Comfort Hotel Shin Yamaguchi
Phone: (81) 83 974 2511
Fax: (81) 83 974 2512
This marine center is located on Miyajima island, and makes a great place to take the family, especially the kids. There are about 350 different varieties of marine life here, including dolphins, seals and penguins, with a total specimen count of about 13,000. The marine center tries to recreate their natural environment, so you can watch these organisms interact as they might in nature. There is also a water show twice daily.
Wakasugiyama offers a spectacular view over Fukuoka City. A single, winding, broken-down road makes its way past bamboo groves, pine forests, Buddhist temples, and mysterious Shinto shrines to the windswept peak of this mountain. Although completely off the beaten track, this spot is popular with couples and paraglide enthusiasts, and makes for a pleasant half-day trip away from the city. It offers a particularly impressive panorama at sunset. How to get there: difficult! Your best bet is to catch a train from Hakata Station to Sasaguri (trains leave from platform 9). From there, you may be able to bribe local taxi-drivers to take you at least some of the way to the top of the mountain. Depending on the bravery of your taxi-driver (or the size of your bribe!), you may have to walk from where the road turns into a dirt track.
Hiroshima, being a city on the jagged coastline of the sea, is of course going to have any number of marina areas. This one is perhaps the most peaceful and charming. It is not uncommon to find many couples taking a stroll here, or even solitary souls looking for a moment of peace. In the vicinity is a nice cafe-restaurant, as well as Marina shops that sell clothing and boating supplies. The parking area is both enormous and cheap. Boat hire can be arranged through your hotel concierge or travel agent.
This small (and we mean small!) amusement park in the east-end is a decent place to take the kids or a date for a few hours or so. While it cannot compare to Uminonaka-michi Seaside Park, there is a small Ferris wheel, a small roller coaster, and other fairly tame thrill rides. There is also a rather famous flower garden located within the park, which gives enough reason to enter even if you have no interest in the rides. After that, you will have to pay a couple of hundred yen each for individual rides.
Hiroshima has declared itself an international city of peace, and Peace Memorial Park symbolizes its commitment to a nuclear weapons-free world, as well as commemorating the victims of a brutal fact of history. Despite the serious raison d'etre of its founding, the park is neither morbid nor fixated on the past. Enjoy a picnic lunch near parasol trees that survived the blast. See shrines and monuments--such as the A-Bomb Dome and 1964 "Flame of Peace"--visited daily by prayer-offering, incense-burning monks. The Peace Memorial Museum, opened in 1955, is also located here.
Misen is the 530-meter peak located on Miyajima. It is one of the primary attractions of the island, in large part because there is a ropeway trolley that takes visitors near the top, despite the round trip costing a hefty JPY1,500. Of course, you could always hike, and the route is pleasant and short (about 15 minutes). On the mountaintop, there are various attractions worth visiting, including numerous old structures of religious significance.
Do not let the name of this place fool you; it is hardly a park in the normally understood sense of the word, and it should be retitled using the word "sports" somewhere because these are the most extensive sports facilities in the city. Besides the Avispa soccer stadium, there are tennis courts, baseball fields, a track stadium, an Olympic sized swimming pool and diving well, Japanese archery ranges, playgrounds, walking and jogging courses, a weight room and several other indoor facilities for meetings, education, and relaxation.
The Science Museum promises lots of hands-on activities for budding Einsteins and Hawkings, plus a nice introduction to Hiroshima's traditional cultural attractions. Parents will also appreciate it as a creative place for the average child to burn off some steam. Highlights include Japan's largest planetarium, which "dynamically reproduces glittering constellations and an infinitely expanding universe." Back on earth, a small library/reading room gives exhausted parents chairs to collapse in--and perhaps even take a nap while the kids explore.
Baseball is very popular in Japan, and Hiroshima Carp fans are loud and proud, as you can see any game day. This beautiful stadium seats 32,000. Advance and game-day tickets are on sale at the ballpark's south-side office, facing Motomachi. Sales are cash only.
Summer in Hiroshima gets hot and sticky. Fortunately, there is an outdoor public swimming pool to cool off in, and it is reasonably close to the Peace Memorial Park and Hondori. The pool complex features swimming and play areas to accommodate the crowds, as well as water slides just for the fun of it. This pool is conveniently located near the Science and Culture Museum for Children's planetarium dome.
This is the main prefectural facility for indoor sporting events, built about a decade ago, and it is also used as a venue for concerts and festivals. The facilities include rooms for traditional Japanese sports as well as courts for team sports. Within the complex there is also a training room and swimming pool. There is an entry fee for either the gym or pool, or you can buy an 11-visit concession ticket. There is also a computerized rock-climbing practice wall, and full fitness-testing facilities available for both individuals and teams.
The official name of this place is the Fukuoka Prefecture Public Sports Education and Information Center. The Fukuoka government built this huge sports complex not far from the airport, intending to provide for the general public a place to practice and enjoy sports and physical fitness activities. The list of facilities available and sports this place can accommodate is too long, but be sure that it has all the obvious things: an Olympic-sized pool and diving well, studio rooms for aerobics and other activities, and numerous classrooms and lounges. The center sponsors a whole range of classes as well. Charges vary depending on which facilities you use, but are certainly not outrageous since the place is for public use. Pocket change is enough for most. Note that Accion Fukuoka is not conveniently located. From the airport, it is best to take a bus and get off at Accion Sports Mae.