Just outside of Hiroshima City, find a serene getaway nestled in between the mountains and the sea, where one of Japan’s most recognizable torii gates has stood for centuries.
Hatsukaichi is a city in Hiroshima prefecture that is best known for its history as a seaside marketplace and as the gateway to the magnificent Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island. Its name is derived from the city’s traditional hosting of a produce market on the 20th day of each month, dating back to the Kamakura Period. Visit this pretty coastal city to enjoy the region’s delicious fresh seafood, local produce and breathtakingly beautiful Shinto shrine.
Discover a diverse landscape as you explore the city’s wide-reaching limits, from the island of Miyajima to the rugged and mountainous hinterland. If you’re lucky enough to visit during the 20th Day Market, spend the morning checking out handcrafted wooden items, fresh produce and local seafood. Pack a picnic and prepare for some exploration of Hatsukaichi’s wilderness and sacred areas. Hatsukaichi is an ideal spot for leisure and adventure activities, such as hiking, kayaking or skiing. See dramatic mountains, lush valleys, clear streams and picturesque farms.
Set aside a day or two to explore Miyajima, the island directly offshore from Hatsukaichi. The Itsukushima Shrine on this island is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a National Treasure of Japan. It is said that a shrine has existed here for over 4,000 years and the Itsukushima Shrine holds deep historical and cultural significance. The shrine, which is accessible by ferry, appears at its most beautiful and tranquil at high tide. During this period, it appears as though the shrine and its mighty red torii gate are floating on the water. Also on Miyajima, you can find the Miyajima Natural Botanical Garden, the Miyao Castle Ruins and the Miyajima Public Aquarium.
The city can be reached in under an hour by train from Hiroshima City. Hatsukaichi is a destination for all seasons: climb Mount Misen or kayak in the sea in the summer, watch the maple leaves turn at Momijidani Park and pick chestnuts in fall, hike amid the cherry blossoms in spring or ski fresh powder in winter.