We were in Japan for a 16-day trip. Hiroshima was our third stop after Tokyo and Kyoto. Upon arrival in Hiroshima station, proceed to tram station which is located outside the train station. Tram no. 2 and 6 will bring one to Kamiya-cho Nishi (about 8-10 stops away) in less than 15min. Look for Sogo which is just in front of the tram stop. The hotel is located behind Sogo which is about 3min walk away.
Rihga Hotel in Hiroshima is conveniently located near the Peace Memorial Park (where the Genbaku Dome and museum are (about 10min walk) and is one of the more affordable hotels that we stayed in for our trip. For the price we paid, we got a corner room on the 34th floor that afforded us an almost 180 degree view with the Hiroshima castle right in front of us with magnificent mountains as backdrop. To the extreme left, we could get a glimpse of the Dome. There's a table for two set in front of the window and we found ourselves admiring the scenery upon checking in. The room was spacious with the usual bathroom amenities. The nice scenery was definitely a boon for us.
There are unfortunately not many things that one can do in Hiroshima, esp if you have come here after visiting bigger cities like Tokyo and Kyoto. We spent a solemn morning at the Peace Memorial Park, visiting the Dome and the museum. After which, we had a lovely alfresco lunch at Café Ponte located at the edge of Peace Park which is right in front of the river where tourists take the boat to Miyajima. The café serves delightful oyster-based dishes and fresh orange juice. We then went to Hondori Shopping District – this is like the shopping arcade in Kyoto, just that the scale is very much smaller. Things were much cheaper here, full of smaller shops which we didn’t find very exciting. We did find a gem here - St Marc’s Café at the end of the street (near Parco) serves really delicious pastries and bread.
Miyajima, on the other hand, is a lovely island to visit and for spending a day out. From Rihga hotel, there are three ways to get to Miyajima. One, take the boat at the Peace Park in front of Café Ponte directly to the island. Two, take the tram No. 2 in the direction of Miyajimaguchi and alight at the Miyajimaguchi station from which you can take the ferry to Miyajima. Three, take the tram No. 2 in the direction to Hiroshima station and take the JR train at Platform 1 to Miyajimaguchi station, then transfer to the JR Ferry. We took the third route because the train and ferry journey was covered by our JR pass. The JR pass cannot be used on the tram and for the river boat ride from Peace Park. All three routes take about the same amount of time to reach Miyajima.
I strongly recommend the restaurant Anago Meshi which is located near the Miyajimaguchi station and serves delicious rice with eel. We reached Miyajimaguchi around 10-ish in the morning and waited for an hour at the restaurant before our turn but it was worth it. The menu is in Japanese and no staff speaks English. Just ask for the no. 1 bestseller (Ichiban).
If we ever come to Hiroshima again, we would definitely choose to stay in Rihga Hotel.