Onomichi I: Downtown City || 尾道I:ダウンタウンシティ

Explore Onomichi City, the "Little Kyoto of the West"! 

Thinking about your next getaway to relax next to the ocean with lush nature, beautiful islands, friendly locals, historical culture, and flavorful cuisine in Japan? Look no further than Onomichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture!

This picturesque town also known as the “Little Kyoto of the South” has featured frequently in films and other artistic works, and is a charming place where visitors can experience living in a part of Japan that has remained untouched for centuries, yet enjoy all the comforts of modern-day society. From active sports to quiet beaches, historical culture to innovative sightseeing services, street food to fine dining with local produce, Onomichi has something that will appeal to everyone!


緑豊かな自然の中で、美しい島で、フレンドリーな地元の人々と、歴史的文化を感じ、そして日本の風味豊かな料理を食べ、海のそばでリラックスできるの次の休暇はいかがですか? 広島県の尾道市に行ってきました~!


「西の小京都」としても知られるこの美しい町は、映画やその他の芸術作品で頻繁に取り上げられており、何世紀にもわたって手つかずのままの日本での生活を体験できる魅力的な場所です。 アクティブなスポーツから静かなビーチ、歴史的な文化、革新的な観光サービス、屋台の食べ物、地元の食材を使った高級レストランまで、尾道には誰もが楽しめる何かがあります!


Follow me on my visit to Onomichi in this four-part series where I will recommend some highlights for exploring the Downtown City, Island Hopping, Local Cuisine, and the Setouchi Seaplanes!



In this blog post, I will share some of my tips for exploring downtown Onomichi!





Where is Onomichi?

Onomichi (尾道) is a quaint seaside town facing the Seto Inland Sea in eastern Hiroshima. Although it is the 4th largest city in Hiroshima Prefecture with a population of over 150,000 people, it certainly does not feel like it when you set foot on the sidewalks of this nostalgic port town.

尾道は、広島東部の瀬戸内海に面した趣のある海辺の町です。 人口15万人を超える広島県で4番目に大きい都市ですが、このどこか懐かしさと感じる港町の歩道に足を踏み入れたとき、それは確かにそのようには感じません。

Map of Onomichi


Welcome to Onomichi City!


Access to Onomichi is surprisingly easy!

Initially, I thought that it would be complicated and require me changing various modes of transport, but the trains take you right to the city center. From Tokyo, the total travel time was just under 4 hours.



最初は、それは複雑で、さまざまな交通手段を乗り換える必要があると思っていましたが、電車はすぐに市内中心部に連れて行ってくれます。 東京からの総移動時間は4時間ぐらいでした。


Onomichi Station has just been renovated earlier this year, and looks brand new!


Climb up to the second story of the station and you can have a great view over the city.



Check out the Local Stores at Onomichi Shopping Street


Just a stone’s throw away from Onomichi Station is the city’s main shopping street!

Along this street, you can explore a wide variety of stores and restaurants.
(Click HERE for my post on Local Cuisine in Onomichi!)






From Ooban-yaki (大判焼き, a kind of Japanese crepe with various filling options), to locally produced jams and authentic fishcakes, dozens of specialty stores appeal to your taste buds!




I really enjoyed visiting the 106-year-old Keima Kamaboko fishcake shop. The fishcakes are made from fresh Setouchi fish including Guchi (Croaker), Hamo (Conger), Eso (Lizardfishes) and small squid caught from nearby waters!


私は、106年以上の歴史を持つ「桂馬かまぼこ」を訪れるのを本当に楽しみにしていました。 かまぼこは、近くの海で獲れたグチ、ハモ、エソ、小さなイカなどの新鮮な瀬戸内海の魚で作られています!



When you buy some fishcakes, you can heat it up and enjoy them at the nearby eating space provided for customers. We tried some Kakiten, persimmon shaped fried kamaboko (fishcakes) and they were delicious! No wonder that it is their bestselling item.


桂馬かまぼこを購入したら、それを加熱して、顧客に提供している近くの食事スペースで楽しむことができます。 尾道名物「柿天」を食べてみました~ 美味しかったです! それが一番人気の商品であることはなるほど納得ですね!




尾道名物 柿天 桂馬初代・村上桂造が秋の風物詩「吊るし柿」の姿を写し創作したかまぼこです。





Do not miss your chance to hold a REAL samurai sword at the Yamasaki Kiyoharu Knife and Sword Store! It was my first time holding an authentic Samurai sword – not only was it super sharp, it was also a lot heavier than I expected despite being so thin!


包丁・鋏・刀剣販売 刃物の山崎清春商店」で本物の侍の刀を握るチャンスをお見逃しなく!




Photo with store owner, Yamasaki-san. Besides samurai swords, you may find many impressive hand-forged knives carefully laid out around the store. Yamasaki-san will proudly give you recommendations if you are looking for something unique to take home. :)

店主の山崎さんとの写真。 「刀」のほかに、店の周りに丁寧に配置された印象的な手造の包丁・鋏・刀剣がたくさんあります。お土産として記念に持ち帰る特別なものを探しているなら、山崎さんは喜んであなたにお勧めして下さると思います! :)


Create Your Own Ceramics at the Sora Studio & Gallery!
Sora Studio


At the end of the shopping street, stop by the Sora Studio & Gallery for a special ceramics experience~

尾道の商店街で陶芸体験のできるギャラリー「Sora Studio & Gallery」に立ち寄ってください〜 


Sora has two options for visitors to the studio – you can either try your hands at an electric potter’s wheel, or make a cat figurine!





I worked with pottery studio owner Fujimoto-san to design and paint my own ceramic cat figurine. It was my first time working on clay in this way, and it was a lot of fun! Whenever I had any trouble, Fujimoto-san would come in and help me fix it up right away. Unfortunately, I think my cat still turned out rather disproportionate (body is too big and fat, tails and legs are too short!)… haha


陶芸工房のオーナーである藤本善史さんと一緒に、自分の陶製の猫の置物をデザインしてペイントしました。 このように粘土を扱うのは初めてで、とても楽しかったです! 困ったときはいつでも、藤本さんが来てすぐに直してくれました。 残念ながら、私の猫の出来よりまだかなりバランスが悪いと思います... (体が大きすぎて太く、尾と足が短すぎるでしょう!)


What do you think? Cute... (Perhaps?)


Having finished painting, Fujimoto-san will fire it in the kiln and send it to me about a month later~ I can’t wait to see my finished cat figurine!

Why not take home your memories of Onomichi with a personally handcrafted ceramics souvenir?








ACCESS: 2-23 Tsuchido, Onomichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture


Tel: 090-6435-1368

Opening Hours: 10:00 ~ 18:00

Closed on Wednesdays





Shop & Relax by the Seaside at U2


About a 5-minute walk away from the Onomichi Station is U2, a paradise for cyclists at the gateway to the Shimanami Sea Route (Nishi-Seto Expressway)!

Formerly a shipyard warehouse built in 1947, it was renovated and re-opened as a chic hotel, café, bakery, bar, lifestyle, and cycling shop in March 2014.





In front of the stylish façade of the renovated warehouse.

Guests of U2’s Hotel Cycle can enjoy cycle-through check-in, taking their bikes all the way to their rooms. The hotel offers economical but stylish rooms that strike an inspired balance between homegrown influences (such as locally crafted denim pajamas) and crisp modern designs.


U2の「ホテルサイクル」に宿泊しているお客様は、サイクルスルーチェックインをお楽しみいただけます。自転車で客室まで入ることができます。 ホテルは経済的でありながらスタイリッシュな客室を提供しており、地元で作られたシャンブレイー生地のパジャマはさわやかなでモダンなデザインとのインスピレーションのバランスが取れています。



Try on clothes at one of the stores in the U2 complex!


U2 is located next to the Onomichi Channel with beautiful waterfront views!


The opening of U2 along the theme of “cycling, travel, and good things” not only made Onomichi a haven for cyclists, but also attracted art, design and architecture lovers from around the world to the once-sleepy coastal town.





Witness Onomichi’s History



Onomichi was safe from most of the destruction during the World Wars, and as a result, there is a sense that you are transported back in time when you step foot in this untouched “Small Kyoto of the West.” The coastal town is maze-like characterized by many slopes, long staircases, and shrines up and around which the town winds.


尾道は、第二次世界大戦の破壊から免れました。その結果、この手つかずの「西の小京都」に足を踏み入れると、時間を遡れるという感覚があります。海岸沿いの町は迷路のようです 多くの斜面、長い階段、そしてその周りに神社があり、上がり街が見えることが特徴です。


Onomichi's famous Temple Walk, for example, will take visitors up and down the slopes as it leads past the route's 25 temples.




Following the path of one of these slopes, we chased dusk up the Mount Senkoji Ropeway~




Have fun riding up the ropeway!


View from the ropeway ride~

At the top of the ropeway, a Lover’s Sanctuary and panoramic views await.



As you breathe in the cool sea breeze, feel refreshed with waterfront views over rooftops and temple gardens that heal the soul just like looking at a watercolor painting.





Like fireflies in the night: the evening view of the port’s townscape clinging to steep slopes await you after the sun sets.



Mount Senkoji Ropeway



Address: 20-1 Higashi Todo-cho, Onomichi, Hiroshima
住所:〒722-0033 広島県尾道市東土堂町20-1


Tel: 0848-22-4900

Operating Hours: 9:00~17:15, every 15 minutes 





Whether you hop on a bicycle and actively explore the islands, or just stroll along the boardwalk and breathe in the ocean breeze, it is truly a magical experience to get lost and wander around Onomichi City.


Even when you feel like you have lost your way, just head towards the seaside and everything will work out beautifully!


Start planning your visit by reading more about Onomichi’s Local Cuisine, Island Hopping, and the Setouchi Seaplanes!







Onomichi City Website

〒722-8501 広島県尾道市久保一丁目15-1


Onomichi Tourism Association

事務局:〒722-0036 広島県尾道市東御所町1-20 JB本四高速尾道ビル1F 
Tel: 0848-36-5495 FAX 0848-22-2201
一般社団法人 しまなみジャパン


住所:広島県尾道市東御所町11-9 JA尾道市駅前ビル1階
Tel: 0848-22-4073