Hondori and Okonomimura
Hiroshima’s Lively Gourmet Downtown
Hondori is a covered shopping street, located in Hiroshima’s Naka ward. At the eastern end of the 500 meters-long arcade stands a three-story building named Okonomimura, home to 25 restaurants exclusively serving Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki, the monument of local popular cuisine.
At the end of the afternoon, when historical sites close for the day, head to Hiroshima’s main shopping arcade, called Hondori Street. Here tourists can enjoy the city’s sparky atmosphere and all its conveniences, especially when it comes to good local restaurants. Hondori Street started its activity at the beginning of the 20th century. It still attracts shopping amateurs and even became the favorite meeting place of Hiroshima’s youth.
In a perpendicular street near Genbaku Dome, Hondori arcade street is announced by its countless and multicolored neon signs. Contrary to many shotengai (Japanese shopping arcades) that have an old-fashioned image, Hondori Street features various modern stores, as well as American brands shops such as Claire's, Mc Donald's, Adidas or Starbucks Coffee.
Their presence is certainly part of the reason why Hondori Street has become the trendy area for Hiroshima’s young people, where they frequently spent the evening or the weekends. At the end of the covered street, other traditional shopping centers such as Parco or Mitsukoshi can be found. However, hungry visitors will be attracted by another shop gathering: Okonomimura Village.
The village of Delicacies
Founded more than fifty years ago, Okonomimura is a mouth-watering place. It harbors no less than 25 restaurants, serving only Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese layered pancake usually topped with cabbage, meat, or seafood. But unlike its rival from Osaka, Hiroshima's Okonomiyaki is also garnished with Japanese noodles mixed with eggs cooked on an iron griddle.
The friendly and laid-back atmosphere of the place perfectly reflects Hiroshima’s inhabitants’ mood. Seating are arranged around a counter, actually a metallic griddle, and customers have a plain view on the kitchen and the cooking process. Outgoing tourists can toast with the seating neighbors they just met and take the opportunity of this relaxed moment to put their Japanese language skills to the test.
Visitors to Hiroshima who especially enjoy evening walks will be pleased by Hondori area. It is a nice place to stroll in a covered street, from souvenir shops to clothes stores, and to have a drink or eat in a friendly atmosphere.