When you talk about Hiroshima, it’s impossible not to mention the historical site Peace Memorial Park, the beautiful Itsukushima with the giant torii gate that floats on top of the water, and of course, Hiroshima okonomiyaki – the soul food that everybody loves. There are around 2000 okonomiyaki restaurants in the area, which can make it a bit confusing when choosing a place. Fortunately, there’s a place you can visit that guarantees a tasty meal: Okonomimura, Hiroshima's Okonomiyaki Village.
What is Okonomimura (Okonomiyaki Village)?
Okonomimura, or "okonomi village," located in the downtown area of Hiroshima city, is not only an indispensable spot for sightseeing but also a place where locals and tourists alike drop by for casual dining.
There are 24 different counter-style okonomiyaki restaurants scattered from the 2nd to the 4th floor in the building – just like an okonomiyaki theme park. This is where the okonomiyaki stalls used to gather after World War II, and now they have turned into several small shops sharing the same roof.
Each okonomiyaki restaurant has its own quirks and offers a different take on this popular dish, so you might want to wander around a bit before making a choice. Don't worry though, because all restaurants in Okonomimura are held up to a very high standard so that all customers can share a similar experience. No matter which restaurant you choose, you'll come away satisfied (and very full).
How is Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki Made?
In Okonomimura, you can observe how your Hiroshimayaki is made in front of you, which is the best part.
A large amount of batter made from wheat flour, mirin, and water is prepared in advance and left to chill in the fridge for a smooth texture. The other ingredients the chef puts inside may vary, but cabbage, noodles (soba or udon), and a type of protein (usually sliced pork belly or seafood) are staple ingredients for Hiroshima okonomiyaki.
A thin layer of batter is first poured onto the iron griddle and spread out into a circular shape, creating a crepe-like pancake.
After that, the cook will sprinkle some ground dried bonito flakes and tenkasu (crunchy tempura bits), and add thinly sliced cabbage and the pork belly on top, leaving it aside for the cabbage to cook down. Don’t forget to capture the moment when the chef flips the whole thing upside down!
Meanwhile, the soba/ udon is fried and seasoned with sauce. The okonomiyaki is then transferred onto this noodle bed, and then onto a thinly-spread fried egg afterward.
For finishing touches, a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and dried green seaweed are added on top.
Your okonomiyaki is complete! Everything is stacked together voluminously, giving the sense of a hearty and nutritious Hiroshima food. Take a bite and experience the explosion of flavors and textures.
6 Must-Try Restaurants in Okonomimura
Below, we cover six Hiroshimayaki restaurants in Okonomimura that offer arguably some of the best okonomiyaki in Hiroshima, but of course, feel free to explore and discover your own favorite!
Momotarou is probably one of the oldest Okonomiyaki restaurants in Hiroshima – three generations have been keeping the place running. It was established in 1961, and since then the menu has changed a lot, but the small restaurant still manages to keep its cozy and friendly ambiance.
The two owners wanted to retain the old-fashioned flavor of Hiroshimayaki, and so this place offers original okonomiyaki that you can enjoy everyday without getting bored. Make sure to try the Momotaro deluxe, their bestseller, topped with a hefty amount of meat, egg, squid, shrimp, and egg!
If your stomach still has some room after the hearty main course, don’t forget to check out the teppanyaki (grilled food) menu as well – the tonpei yaki with soft and fluffy tororo kombu is also very delicious.
The restaurant is located on the second floor of Okonomimura, and it’s open from 11 AM to 10 PM every day except for Monday, when they take a day off.
Google Maps URL: https://goo.gl/maps/BBJyb3kytHemyF869
In contrast to Momotarou, Atomu – or "atom" in English – residing on the 4th floor of the building, offers unique and modern twists to the original Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. Being advertised as an okonomiyaki restaurant in Hiroshima with “culinary capability like the mighty atom,” this is a great place for those who would like to bring a new perspective to their normal Hiroshima experience.
The okonomiyaki here is made without using oil, and the chefs use their amazing spatula skills to prevent the dishes from burning or sticking. If you’re feeling adventurous, have a go at Atomu-yaki – the powerful kick from garlic and kimchi will surely wow your tastebuds!
The restaurant’s opening hours are from 11 AM to 2 PM on lunchtime, and from 7 PM to 2 AM at dinner time.
Google Maps URL: https://goo.gl/maps/EZSPj9YD9wH31osP7
Hassho is one of the few worthy competitors for the title of best okonomiyaki in Hiroshima. There are several stores scattered around the city, and all of them are very popular. Compared to its siblings, Hassho in Okonomimura has a relatively shorter queuing time, so you can be seated quite quickly.
What makes Hassho stand out is their commitment to quality ingredients. The chefs make sure that they only use organic cabbage in their Hiroshima okonomiyaki, and the eggs and meat are always carefully selected.
The store is also famous for their crispy fried soba and exquisitely thin batter.
You can visit the restaurant from 11 AM to 8 PM all week with the exception of Thursday (their regular closing day).
Google Maps URL: https://goo.gl/maps/fzFYCGRJTycNBd197
If you can’t make up your mind about what kind of okonomiyaki you want to have, or if you’re going with a group of friends and everyone has different tastes, you might want to consider Kyuchan.
This okonomiyaki restaurant in Okonomimura offers a wide range of different dishes, and you can opt for the original Hiroshimayaki with squid, shrimp or meat; or explore a bolder American taste with cheese, corn, and tuna; or try pork, kimchi, and garlic for a touch of Korean flair. There is also a tremendous amount of toppings if you’re curious: mayonnaise, green onion, or even natto; anything is possible!
Similar to other restaurants, Kyuchan is open from 11 AM to 11 PM, and there are 15 seats available.
Google Maps URL: https://goo.gl/maps/vNtjZeqW3bsMy32x9
Yama-chan goes way back – it was established in 1965 and has been running for 55 years. It’s one of the names that naturally pop up when people talk about Hiroshima okonomiyaki because here you can taste the exquisite flavor that hasn’t changed since it opened.
The shop is always crowded with a lively and energetic atmosphere. There are a few popular menu items, such as standard okonomiyaki with soba noodles, or the Yama-chan special, containing a lot of meat, shrimp, and squid. It’s also a good place to just relax with a glass of beer and some delicious side dishes like simmered beef giblets or horumonyaki.
Yama-chan is available for service from 11 AM to 10 PM all week long.
Google Maps URL: https://goo.gl/maps/B8F4bjhVK8gACqeYA
Our last restaurant on the list is Takenoko – a small store with quick service and delicious food that both tourists and locals enjoy. This is also a well-established store in Okonomimura, which has been open for around 50 years.
The noodles used here are the highlight of Takenoko’s okonomiyaki – they use the raw noodles from the local brand Iso, made with special wheat flour using traditional methods. The chef will boil the raw noodles and steam the cabbage in advance to bring out the ingredients’ best aroma and taste.
Their recommended dishes are the Takenoko deluxe, stacked with a lot of seafood; and the oyster okonomiyaki, topped with fresh local green onion.
You can drop by this okonomiyaki restaurant in Hiroshima from 10 AM to 10 PM every day except for Mondays.
Google Maps URL: https://goo.gl/maps/AURyDLW1Dh2shEFYA
Okonomimura Access Information
Okonomimura is very easily accessed using both private and public transportation.
It is a ten-minute car ride from Hiroshima Station, but remember to use the toll parking lot nearby as the building does not have a dedicated parking lot. Buses and trams are also available, taking around 15 minutes from the station – you can get off at Hatchobori Station and walk to Okonomimura in around 3 minutes.
If you ever have the chance to visit Hiroshima, don’t forget to stop by Okonomimura! With so many options of okonomiyaki to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Whatever restaurant you choose, you’ll be sure to be provided with a delicious meal and a warm and friendly conversation that leaves you with an experience that’s hard to forget.
For a more hands-on experience, join the Okonomiyaki Cooking Class in Okosta Cooking Studio or browse other food experiences in Hiroshima!