There are many good reasons why you should choose Hiroshima Airport to land, especially for those who intend to do self-drive in Japan. The areas that we wanted to cover are Shikoku, Kansai & Hiroshima. This part of Japan is still very much underexplored by foreigners but full of hidden gems. I love how these attraction sites here have a fewer crowd which allows me to shoot many great photos.
Why Choose Hiroshima Airport?
Hiroshima Airport has both domestic and international flights. Domestic flights can be booked to and from Tokyo Haneda and Narita, Sapporo, Sendai, and Okinawa (Naha). International flights include destination such as Seoul, Dalian, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Singapore. For those who are using public transport may prefer Kansai Airport or Fukuoka Airport to land as it is more convenient to get to their destination via Shinkansen or JR. However, if you are thinking of renting a car and do a road trip in Japan, Hiroshima Airport is a good choice. Recently, with the introduction of a cheaper airline, Hiroshima Airport has become a more appealing option to use. We have met tourists from Hong Kong and Taiwan using Hiroshima Airport to land and get their rental cars.
One of the reasons why I choose Hiroshima Airport to land is it cost less. The return air ticket – Silk Air / SIA cost $S650 (USD 480) each from Singapore to Hiroshima. The flight duration 6 hours 15 mins. There are 3 flights each week from Singapore to Hiroshima Airport (HIJ)
Hiroshima Airport has three floors
The Airport is not very big but it has three floors, the first floor is the arrival lobby, the second floor is the check-in counters & departure lobby, the third floor is the observation deck.
Hiroshima Airport Custom
The queue at the custom is not too long, there are two checks in the custom. The first check was to take your passport for photocopy & snap a picture of you & fingerprint by a young girl who does not wear a uniform. I don’t think she is the customs officer.
The second check is at the real custom officer who will look at your passport and may ask you a few questions such as where will you stay or what is the purpose of the visit.
Pick up your luggage and ready to go.
There are English & Japanese (Kanji or Chinese words) written all over the signboard.
Ask for information if you need to, the customer service officer is able to speak English.
Hiroshima Airport Bicycle Hub
One of the major users who use Hiroshima Airports are cyclists who are going to explore Shimanami Kaido routes. The Shimanami Kaido has recently become so papular among cyclists abroad to Japan. Shimanami Kaido bicycles route starts from Onomichi Hiroshima and ends at Imabari Shikoku island.
Tools provided for Bike assembly
In the International arrival lobby, you will find a cyclist changing room, and outside of the room, there is a bicycle assembly space with tools for you to assemble your bike.
Car Rental in Hiroshima Airport
You need to walk for about 5 to 10 mins to arrive at the car rental counters in Hiroshima Airport which is located at the other end. Show the counter staff your booking and he will arrange the shuttle bus to send you to the car rental office which is located about 5 mins from the airport.
Japan Post Box
Japanese Vending Machine
The first thing you will notice when you arrive in Japan is the number of vending machines in this country. Vending machines can be found everywhere and the best thing is they are not only selling drinks but other interesting stuff too.
Traffic in Hiroshima Airport
Expect little traffic at Hiroshima Airport so it is a good place to start your road trip with rental cars.
Hiroshima Airport Parking
There is a grace period for free parking, can’t remember is 10 or 15 mins.
Hiroshima Airport Departure Hall Review – Last Minutes Shopping
There are many souvenirs stores and great variety at Departure Hall which I am quite impressed and happy about. If you want to do some last minutes shopping, you are still able to find many interesting stuff.
Little trinkets & umbrellas
Hello Kitty Collection
Anything with Hello Kitty print, dolls, bags, chopsticks, purse, handkerchiefs and many more.
Cosmetic & Medicine
Japanese wet & dry food
If you do not like the plane meal, you can get your own bento here.
Are things more expensive at Hiroshima Airport?
Food and souvenirs (omiyage) sold in Hiroshima Airport do not cost more expensive than outside. The price is the same as the other stores outside.
I use to love Japanese “Omiyage”, usually individually wrapped food items such as sweet and crackers. But now I refuse to buy any of these beautiful pack omiyage. I feel it is not environmentally friendly and a waste of resources on multiple times of wrapping. I would prefer to get something with less fancy packaging.
Seafood – Dried Octopus
Dried Fish & Fish Roe
I highly recommend anyone who wishes to explore Shikoku-Kansai region by rental car to use Hiroshima Airport instead of Kansai Airport. It has fewer crowds, fewer cars and easier to navigate if you need to rent a car and drive. Most importantly, it offers cheaper flights to fly into Hiroshima for SIA/Silk Air.