroshima Sake took first and second place. This tradition has carried forward to today. On a recent trip to Saijo, my friend Julius and I had the opportunity to a stroll along Sakagura-dori Street where there are seven breweries. They are easy to find; just look for tall brick chimney’s, the symbol of the Sake brands. The area has a total of twelve chimney’s, and you are challenged to find them all. We stopped at Fukubijin brewery, founded in 1917 as a sake training school. Many of today’s Master Brewers throughout Japan started here. Even if you cannot tour the other breweries make sure to walk through the tasting area for a quick education on the process for making sake. We were served by Shimomura Teruko who picked the best of their line and ended up selling a bottle to each of us. Before leaving Saijo, go across the station and walk through the Matsu Shrine grounds. The buildings are impressive, as well as the landscaping. You can reach Saijo in about 25 minutes via the Sanyo line from Hiroshima Station.

The Saijo Festival for October 2020 was cancelled due to Covid19, however they held a virtual festival for two days.

For the remainder of the day we rode the Sanyo Line from Saijo to Miyajima. It takes just over an hour. Take the Ferry to Miyajima Island via JR (you can use your Suica card).

The famous Tori gate is currently under restoration, but do not be disappointed as there are enough other attractions to keep you busy. We took the ropeway to the top of Mt Misen for a great view of the Seto Islands, Hiroshima, and you can even see part of the Marine Corps Air Station at Iwakuni.

By now you are going to be hungry and Hiroshima has many great specialty dishes with Okonomiyaki and Oysters topping the list.

This is just a small sampling of what to expect when you visit the Hiroshima area.

Getting there

Use the Sanyo line from Hiroshima Station for both Saijo and Miyajima. The Hiroshima station visitor center is open from 06:00 to 24:00. They have English language brochures for all attractions.

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Rey Waters

Rey Waters @rey.waters

Born in the U.S.A. - Worked 30 years in executive management high tech Industry, owned a management consulting firm and a wildlife art publishing company.  In 2012 completed the Ultimate Travel Writer’s course and published my first article Tower Hopping in Japan with Travel Post Monthly.  Since then I have published travel related articles and books in the U.S., Japan, and Costa Rica. As of 2018 I have traveled all 8 regions in Japan.   My objective in writing articles is to expose prospective tourists to areas of Japan outside the Tokyo - Kyoto corridor.   I enjoy writing about the outdoors, festivals, crafts, museums, local food, history, and the wonderful people I have met along the way. Residing in Yokohama for over seven years, I have explored the entire city by foot and have written about my experiences.   There is so much to see in Japan.

Join the discussion

Kim a month ago
Thanks for sharing a side of Hiroshima that's new to me! I didn't know about the rich sake culture here.
Elizabeth S 3 weeks ago
Sometimes I’ve been tempted to relocate to Hiroshima. Your photos show the beauty of the sea. And then there’s sake!