Being so central, Minami-ku is a convenient area to live in Hiroshima, but it also has the advantage of being a little more residential than the busier Naka-ku, with some beautiful green areas, excellent shopping and a wide array of restaurants. Osugacho, Danbara, Hijiyama, Shinonome, and the Fuchu areas are popular residential areas for expats living in Minami-ku.
With the Hiroshima’s main train station, the street car and regular buses all serving the area, there are no problems finding public transportation in Minami-ku. On top of that there is the Route 2 that runs through the ward, and in the south is the Ujina Ferry Port, giving it access to the islands of Etajima and the city of Kure, amongst others.
Public Highway Route 2 heads west to Otake and east to Kure, while the Hiroshima Expressway Route 3 cuts through the city and connects with Hiroshima Expressway Route 1 to take you north to the Sanyo Expressway.
The best place in the city to enjoy a cherry blossom viewing party (hanami) is in Hijiyama Park. This spacious park offers great views of the city, playgrounds for the kids, picnic areas under outdoor art, and a variety of picnic spots to choose from including a space with lanterns for night time viewing next to food and drink stalls. Another beautiful spot is Mt. Ogon, and though it is a little bit more of a challenge to climb, it is certainly worth it for the view of the city and the Seto Island Sea.
As well as being so close to the main commercial district of Nish-ku, there are many interesting boutique shops, hair salons, and eateries in Minami-ku. Also, the area is extremely blessed with supermarkets and international stores for all your daily needs. Located next to the Hiroshima Baseball Stadium, Costco is an American warehouse-style retail chain offering bulk, discounted items. 70% of the products are from within Japan and Asia and the rest are Western imports making it a perfect resource for international families. Another store that stocks imported items is Jupiter and they have have a great selection of sweets, snacks, cereals, cheese and beers and Yamaya is national chain that sells discount alcohol and some import foods. A Hiroshima original, Fresta is the largest supermarket chain in Hiroshima and has expanded to other prefectures in the Chugoku region. It stocks high quality groceries and has an excellent offering of ready made foods. Home delivery service is available in certain areas, though membership fees apply. YOURS is a popular supermarket chain with good selection of groceries, readymade foods, some import goods and 100 yen shop section for daily necessities and stationery goods.
Okonomiyaki (sometimes called Hiroshimayaki to distinguish it from the Osakan dish of the same name) is Hiroshima’s best loved food, and Minami-ku has a branch Hiroshima’s most famous okonomiyaki chain, Mitchan. The original store first opened in 1950 the chain has been a Hiroshima institution ever since. If you find Mitchan too full of tourists join the locals at the Hiroshima Station ASSE Restaurant Floor where there are many fantastic dishes to try such as Yocchan‘s delicious okonomiyaki and Namaste ASSE Himilayan restaurant’s curry and naan bread. Actually, if you like Nepalese or Indian food, there are quite a few decent restaurants of this type in the area, including Namaste Danbaraand Roopali. As Guttsuri-ann, down near the port, used to be an oyster factory you can expect pretty fresh seafood. Customers choose from an in house aquarium and then cook their own seafood in barbecue pits, while the sushi is also a must. There are also plenty of other seafood places well worth checking out in the port area. If coffee is your thing then Green Coffee next to Hijiyama park is an excellent roaster using fair trade beans, and in the Shinonome area there is a fashionable drive through Starbucks.
Other than some of the local restaurants, there isn’t a lot going on for nightlife in Higashi-ku, but that should not put a dampener on any revelry. As it is so close to Naka Ward, where things really kick off, it’s not such a hassle to get back by last train, or even a late night taxi.
One of the biggest attractions in Minami-ku is the Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium, home of the region’s pride, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball team. The ballpark has a capacity of 32,000 people and in 2016 was the site of much celebration as The Carp won the Central League Pennant for the first time in 25 years. Car manufacturer Mazda is a large part of the city’s identity and the Mazda Museum in Minami Ward tells of the company’s history as well as looking into the technology of its vehicles, before heading through an actual automobile assembly line. The collection at Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art includes works from Oscar Oiwa, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol, and as it stands on the top of the hill in Hijiyama Park there is as beautiful a view from the outside as the artwork is inspiring on the inside. As well as being the best way of getting to some of the islands that surround the city, Hiroshima Port is also a pleasant building that has a couple of well-stocked souvenir shops and a surprisingly international selection of restaurants.
Schools for younger kids are pretty convenient from Minami-ku. AIC Kindergarden, Little Newton International Kindergarten and YMCA International Kindergarten are all around 10 minutes from Hijiyama. For those with older children, Hiroshima International School is a bit further out at around 35 minutes away, but it is possible to get the school bus.
Minami-ku offers a wide selection of options for dining and entertainment. You can see some of this variety using the map below.
See listings for properties available now for rent in Minami-ku on JapanHomeSearch.com by clicking this link (it will return only Minami-ku results), or browse the Hiroshima Housing Cost Survey data below, which will give you a snap shot of what sort of expat housing is available in the area.