10 Best Places to Visit in Onomichi, Hiroshima

Onomichi is the second major city in Hiroshima tourism. It is also the starting and ending point of the Shimanami Kaido, which connects a chain of islands to Imabari City in Ehime Prefecture in the Seto Inland Sea. Focusing on the nostalgic atmosphere of Onomichi, we will introduce 10 recommended sightseeing spots for you to visit when you come to Onomichi!


What is Onomichi like?

Again, Onomichi is said the second major and popular city in Hiroshima tourism. Although Onomichi is a port town, it is surrounded by mountains and is often called a “town of hills”. It is a town that tickles one’s curiosity to find cozy cafes and bakeries amidst the many private homes lining the steep slopes. Another point of interest is the panoramic view of the islands spreading out across the Seto Inland Sea as you walk up the hill. In recent years, with the renovation boom of old private houses, many wonderful hideaway cafes and guesthouses have opened one after another.

Onomichi city is also famous as a “town of cats”. It is said that many cats have settled in Onomichi because of its many hills and narrow streets, which are not accessible by cars. In fact, you can actually see cats wandering around the streets.

10 Sightseeing Spots

Senkoji Temple (千光寺)

Senkoji Temple

One of the essential spots for sightseeing in Onomichi is Senkoji Temple located on top of a hill. The main hall, painted in vermilion color, is rare and is recognized for its cultural value. The view of the Onomichi Suido (narrow waterway sandwiched between Onomichi city and Mukaishima Island on the opposite shore, and the Seto Inland Sea from the main hall is well known, and many people come here for the scenery. The Senkoji Mountain Ropeway takes about 3 minutes to get near the temple.

Senkoji Mountain Ropeway (千光寺山ロープウェイ)

Senkoji Ropeway

The Senkoji Temple mentioned earlier can be reached by climbing the hill, but a ropeway is also available. It takes about 3 minutes to reach Senkoji Park at the top of the mountain. From here, you can access Senkoji Temple, Bungaku no Komichi, Neko no Hosomichi (Cat Alley), and other famous spots. In this way, it is recommended to take the ropeway up to the top first, and then go sightseeing while descending the slope on foot.

Neko no Hosomichi/Cat Alley (猫の細道)

Cat alley

Neko no Hosomichi is a narrow slope of about 200 meters that leads to the hill behind a shrine called Ushitora Shrine, located right next to the Ropeway Base Station. The origin of Neko no Hosomichi began when an artist named Sonoyama Shunji began placing round stones with pictures of cats painted on them, commonly known as “Fuku-ishi-neko” (lucky cat stones), throughout the alley.

It is dotted with hideaway stores, small gallery stores with cat motifs, and cat goods stores. This is a cute spot where you can take pictures, find cute cat stones, or go explore for cats, and be sure to be healed.

Onomichi Hondori Shopping Street (尾道本通り商店街)

Onomichi Hondori (main street) Shopping Street is the generic name for a shopping street that stretches approximately 1.2 km in length and consists of five shopping streets along Onomichi Dori street. There are approximately 210 stores, ranging from restaurants offering Onomichi’s gourmet food, to retro stores, new stores that have been reborn through renovation, and long-established stores that have been in business for over 100 years. This shopping street is a must-see spot for visitors to Onomichi, which has a long history together with its prosperity as a port city.

Nekonotepan factory (ネコノテパン工場)

Nekonotepan factory

This cute little bakery is tucked away on a narrow slope that cannot be reached by car. Through the window, you can also see the bread being made. The store is barely big enough to fit one person inside, so if there are customers ahead of you, wait in line outside and enter the store when it is your turn.

When you open the sliding door of this cozy store, you will find a lineup of fragrant, freshly baked breads. Although the store is small, there are a wide variety of breads, and their delicious taste attracts bread lovers from all over Japan. It is recommended to go early, as the bread is often sold out by midday!

Various kinds of bread

Karasawa (からさわ)


Founded in 1939, this long-established store is the most popular ice cream shop in Onomichi. The old-fashioned, nostalgic taste of ice cream was and continues to be a favorite. The store’s No. 1 favorite is the ice cream monaka, which is creamy ice cream wrapped in a crispy wafers. The size is just right, and the nostalgic milk flavor and the crunchy texture of the monaka are amazing.

Since the store is located along the coast, you can enjoy a view of the ocean from the window seats in the cafe space. There are also benches set up outside the shop along the beach, so it is recommended to take away and eat there!

Oyatsu toYamaneko (おやつとやまねこ)

A famous pudding shop in Onomichi. It is located a 3-minute walk from Onomichi Station, making it easily accessible. The orange and yellow curtain is a landmark, and the retro appearance is wonderful.

Onomichi Pudding

The pudding, made with carefully selected ingredients, comes in a milk bottle with a red illustration of a cat on it. The pudding is very popular not only for its cute retro look, but also because it tastes so delicious. The pudding is available in plain flavor as well as other flavors such as green tea and coffee. In addition, seasonal flavors are also sometimes available!


ONOMICHI U2 is a complex facility that opened in 2014, renovated from a shipping warehouse built in 1943. It offers a wide variety of stores from fashionable lifestyle stores to cafes, bars, restaurants, and bakeries, making it a versatile place to enjoy yourself. In addition, since Onomichi is a mecca for cyclists, there is even a hotel where you can bring your bicycle and a professional bicycle store. Located a 7-minute walk from Onomichi Station, this is one of Onomichi’s most fashionable spots, so be sure to stop by.

Onomichi Ramen Kuukai (尾道ラーメン 喰海)

Onomichi Ramen Kuukai

Onomichi Ramen is a must-try local ramen dish when you come to Onomichi. Onomichi Ramen Kuukai is located about a 5-minute walk from Onomichi Station, is conveniently situated. You can enjoy your ramen while looking out at the ocean from a window seat.

Onomichi Ramen

The three main characteristics of Onomichi ramen are a soy sauce-based soup, medium-thin flat noodles, and minced pork back fat. Although there is minced back fat floating in the soup, the soy sauce-based soup has a light and gentle flavor, so it is not too thick and can be easily eaten. Please give it a try when you come to Onomichi.

Shimanami Kaido (しまなみ海道)

Shimanami Kaido

The Shimanami Kaido is a 60-km-long road connecting Onomichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture, and Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, via bridges. There are numerous islands in the Seto Inland Sea, and the route was built to connect them by bridge, offering spectacular views of the blue sea and islands rich in nature along the way. It is also known as “Japan’s first bicycle path that crosses the straits,” and was designated as a national cycle route in 2019.

Onomichi is the starting and ending point of the Shimanami Kaido, and is known as a “mecca for cyclists.” It is characterized by a thoroughly cyclist-friendly environment, with bridges with bike lanes and rest spots for cyclists scattered along the route. There are also cafes where cyclists can bring their bicycles and accommodations for cyclists, making the area a tourist attraction for cyclists.

For those who are not accustomed to biking, it may seem a bit challenging, but there are less difficult routes that even beginners can try, and since bicycles are available for rent, why not give it a try and create memories of your trip when you visit Onomichi?

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