The areas of Yokogawa, Tenmacho, Koi, and Kannon are all popular with expats. Yokogawa and Tenmacho have a good range of eateries and bars, and offer a traditional atmosphere while the hillside areas of Koi and Kannon are less lively but offer quite a few housing options with a quick commute to the city center and stunning views of the city and the Seto inland sea.
Nishi Ward is relatively simple to get around as it is served by local bus routes, two JR train routes and and the streetcar. For those taking more pastoral forms of transport there are some bicycle lanes, particularly along the river, and for those on the other end of the scale there is the Hiroshima Helipad.
The Kabe Highway that runs through Yokogawa s handy for getting out of the city and onto the Sanyo Expressway. For heading east into the city or west out towards Miyajima, the Route 2 runs not far from the Kannon area.
There are quite few nice spots in Nishi-ku at which you can enjoy the green, open spaces, particularly in the Mitaki area. Here you can find Ryou Park that overlooks the city with flowering trees, a playground and sports facilities. It is well known for itscherry blossom viewing, as well as a great place to watch the sunset. Another great place for seeing the cherry blossoms in spring, or to just walk along at any time of year, is the parks alongside both the Mitaki and Yokogawa sides of the Otagawa River that bisects the ward. To the west of Nishi-ku, Onigajo Ryokuchi Park, on the side of Mt. Onigajoyama, is good for hiking and offers great views of the city and Hiroshima Bay.
Nishi Ward is convenient for all of your shopping needs.Just three minutes walk from Shin-Inokuchi station is Al Park, a large shopping mall that includes variouys attractions such as restaurants, movie theaters and amusement centers. Stores feature both male and female fashion with some international brands such as GAP and Lacoste, children’s clothing, sports outlets, cosmetics from Mary Quant and a pharmacy. It even has a food hall with a Starbucks and a Krispy Kreme. A relatively new addition to the area is LECT, which stands for Living, Eating, Culture and Town, and is a new mall barely 2km from Al Park with an array of stores focusing on fashion, high end groceries and restaurants. Near Tenma-cho Station you can find Hyakushoyakai, a purveyor of products as close to organic as possible, from as local as possible. Fresh vegetables, fruit, healthy, ethically raised meats as well as other staple foods are all available. There is a home delivery option for Hiroshima City addresses (with membership fee) and they have both English-speaking staff and an English order sheet available on request. Another store focusing on organic products is Anew, with high quality macrobiotic, organic, pesticide free vegetables, meat, fruit, fish, snacks, seasonings, cosmetics and herbal supplements. Unfortunately they have less information in English than Hyakushoyakai. Fresta is the largest supermarket chain in Hiroshima with three stores in Nishi-ku, one of which is in Yokogawa. They have high quality groceries and an excellent selection of readymade foods and home delivery service is available in certain areas, though membership fees apply.
One of the best things about living in Nishi Ward is that the area absolutely abounds with great places to eat around Nishi-ku, with the areas around Yokogawa and Nishi-Hiroshima stations particularly abundant. While it is incredibly enjoyable to wander the Nishi Ward streets finding your favourite new restaurant through trial and error, it is very much a must that you visit two of the most famous eateries in the region.
Okonomiyaki (sometimes called Hiroshimayaki to distinguish it from the Osakan dish of the same name) is Hiroshima’s best loved food, and okonomiyaki store Lopez is run by a longterm Hiroshima resident from Argentina. Warm and inviting, this popular family-run shop offers a number of original side-dishes as well.
A wood-fire brick oven imported from Naples is used to cook Pizza Riva’s award-winning pies. Their pizzas are topped with quality ingredients such as buffalo mozzarella, artisan-cured salami, prosciutto, fresh basil and rucola. They also have a nice selection of wines, indoor and al fresco dining.
Yokogawa and Tenmacho are blessed with plenty of ‘izakaya’ Japanese style bars that double up as restaurants, and these areas can get particularly lively in evenings. If you are of the nightclubbing persuasion then the big clubs in Naka-ku are a pretty short late-night taxi ride home.
Dating back to 809AD Mitaki Temple is a Shingon Buddhist temple located in a steep, heavily forested valley on the side of Mt Mitaki-yama and takes its name from the three waterfalls within its grounds. The temple grounds offer beautiful walks past interesting jizo statues, cool bamboo forests, and a serene Japanese temple. The red pagoda roof edges in contrast with the blue sky and autumn leaves make for stunning views.
So much of Hiroshima’s food is centered around seafood, which makes the Hiroshima Fish Market in the south of Nishi-ku something of the city’s beating heart. It is here that all the fresh fish and, of course, famous Hiroshima oysters are brought to provide seafood to the restaurants and markets around the city.
For those living in the Yokogawa area of Nishi-ku both the YMCA Kindergarden and Little Newton International Kindergarten are just a 15 minutes drive or 20 minutes by public transport while Sophia International Kindergarten is closer at 10 and 15 minutes. Older children can take the school bus for the Hiroshima International School from Uokogawa too.
Nishi-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 Nishi-ku on JapanHomeSearch.com by clicking this link (it will return only Nishi-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.