By JJ Walsh
Sometimes shopping can be such a chore in Japan, right? Not so in Hiroshima as some of the best clothes shops are contained under one roof covered street known as Hondori.
You will be particularly thankul for that roof during rainy season when you can shop without fear of getting wet, or during the height of summer when you can peruse to your heart’s content without getting burned. Beginning at the bottom of the street where you enter from the Hondori Streetcar stop, you will find clothes shops of every kind on both sides. One could easily clothe themselves from top-to-bottom on this street. Literally!
There are sock shops, underwear shops, shoe shops, clothes shops, swimwear shops, hat shops, bag shops, jewellery stores and shops where you can purchase gloves. Everything you need to buy an entire new outfit! The clothes shops in the arcade range from cheap, to reasonable to expensive and there are items to suit all tastes and budgets.
Most of the shops on the arcade stock the current season’s fashions and the sales racks can yield some good bargains. If you’re in the market for reasonably priced shoes you could try ABC Mart. If you’re looking to go a bit more sporty there is an Adidas store, and if you’re looking to be fashionable there is an Adidas Originals store not far from it.
Strolling down the street there is clearly a plethora of shops to choose from and once you reach the end of Hondori you come upon a giant shopping mall named Parco. At different hours of the night you will hear techno-pop being blasted from speakers at the front of the shop to entice youngsters to come in and spend their money. It’s a hard shopping centre to miss! Clothes in here tend a little more toward the expensive side but you will also find a bit more variety here than on the main thoroughfare, and more shops crammed into the one building than there are on the main street.
Strolling along Hondori is also a good way for a family to spend a few hours, especially should the weather either be too wet or far too hot for outdoor pursuits. There is a lovely little clothes shop that makes its own custom tee-shirts for adults and children. There is also a games arcade filled to the brim with games and toys to be won and a toy shop if you aren’t lucky enough to win any toys!
Scattered between the various clothes shops are coffee shops and bakeries so when it comes time to take a load off after purchasing your new outfit, or you’re tired out from playing arcade games, you can kick back with a nice iced-tea or coffee and a delicious bun. If you’re feeling more than a bit peckish there are many restaurants along this street too serving dishes not just from Japan but around the world. And when it comes time to decide what to do next there is a PopEye's Media Cafe (internet cafe) to log on and research the next destination.
This is an easy shopping area to find after visiting the A-bomb dome or the Peace Memorial Museum.
The general opening hours for the shops on the arcade are from 9/10 in the morning until 9/10 at night. Late night shopping is a possibility here with some shops staying open past the usual 8 o'clock shutting time. I have found that many of the shop assistants have some level of English and the internet cafe has English written instructions for printing.
Was this article helpful?
Originally from Ireland I came to Hiroshima for a year to teach English in elementary schools throughout the city. I blog about Hiroshima and my various escapades at http://japan-by-ciara.blogspot.jp/ When I'm not teaching, blogging or adventuring I can be found in an arcade posing in a purikura booth or playing the drum game, at home watching anime or hunched over my Japanese books trying to soak up the language.