If you've come all the way to visit Hiroshima, why not take the opportunity to learn about the thriving industries, history, and culture of this region? Here are 11 places that are not your typical school trip destinations but are perfect for "adult social studies" experiences in Hiroshima.
- Mazda Museum/Fuchu-cho, Aki-gun
- PEACE PARK TOUR VR/HIROSHIMA CITY
- Hiroshima Night Museum/Hiroshima
- Foil stamping experience at Rekiseisha, Hiroshima
- SAKURAO DISTILLERY TOUR/Hatsukaichi
- Shimada Suisan Oystering Experience ／Hatsukaichi
- Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kure Base Open House/Kure City
- Original Brush Making at Houkodou/Kumano-cho, Aki-gun
- Guided Tour of Saijo Sake Town/Higashihiroshima City
- Project BoleeGa/Fukuyama
- Shinshoji Zen Museum and Gardens/Fukuyama
You can experience the latest in technology and ingenuity through interactive exhibits, try your hand at crafts, explore history, and even try Zen meditation or sake tasting. These immersive experiences are sure to pique your curiosity and leave you wanting more.
A world-renowned car manufacturer from Hiroshima Experience the 100-year history and excitement of Mazda!
Mazda Museum/Fuchu-cho, Aki-gun
Mazda celebrated its 100th anniversary in January 2020 and underwent a complete renewal in May 2022.
The Mazda Museum is a corporate museum located on the premises of its Hiroshima headquarters and main plant, welcoming not only local elementary school students but also visitors from around the world as a place for giving back to the community and fostering connections between people.
Visitors are guided through the tour which travels by bus from Mazda Headquarters to the Mazda Museum while also visiting the factory premises. The museum is divided into 10 zones, which provide a chronological history of Mazda from its founding to the present and beyond. The exhibits include classic cars as well as Mazda's world-renowned technology and design. Visitors also get the chance to tour an actual assembly line, making it a fascinating facility that not only Mazda fans would want to visit repeatedly.
The museum gift shop offers limited-edition merchandise exclusive to the museum.
Admission is free, but advance reservations are required. Please check the website for more information.
Address: 3-1 Shinmachi, Fuchu-cho, Aki-gun, Hiroshima Prefecture
Open: Monday to Friday, 1st Saturday of each month (may vary)
Tour Reservations: Required in advance via the website
Tour Times: Please check the website for details
Recreate that day in Hiroshima with VR A rare tour to remember the past and think about peace
PEACE PARK TOUR VR/HIROSHIMA CITY
In 1945, the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. By joining the Peace Park Tour VR you can reflect on that day in Hiroshima through VR simulations and contemplate peace.
The tour lasts about 80 minutes. While listening to the guide talk about the state of Hiroshima before the atomic bomb was dropped, you will tour the Peace Memorial Park. At five spots within the park, such as the Atomic Bomb Dome and Motoyasu Bridge, you can wear VR goggles and experience virtual experiences as if you were in the city of Hiroshima during the moment of the atomic bomb dropping and throughout the city's reconstruction.
Take the opportunity to participate in this rare tour where you can travel back in time through the simulations and feel the powerful road to recovery.
Address: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park Rest House, 1-1 Nakajima-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Time: 10:30 am - 11:50 am
Number of Participants: Up to 6 people per session *For groups and organizations with more than 6 people, please inquire via email
Fee: Adults (12 years old and up) 3,500 yen per person, Children (6-11 years old) 1,000 yen per person
(Both fees include VR equipment rental and insurance)
Meeting Place: 1st Floor of Rest House (Reception at the Tourist Information Center)
Reservation Method: Apply using the Reservation Form by 4 pm the day before the desired date of participation.
The stage is set at the nighttime museum! A new style of entertainment combining theater and art appreciation
Hiroshima Night Museum/Hiroshima
The experiential event "Hiroshima Night Museum" has been held at the Hiroshima Museum of Art after closing hours since 2021 and has been well-received. Actors portraying certain painters guide visitors in a narrative style in front of their own works. Unlike simple theater or art appreciation, the audience can experience a complete immersion in the world and become completely engrossed by it. After a day of sightseeing in Hiroshima, please enjoy this special nighttime entertainment.
Hiroshima Night Museum series first
Hiroshima Night Museum -Impressionist Edition-
Address: 3-2 Moto-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Venue: Hiroshima Museum of Art
Times: Doors 6:00 pm, Performance 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm, Closing 8:00 pm
Price: 6,600 yen
The art of foil stamping used around the world Experience a workshop on traditional craftsmanship
Foil stamping experience at Rekiseisha, Hiroshima
Founded in 1905, Rekiseisha offers gold and silver foil paper that can be used in a traditional craft very similar to foil stamping, as well as new materials and decorative arts with our one-of-a-kind techniques. This cultural yet modern gold and silver foil paper is used in art museums, religious sites, luxury hotels, and other places around the world.
At Rekiseisha, you can experience the Fan Foil Stamping Experience Workshop where you can learn special foil stamping techniques from creators while making a folding fan. After freely drawing a picture on the boneless original fan with a brush coated in water glue, a creator will guide you through the foil stamping process right to the end. The experience takes about 90 to 120 minutes and includes a tour of the manufacturing site and factory. It's a great way to experience working with a foil that has a long history to create your own one-of-a-kind fan.
Address: 3-20-4 Misasagi-cho, Nishi-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Date and Time: By appointment only
Participation fee: 8,800 yen and up
Capacity: Approximately 5 people (negotiable)
Experience a distillery tour Over 100 years of history and distillation techniques
SAKURAO DISTILLERY TOUR/Hatsukaichi
Sakurao Brewery & Distillery was founded in 1918 in Sakurao, Hatsukaichi City. Over the century, the company has continued to challenge itself while treasuring its long-cultivated techniques and traditions. At Sakurao Distillery, you can tour the stills used to make domestic craft gin and single malt whiskey using carefully selected ingredients from Hiroshima Prefecture. At the end of the tour, there is a tasting for guests to enjoy as well. Limited-edition items and original goods can also be purchased at the visitor center, so why not stop by for a visit?
Address: 1-12-1 Sakurao, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Open: Monday - Saturday (Excluding Obon and New Year holidays and temporary closures)
Tour Times: 10 am, 11 am, 2 pm, and 3 pm
※Check in at the visitor center up to five minutes before the start of the tour
Capacity: 10 people
Admission: 2,000 yen per person
Reservation: Please make a reservation by phone at least one week before the tour
Phone: 0829-32-9122 (10 am - 5 pm)
First in Hiroshima! Join fishermen on an oyster raft Witness the intensity of oystering up close
Shimada Suisan Oystering Experience/Hatsukaichi
When it comes to winter delicacies in Hiroshima, oysters are a must-try. But why stop at just eating them when you can ride on a fishing boat with professionals to see where and how oysters are farmed?
After arriving at Shimada Suisan at seven in the morning, guests will receive an explanation and then board a fishing boat. Oysters are farmed on oyster rafts floating in clean ocean waters and it takes about 10 minutes to get there. The sight of so many oysters tightly packed hanging oysters emerging from the surface of the water with a splash is something that can only be seen here! And with this tour, you can observe it all up close.
After the oystering, the boat passes nearby the world heritage site Itsukushima Shrine on its way back to shore.
When you return to Shimada Suisan, we recommend trying the fishermen's meal of oyster rice soup (for an additional fee). After warming up your body, you can also watch how the oysters are shucked. Please enjoy this tour and deepen your love of oysters even more.
Address: 1-2-6 Miyajimaguchi Nishi, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Hours: Monday to Saturday, from 7:00 AM (Please arrive 10 minutes before the start time)
Capacity: Minimum of 2 participants, Maximum number of participants varies and can be confirmed by phone
Adults with meal - 3,300 yen, without meal - 2,200 yen
Children 4 years old to high school students - 1,100 yen
Children Under 3 years old - Free
Reservations: Required by phone up to 2 days in advance
Tour the facilities and warships of Kure's military port Learn about the Work and History of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kure Base Open House /Kure City
Established in 1954, the Kure District Unit of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is engaged in defense and security operations on land and at sea and also provides logistic support for escort fleets, disaster relief, rescue operations, and other mobile task forces.
Two types of public tours are held on the first and third Sundays of each month.
One tour visits the brick Kure Regional District Headquarters Building No. 1 which was built in the Meiji era as well as the former telephone exchange building which was built to last and camouflaged during the Pacific War to avoid bombing. Visitors are guided around while learning about the history and stories of each building while touring.
The other public tour takes place on a warship, where visitors can hear explanations from crew members on the upper deck and ask questions. Photography is also possible when following the crew's instructions. These tours take about 45 to 60 minutes each. Deepen your understanding of the work and history of the Self-Defense Forces by visiting buildings that have been through war and an active warship.
Address: JMSDF Kure Naval Base, 8-1 Saiwai-cho, Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Open: 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month (except for New Year holidays)
Kure Regional District Headquarters Building No.1 and Old Telephone Exchange (approx. 45 minutes)
First Tour: 9:30 am - 10:15 am (reception hours 9:15 am - 9:30 am)
Second Tour: 11:00 am - 11:45 am (reception hours 10:45 am - 11:00 am)
General Public Ship Tour (approx. 60 minutes)
First Tour: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm (reception hours 12:45 pm - 1:00 pm)
Second Tour: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm (reception hours 2:45 pm - 3:00 pm)
Kure Regional District Headquarters Building No.1 and Old Telephone Exchange:
8-1 Saiwaimachi, Kure City
General Public Ship Tour:
5-2 Showamachi, Kure City
※ Both locations do not have parking. Reception will be at the entrance of each base on the day of the tour.
Application Method: Email only to email@example.com
If there are too many applications, a lottery will be held and only the winners will receive a reply by email.
Application Requirements: Elementary school (1st grade) students and above who are healthy and able to walk without assistance, such as a cane.
※Middle school students and below must be accompanied by a guardian.
Instruction from skilled brush makers from a long-established brush store Experience the techniques passed down in the brush district of Kumano-cho
Original Brush Making at Houkodou /Kumano-cho, Aki-gun
Kumano-cho flourished in the Aki region as a brush district, and its long-established company Houkodou has been in business for over 120 years, producing and selling various brushes such as calligraphy brushes and makeup brushes. It also offers workshops and brush-making experiences.
In the second-floor workshop, traditional craftspeople and skilled brush makers explain and demonstrate how to make brushes. The tour is free and takes about 45 minutes.
There are two experience courses, both of which allow you to create your own original brush. If you make a reservation at least two weeks in advance, you can even have your name engraved on the handle of your brush. Take the plunge and create a one-of-a-kind original Kumano-cho brush with the help and guidance of the district's only two female traditional craftspeople.
Address: 10-6-23 Dekiniwa, Kumano-cho, Aki-gun, Hiroshima Prefecture
Hours: Weekdays 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Saturdays 9:30 am - 4:30 pm, Sundays and Holidays 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Holidays: Every third Sunday, Golden Week, Obon, and New Year holidays
Finishing Touches Experience Course 2,750 yen (Weekdays from May to December only)
Full Bristle Binding Experience Course 3,300 yen (Weekdays from May to December only)
Saijo Sake Town is one of Japan's top 3 sake districts Tour it with a knowledgeable guide
Guided Tour of Saijo Sake Town/Higashihiroshima City
Saijo in Higashihiroshima is one of Japan's top three sake districts, alongside Nada in Hyogo Prefecture and Fushimi in Kyoto. Located near JR Saijo Station, the streets are lined with seven sake breweries and their old-fashioned white walls, namako walls, and chimneys. An experienced guide will customize your tour based on the time allotted, ranging from one to two hours.
While learning about the history of sake brewing in Saijo, you can enjoy brewery tours, taste the water used in brewing, and even take part in a sake tasting. It's a great opportunity to compare different types of sake and find your favorite. You can also purchase bottles of sake and brewery souvenirs as gifts.
Address: 475-2 Saijo, Saijocho, Higashihiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Meeting Place: Higashihiroshima City Tourist Information Center (2nd floor of JR Saijo Station)
Meeting Times: 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm
Price: Please check the website for details
Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours
Information and reservations in English can be accessed here:
Learn the denim manufacturing and dyeing process Make your own custom jeans.
Manufacture Tourism® is a program that not only allows you to create world-class denim clothing but also makes the entire manufacturing process visible and includes a private factory tour. Working directly with top-level craftspeople in Fukuyama City who are involved with the world's top brands, the program aims to produce custom-made denim clothes according to your own preferences.
Before manufacturing begins a tour explains the process and while ordering your garment you are given a wide range of options. There is also an experience portion where you can participate in the production process yourself.
Fukuyama City has a 400-year history of bingogasuri fabric production and is the only site in the world where all processes related to denim production are concentrated in a single small area. Taking advantage of this characteristic, the product comes with a lifetime warranty that guarantees maintenance for as long as you wear the garment as well as an inheritance service that will restore the product (for an additional cost) when passing it down to someone else.
The price is steep at 1 million yen (excluding taxes and travel expenses), but a part of the price goes towards the preservation and development of the area's textile industry.
Address: 703 Nakajima, Ekiya-cho, Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Price: 1,100,000 yen or more per denim item (travel expenses not included)
Price may vary depending on material and part selection
Inquiries: https://www.boleega.com/service (Contact form at bottom)
Experience Zen meditation and sutra transcription Open all five senses to the world of Zen.
Shinshoji Zen Museum and Gardens/Numakuma-cho, Fukuyama-shi
At Shinshoji Zen Museum and Garden, the Shinsho Zen temple has been built as a place to feel what Zen is. The International Zen Training Hall is a practice temple (dojo) where anyone can experience Zen training similar to that experienced by members of the Rinzai sect regardless of nationality or religion.
A day-trip Zen experience is available and in Zendo, you can experience about 90 minutes of zazen (seated) meditation. At the Hibutsudo, you can transcribe sutras for 40 to 80 minutes. Why not use all your senses to feel the world of Zen and reflect on your own mind?
Address: 91 Kamisanna, Numakuma-cho, Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (last admission at 4:30 pm)
No regular holidays
Adults 1,500 yen (1,300 yen for groups of 20 or more)
University and high school students 1,000 yen (800 yen for groups of 20 or more)
Junior high and elementary school students 500 yen (300 yen for groups of 20 or more)
※ Separate food and drink fees apply at each facility
Day trip Zen experience 4,600 yen *Reservation required by phone or FAX
Zazen (seated meditation) 1,000 yen (per person) *Reservation required by phone by the day before
Shakyo (sutra transcription) 1,000 yen *No reservation required
Phone: 084-988-1111 (temple office)
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