Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass: 6-Day Food Trip In Okayama And Hiroshima

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Fresh oysters, rich-tasting eel, fresh strawberries, and delicious egg riceーthese are just some of the dishes that travelers to Hiroshima and Okayama should try. The Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass (less than 15,000 yen) allows you to travel conveniently and enjoy the local food at leisure.

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Enjoy Hiroshima and Okayama Cuisine!

Hiroshima and Okayama are two destinations with amazing local cuisine. Some of the most popular dishes in this region include king-sized oysters, okonomiyaki, fresh strawberries, and tamago kakegohan (egg over rice).

If you wish to try all these delicious foods at leisure, we suggest taking a trip to Hiroshima and Okayama using the convenient Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass issued by JR-WEST.

Unlimited Rides for Five Days! How to Use the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Picture from the official website of JR-WEST

The Japan Rail Pass—which allows you unlimited rides on the JR Line for seven days for less than 30,000 yen—is the best-known pass when it comes to JR discount passes. However, the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass is ideal for travelers who wish to enjoy a more leisurely and economical trip in western Japan.

The Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass is an unlimited ride pass valid for five days on the JR lines in the Kansai area for just 14,500 yen (for 6 to 11-year-old children, the pass costs 7,250 yen). Passes purchased through a travel agency abroad cost 13,700 yen. This pass can be used for the Shinkansen (unreserved seats) between Osaka and Hiroshima, as well as on limited express trains to Kyoto or Tottori.

Please make an advanced reservation when purchasing a pass. Reservations can be made through travel agencies abroad or through the website linked below.

*Once you’ve made your reservation, you will go to either a JR Ticket Office or a ticket machine at the designated JR station to exchange your voucher for the pass. Those with IC passports should bring their EMCO (E-ticket) printed with their QR code to exchange at the JR ticket machines. Click here to find out how to use a ticket vending machine. Those with paper vouchers should exchange them at the JR Ticket Office.

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass Details and Reservations

A 6-Day Food-Themed Travel Itinerary in Western Japan

In this article, we introduce a recommended itinerary using the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass. We began our trip at Hiroshima Airport, but this itinerary can also be enjoyed starting from Kansai Airport or Okayama Airport. Please choose the airport according to your needs and travel plans.

If you plan to travel to the most famous destinations in Okayama and Hiroshima and enjoy the picturesque scenery of these regions, then we hope this article helps.

*Train, bus, and ferry schedules are current as of March 2020.

Day One: From Hiroshima Airport to Hiroshima Station

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Photo by Pixta
The place you will be exchanging your voucher for the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass in Hiroshima will either be at the JR Ticket Office or a ticket machine in JR Hiroshima Station. Hiroshima Station can be accessed from Hiroshima Airport by a direct bus in roughly 50 minutes. You also have the option of transferring to the train from the bus.

Please take a look at Hiroshima Airport’s official website for more details.

Day Two: Miyajima Oysters, Anago-Meshi, and Momiji Buns

On day two, head to Miyajima in the morning! It will be 30 minutes by train from JR Hiroshima Station to JR Miyajimaguchi Station.

Fresh Oysters from Shimada Fisheries

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Picture courtesy of Shimada Fisheries

Miyajima is famous for Itsukushima Shrine and is otherwise known as one of the Three Most Scenic Places in Japan. The island is also renowned for its production of oysters. If you wish to taste fresh oyster dishes, then we suggest walking about ten minutes from JR Miyajimaguchi Station to the Shimada Fisheries.

Shimada Fisheries runs an oyster hut (dining facility) where you can have fresh oysters. They also offer an activity called the Oyster Farm and Itsukushima Shrine Tour (3,000 yen per adult).

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Picture courtesy of Shimada Fisheries

This tour allows participants to witness the impressive sight of oysters being lifted up from the raft and the swift oyster shucking by veteran staff.
Participants also have the chance to taste fisherman-style rice gruel made with meaty oysters.

Check Shimada Fisheries’ official website for details on the tour. Those who wish to take part in the tour can apply through major travel agency websites or through KLOOK, an activity reservation website. You can also send a message in English to Shimada Fisheries on Facebook. It’s also possible to make a tour reservation through accommodation facilities in Miyajima.

Delicious Fish and Rice Dishes! Anago-Meshi

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Picture courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture

Miyajima is a famous production area for anago, or conger eel. The eel is marinated and broiled in a sweet soy sauce, then placed on top of rice to make anago-meshi, a local dish of Miyajima. The tenderness of the meat and the savory fragrance of the sauce make this dish really appetizing.

Ueno (Japanese) and Mametanuki are famous anago-meshi restaurants in Miyajima.

Sweet Momiji Buns

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Picture courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture

Momiji buns have a skin made with ingredients like wheat flour, sugar, eggs, and honey, which is then wrapped around azuki bean paste. These buns are a popular Miyajima sweet. Recommended shops include FUJIIYA (Japanese) and Momijido (Japanese).

Day Three: Okonomiyaki and Japanese Sake in Hiroshima

On day three, we suggest having okonomiyaki in central Hiroshima City. In the afternoon, you can head to Saijo, an area that is famous for its sake production.

Delicious Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki

Hiroshima okonomiyaki

Picture courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki are first made by lightly grilling the wheat flour-based batter. Ingredients such as vegetables and meat are grilled, then placed on top of yakisoba and a fried egg. The crispy batter, crunchy vegetables, and firm yakisoba noodles create a very rich flavor.

In Okonomimura, located in central Hiroshima, you’ll find rows of famous okonomiyaki restaurants. Take the green route on the Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop bus Meipuru-pu from Hiroshima Station for 20 minutes, and get off at Shintenchi. You’ll arrive at the building in about three minutes on foot. Check out the official website of the Hiroshima Loop Bus for details.

Excellent Sake at Kamotsuru

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Kamotsuru—a five minute walk from JR Saijo Station—is a Japanese sake brewery loved by prominent figures in the political and business world.

The Kamotsuru “Tokusei Gold” Daiginjo Sake (180 ml, 600 yen with tax) was served at an informal meal during former United States President Obama’s visit to Japan. Its elegant and mellow flavor makes it perfect as a complement to a delicious meal.

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

The Kamotsuru Brewery Shop sells over 30 types of sakes. Their umeshu (720 ml, 1,650 yen), a Japanese plum brandy that’s very popular among international visitors, uses Kishu Nanko plums as its main ingredient. The product won first place three times at the Japan Umeshu Competition and has entered the hall of fame.

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Do you love taking pictures? Then how about taking a picture of the sake-making tools in the brewery shop? It’ll make a great memory of your trip.

The brewery is located about 36 minutes from JR Hiroshima Station, near JR Saijo Station. In order to get here, take the JR San’yo Main Line bound for either Itozaki or Shiraichi.

Day Four: Happy Pudding in Kurashiki and Okayama Strawberries

On day four, we suggest enjoying the most famous pudding dessert in Kurashiki and a strawberry picking experience in Okayama.

Yuurin-an’s Happy Pudding

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Picture courtesy of Yuurin-an
Kurashiki exudes the ambience of the Edo period (1603 – 1868). Yuurin-an, located in a renovated one-hundred-year-old Japanese home, is a popular guesthouse-cum-café.

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Picture courtesy of Yuurin-an
The Happy Pudding (400 yen with tax) is their most popular sweet. It has a soft texture and a melty, rich flavor.

Some people said that, after eating this pudding, they have gone on to get married, find a job, and win the lottery, receiving nothing but continuous luck. As a result, the pudding has become a lucky food that anyone visiting Kurashiki should eat.

Yuurin-an is about a ten-minute walk from JR Kurashiki Station. To travel from JR Saijo Station to Kurashiki Station, you must first take the JR San’yo Main Line bound for Itozaki to JR Itozaki Station. You will then transfer to the line bound for Okayama. The total travel time is about two hours.

Strawberry Picking at Okayama South Village

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Strawberry picking can be enjoyed at Okayama South Village. Here, they cultivate five strawberry varieties including Akihime and Kaorino.

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

There are two strawberry picking programs available here. The “40-Minute All-You-Can-Eat Strawberry Picking Experience” (1,800 yen for adults, 1,500 yen for toddlers) and “Shop by Weight” (230 yen/100 grams).

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Condensed milk is available for purchase at the reception counter (300 yen with tax)

The staff will take a look at how the strawberries are growing that day, then guide you to the varieties that can be harvested. When we visited, we were able to pick Kaorino strawberries. These strawberries have thick flesh, are very juicy, and have little acidity. They were so delicious that we couldn't have enough of them!

Please check the official website (Japanese) on how to make reservations for your experience. If the form is unclear, then send your inquiry in English through their inquiry form. (*The strawberry harvesting season is early January – early June).

Okayama South Village is accessible in seven minutes on foot from JR Bizen-Kataoka Station. If you’ll be traveling from Kurashiki, then first take the JR San’yo Main Line bound for Okayama to JR Okayama Station. You will then transfer to the JR Uno Line for Uno. The travel time is about one hour. We recommend returning to the Okayama Station area at night as there are few accommodations near the farm.

Fruit picking can be enjoyed at other facilities, too! Fruit picking buses that arrive and depart from Okayama Station give you the chance to enjoy seasonal fruit picking in Okayama. Please research and check out major travel agency websites to learn more.

Day Five: Tamago Kakegohan in Misaki and Horumon Udon Noodles

On day five, head to Misaki, a town famous for their egg rice, or tamago kakegohan. Afterward, we suggest traveling to Tsuyama, a castle town, to taste local horumon udon noodles.

Egg Rice at Shokudo Kamecchi

Kansai- Hiroshima Area Pass

Misaki is home to the largest poultry farms in western Japan and to Tanada rice, a type of rice grown on sloping mountains. Shokudo Kamecchi is where you can enjoy gourmet cuisine that makes the most of these special ingredients.

Kansai- Hiroshima Area Pass

The delicious eggs from Misaki are rich and deep in texture. They make a wonderful combinations with the elastic, tasty Tanada rice resulting in a scrumptious dish.

The Yellow Fortune Set pictured above (350 yen with tax, omelet not included) is seasoned with a three-ingredient sauce (perilla, laver, and green onions) mixed at a local soy sauce brewery. This allows you to enjoy a flavor change.

Kansai- Hiroshima Area Pass

Visitors who can’t eat raw eggs can have dishes with cooked eggs. Some options include omeletes, dashimaki tamago (rolled Japanese-style omelete), omurice (omelete over rice), and oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice). Pictured above is the Yellow Fortune Omelette (300 yen with tax).

Shokudo Kamecchi is a fifteen-minute walk from JR Kamenoko Station. If you travel from JR Okayama Station, take the JR Tsuyama Line for Tsuyama to JR Kamenoko Station. The travel time is about one hour and 10 minutes.

Horumon Udon Noodles at Ippai Chaya Toho

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Long ago, Tsuyama flourished through cattle growing. There are many opportunities to eat excellent beef here. The locals nurtured the food culture of “recuperative eating” by eating meat as medicine for health reasons.

Easily perishable offal (horumon) is a popular ingredient in local cuisine thanks to advancements in modern refrigeration and freezer technology.

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

Horumon udon is said to have risen due to customers who were unsatisfied with stir-fried offal and requested restaurants to add udon noodles to their leftover offal. The dish has now become a regional cuisine of Tsuyama.

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass

We recommend Ippai Chaya Toho, a restaurant established in 1947. Their Horumon Udon Set (1,000 yen with tax) uses a yuzu miso-flavored sauce to stir-fry offal, cabbage, bean sprouts, and udon all together on a hot griddle. This preserves the chewiness of the offal and the crunchiness of the vegetables. The noodles also retain their springiness, making this an amazing dish.

Ippai Chaya Toho is a minute’s walk from JR Tsuyama Station. From JR Kamenoko Station, it will take thirteen minutes on the JR Tsuyama Line bound for Tsuyama.

Day Six: To Hiroshima Airport

Early morning flights depart from Hiroshima Airport for destinations like Taiwan. If you’ll be taking an early morning flight, then it is best to stay near Hiroshima Airport on your fifth night so that you can get to the airport immediately by walking or by taxi.

It takes two hours and 30 minutes from JR Tsuyama Station to Hiroshima Airport. Take the JR Tsuyama Line bound for Okayama to JR Okayama Station, then transfer to the Shinkansen bound for Hakata. Alight at JR Fukuyama Station. You’ll then take a bus to the airport.

Hiroshima and Okayama boast truly delicious cuisine. The most convenient way to travel around the region is by using the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass. Refer to the link below for detailed information on this discount pass

Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass Details and Reservations

In addition to the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass, JR-WEST offices offer several other travel passes at excellent value for international visitors. For details, please refer to the JR-WEST official website.

For additional information on tours in Western and central Japan offered by JR-WEST, please refer to Discover West Japan.

Take a look at other MATCHA articles and find out more about each destination.

Written by Chu
Sponsored by Okayama Prefecture, Hiroshima Prefecture, JR-WEST

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Tokyo, Japan

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