【Hiroshima Prefecture】Recommended by locals! What are the hidden tourist spots & gourmet food?

Back in Japan after a long time! And my first time in Hiroshima! I arrived at Hiroshima Station, but I'm not sure what the best way for a Japanophile like me to explore and enjoy the city is...

Of course, I've researched famous tourist spots and gourmet food in advance, but as a Japan freak, I want to have a deeper, more "deep" experience.

This time, we asked Ms. Kinugawa, who is from Tokyo and has been working at a travel agency in Hiroshima for 5 years, to share his local tips. Let's make our long-awaited trip to Japan even more memorable by thoroughly learning about the "local specialties" and Ms. Kinugawa's "personal recommendations"!

A hot spring hotel on a scenic island that I visit at least once a year!

Ms. Kinugawa, who was born in Tokyo and assigned to the JTB Hiroshima branch as a new graduate, loves traveling and gourmet food tours. Due to his work, she often exchanges information with local people, and once she becomes friends with them, she can take them to hidden spots and delve deeper into local information.

Ms. Kinugawa, who has a wealth of travel knowledge, highly recommends the "Kinoe Onsen Hotel Seifukan" on Osaki Kamijima in Hiroshima Prefecture.

"Hiroshima is not well known for its hot spring resorts, but this hot spring hotel is actually frequented by locals."

"Kinoe Onsen Hotel Seifukan" is located on an island, so you have to take a boat to get there. Ms. Kinugawa has two favorite points about this place. The first is the open-air bath with a spectacular view. It's not just a hot spring, but a wonderful one where you can relax while looking out over the vast Seto Inland Sea. You might think you're visible to the people on the boats passing by, but you can zone out without worrying about such things in this amazing hot spring.

The second one is a dish that uses plenty of seafood from the Seto Inland Sea. From appetizers to desserts, each dish is carefully prepared by the chef, using high-quality ingredients. Also, the way it is served is creative, allowing you to enjoy the dishware as well.

Osaki Kamijima in Hiroshima Prefecture is a place that is still not well known even within Japan. It's a city that foreign tourists rarely see. This time, Ms. Kinugawa specially introduced it for FUN! JAPAN members♪

My Recommended Gourmet for Living in Hiroshima for 5 Years

Ms. Kinugawa, who has been taught a lot of local information by the locals, what kind of gourmet would she introduce to his friends coming from Tokyo?

"First, I ask if they have been to Hiroshima before. If not, I take them on a standard course and introduce them to oysters, okonomiyaki, and fried momiji manju. On the other hand, for those who have already been here, many are looking for seafood and local dishes, so I want to introduce what the locals recommend."

Ms. Kinugawa's recommended gourmet is Hiroshima Prefecture's B-class "Soupless Dan Dan Noodles"! The characteristic of this dish is its slightly spicy flavor due to the use of Japanese pepper. Also, you can choose the spiciness of the pepper yourself. And, it's said to be incredibly delicious to eat the leftover sauce with white rice in the bowl after finishing the soupless Dan Dan noodles.

Another one is "Musubi Musashi", a famous rice ball shop known to everyone in Hiroshima. It is said that it takes a year of training to make their rice balls. The saltiness is perfect, and it is loved by people of all ages in Hiroshima. They also have take-out bento boxes, so many people in Hiroshima buy Musashi's bento boxes as station bento before getting on the Shinkansen! Since it's only sold in Hiroshima Prefecture, it's definitely a unique Hiroshima gourmet!

Unexpectedly Unknown Customs and Culture of Hiroshima Prefecture

We asked Ms. Kinugawa what characteristics the people of Hiroshima Prefecture have.

"As for the characteristics of the people of Hiroshima Prefecture, I think they are easily excited and easily cooled down. For example, when a new shop opens, everyone rushes to it. Many people think, 'I don't know what kind of shop it is, but let's go there once anyway.' But, I often see people not going there a second time (laughs). Therefore, it is said that the shops that last long in Hiroshima are really delicious ones."

And about the drinking culture, Ms. Kinugawa had this to say.

"In Tokyo, many people start with a beer or a highball, but in Hiroshima, I feel that many people, including young people, drink sake. Therefore, bars in Hiroshima have a wide variety of sake, and we often drink sake on a regular basis."

Hiroshima is famous for its seafood, such as oysters, which goes very well with sake, doesn't it?

When you come to Hiroshima next time, please try the gourmet food and sake recommended by Ms. Kinugawa.

Japan is full of diverse attractions nationwide. The internet is overflowing with information, and as a Japanophile, I've put a lot of effort into gathering information in advance.

But the recommendations from locals are different!

This time, I'm going to learn about the charm that can only be experienced by living there from Ms. Kinugawa's "raw voice", and it seems like it will make my long-awaited trip to Japan deeper and more memorable!

I'm looking forward to my trip to Hiroshima from now!