Gluten Free Hiroshima: The Complete Travel Guide (2024)

Are you gluten free and planning a trip to Hiroshima, Japan? I’ve got you covered in this complete gluten free Hiroshima guide!

I recently spent 48 hours in Hiroshima as part of my month-long trip to Japan. Below, I’m sharing all the gluten free restaurants I ate at (including celiac safe okonomiyaki – one of my top five meals in Japan!), plus my recommended hotel, and a 2-day itinerary for gluten free travelers in Hiroshima.

Let’s get into it!

Gluten free okonomiyaki in Hiroshima
Celiac safe Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki … one of my very best meals in Japan.

Gluten Free Hiroshima and Miyajima Island

Dan and I nearly didn’t visit Hiroshima. It wasn’t on our original Japan itinerary. However, when a typhoon canceled our flight and stranded us in Japan for an additional week, we hopped on a bullet train from Osaka to check out Hiroshima.

Thanks, typhoon!

If you are also considering visiting Hiroshima during your trip to Japan, I encourage you to do so. It’s not only a deeply important historical site, but there are enough gluten free options here to keep you going for at least two days.

I’m not saying it’s easy to be gluten free in Hiroshima. There are way less celiac safe options here than in other cities in Japan (I’m looking at you, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka). That’s why I’m writing this guide – to share everywhere I ate and make your trip planning easier.

Sarah stands in front of floating torii gate Miyajima Island
I highly recommend visiting Miyajima Island while in Hiroshima! (Perks: some great GF food on the island!)
A-bomb dome at sunset in Hiroshima
The A-bomb dome at sunset – a sight to see.

Gluten Free Translation Card for Japan

Before we get into gluten free Hiroshima restaurants, you absolutely need a gluten free translation card in Japan. My recommendation is this card from Legal Nomads.

I used that exact card nearly every day during my month in Japan. It never failed me. Unlike any other card on the market, it goes into detail on actual Japanese cuisine and hidden gluten sources.

For the price of a couple coffees, you’ll save yourself from getting glutened on vacation. I’ll share more details about why I love this card so much in my gluten free Japan guide – stay tuned!

Buy your Japanese GF card here.

Click the photo to buy my recommended Japanese GF translation card.

Gluten Free Hiroshima Map

To help you navigate your way around Hiroshima, I created this map of gluten free options. You can download it to your phone and use it yourself!

Gluten free Hiroshima map key:

  • Blue: Restaurants with celiac-safe gluten free options.
  • Green: Restaurants with reported gluten free options, but I have not visited yet so can’t personally confirm celiac-safeness.
  • Gray: Celiac-friendly chain restaurants.
  • Maroon house icon: My top recommended places to stay.
  • Orange: Things to see and do.

Dedicated Gluten Free Hiroshima Restaurants

There are currently NO dedicated gluten free restaurants in Hiroshima. I’ll keep this blog post updated in case this changes!

Don’t worry, though, because there are a number of celiac-safe restaurants in Hiroshima that I share about in the following sections.

Celiac Safe Restaurants in Hiroshima and Miyajima

Cafe Ponte

Cafe Ponte is an Italian restaurant in Hiroshima that has a separate gluten free menu. It has a pretty convenient location – near the A-bomb dome, ferry landing, and Peace Park – and is where we ate on our first night in Hiroshima.

I recommend making a reservation if you can. We got the very last table available when we arrived (around 6pm) and sat outside.

The gluten free menu here is all naturally gluten free items – no pasta or pizza. However that includes three types of risotto and other items.

Gluten free menu at cafe ponte in hiroshima
Gluten free menu at Cafe Ponte.
gluten free caprese salad in hiroshima
Gluten free caprese salad.

I ordered the caprese salad to start and the mozzarella was shockingly good. For my main, the mushroom risotto was also excellent.

I couldn’t resist and also ordered the orange crème brûlée for dessert which was great! There was kind of a lot going on with the candied orange rind, berries, and a whole scoop of ice cream but it was still good!

Gluten free risotto at Cafe Ponte in Hiroshima.
Porcini mushroom risotto – gluten free!
orange creme brulee
The orangue creme brulee.

Regarding cross contact, I did ask about this to confirm the risotto was cooked in fresh water, not pasta water. Our waiter was extremely confused (he thought I was requesting to boil it in bottled water!) but I asked to speak to another member of staff who spoke fluent English and we got it sorted out! I do think it’s worth checking because it’s not like they said “ohhh, we never do that.” But, they did seem generally knowledgeable.

Reservations? Yes, recommended. Arrive early (before 6pm) if no reservations.

Address: Cafe Ponte, 1 Chome-9-21 Otemachi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, 730-0051, Japan

gluten free caprese salad in hiroshima japan
Loved Cafe Ponte for a safe gluten free dinner in Hiroshima, highly recommend!


Otis! is a Tex-Mex restaurant in Hiroshima with gluten free and vegetarian options. It’s actually located across the street from Hostel Mallika, where we stayed in Hiroshima.

Their menu marks a number of gluten free options, and they also advertise gluten free on their website. I’ve heard a couple good reviews from fellow celiacs, including those who avoid cross contact, but I didn’t get the chance to eat here myself so I can’t share about that personally.

Our (Very Odd) Experience at Otis!

Dan and I were planning to have our last meal in Hiroshima at Otis!, but when we walked into the restaurant we had the most bizarre experience. There was an open mic going on at around 5pm, and we walked straight into the LOUDEST guitar solo I’ve ever heard in my life.

The door to enter goes directly onto the stage, so it felt like we were suddenly in a spotlight, hahah! The restaurant was filled with people watching the guitarist rock out. Everyone looked very somber; nobody was eating.

We sat in the back and looked at the menu for a moment but honestly it was too loud for me to ask the owner my questions, so we ended up leaving and getting food at 7/11 instead (more on that below!).

Honestly, maybe we were a bit over-tired from our long day in Hiroshima, but we both found this experience HILARIOUS. Just a small warning for if you visit Otis!, you might end up on a Japanese stage, too!

Reservations? Not required.

Address: Otis!, 1-20 Kakomachi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, 730-0812, Japan

Miyajima Base (on Miyajima Island)

Miyajima Base is a small karaage restaurant and probably the best place for celiacs to eat anywhere on Miyajima Island (a MUST visit while you’re in Hiroshima)!

Karaage is Japanese fried chicken, and it’s usually full of gluten. However, at Miyajima Base they use rice flour and gluten free soy sauce, so all the karaage is gluten free. They also use separate oil so there’s no cross contact – they are very clued up on celiac disease.

Lemonade an a bucket of fried chicken on miyajima island
My gluten free meal at Miyajima Base!

I believe that they used to use normal soy sauce in their karaage and advertise it as GF. However, a celiac contacted them about this to educate on why that’s not okay for us, and they ended up changing their practices and putting “celiac” on their menu!

Major respect to them for changing their ways, and respect to that person for advocating for our community!

Gluten free menu at Miyajima Base in Japan
The gluten free menu at Miyajima Base.
Gluten free karaage Japan
Gluten free karaage – yum!!

Anyway, Miyajima Base is not dedicated gluten free. Their eel conger bowl contains gluten, but it is prepared separately and they warned me about this.

Dan and I went here around 9am when they opened, after taking the first ferry to Miyajima Island at 6:25am and having the early morning to explore. We both got a 5-piece karaage bowl (this was massive, I think I could’ve done the 3-piece instead), and a sparkling lemonade (sooo good).

I loved this little place and highly recommend for anyone who’s gluten free on Miyajima Island!

Reservations? Not required.

Address: Miyajima Base, 310 Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 739-0588, Japan

Bucket of gluten free karaage
5-piece karaage bucket – a little much for me, I think you could go for the 3-piece!
Sparkling lemonade on Miyajima Island
The sparkling lemonade was honestly sooo good on a hot day.

Starbucks (on Miyajima Island)

The only other place I ate on Miyajima Island was Starbucks. And actually, I got a triple shot latte, not any food.

However, I wanted to mention it briefly here because the Miyajima Starbucks is soooo pretty – it was this amazing view of the water, and if you walk out on the balcony you can see the shrine.

Address: Starbucks, 459-2 Miyajimacho

Starbucks Miyajima Island with view of torii gates.
The Starbucks on Miyajima Island has a pretty unbeatable view!

Gluten Free Hiroshima Okonomiyaki (Celiac Safe vs Not Safe)

But wait, the best gluten free Hiroshima food is yet to come!

Okonomiyaki is a traditional Japanese cabbage pancake… that’s freakin’ delicious but also full of gluten. It’s typically cooked on a large flat grill (teppan) and so cross contact between any wheat flour okonomiyaki cooked on the same surface is a big issue when trying to find gluten free okonomiyaki.

There are two places that advertise “gluten free” okonomiyaki in Hiroshima but only one place is celiac safe. Gluten sensitive (not celiac) people may be open to visiting the other establishment, which is why I will mention both here.

Gluten free okonomiyaki Hiroshima
Gluten free hiroshima-style okonomiyaki – SO GOOD.

Koguma Okonomiyaki (広島焼き 仔ぐま) – Celiac Safe

The only okonomiyaki in Hiroshima that is celiac safe is made by Ken-San at Koguma Okonomiyaki. This was one of my top 5 meals in ALL of Japan.

If you are looking for this restaurant on Google Maps, note that its name is in Japanese (広島焼き 仔ぐま). Here is the Google Maps location pin.

The location is about a 30-40 minute tram ride from the Peace Park, but well worth the journey. Dan and I actually made a lunch stop here on our way back to Hiroshima from Miyajima Island and it fit into our itinerary perfectly.

Sarah and Dan smile, sitting at table with hiroshima-style gluten free okonomiyaki.
Dan got normal gluteny okonomiyaki and I got the gluten free okonomiyaki. For both of us, one of the best meals in Japan!


To make a reservation, message Ken-San on his Facebook page here. He doesn’t speak English, so I translated my messages into Japanese via Google Translate, and he translated his replies into English! I messaged about 24 hours in advance, but I recommend giving him a little more notice than that just to be safe.

When I say this okonomiyaki is celiac-safe, I absolutely mean it. Ken-San makes his gluten free okonomiyaki on a completely separate pan, on a separate burner, and with all separate utensils, sauce, noodle packets, and more.

Gluten free menu at Koguma Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima Japan.
The gluten free menu at Koguma Okonomiyaki. It has everything you need to know!
A pan with gluten free noodles, preparing gluten free okonomiyaki.
Ken-San prepared my gluten free okonomiyaki on this separate pan (not on the teppan), on its own burner on a separate table. He was sooo careful!

I watched the whole thing, and he was soooo careful. He really goes above and beyond to keep celiacs safe and I just so deeply appreciate him for that. It is not easy to eat gluten free in Japan and this felt like a safe haven.

The okonomiyaki tasted delicious and so authentic – by far my favorite gluten free okonomiyaki I had in Japan, and the only one that had noodles in it.

Celiac safe, gluten free okonomiyaki in Hiroshima
Honestly (if you can’t tell) this meal blew my mind. The flavors, love, and care put into it were next level. SO DELICIOUS.

Better than the okonomiyaki, though, was the atmosphere and conversation (via Google Translate) with Ken-San and his wife. He told us about his mother, who is actually an atomic bomb survivor who was 2km from the hypocenter yet miraculously had no physical effects.

She opened Koguma Okonomiyaki, which Ken-San took over in time. She’s also an artist, and you can see some of her work in the restaurant. It was a deeply touching conversation and added another layer to our experience at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which we visited directly afterwards.

Reservations? Yes, for gluten free okonomiyaki. Message on their Facebook page >24 hours in advance.

Address: 広島焼き 仔ぐま, 5 Chome-24-10 Rakurakuen, Saeki Ward, Hiroshima, 731-5136, Japan

Sarah smiles, holding chopsticks and eating gluten free okonomiyaki.
My happy face haha – amazing meal and company.
Gluten free hiroshima style okonomiyaki at Koguma.
Absolutely divine.

Hassei – Not Celiac Safe 

Hassei is another restaurant in Hiroshima that advertises gluten free okonomiyaki. It is more conveniently located, close to the Peace Park.

However, they use a shared grill here! So, this place is unfortunately not celiac-safe.

Why a Shared Grill = Lots of Gluten

You may not be familiar with okonomiyaki yet, but personally having seen okonomiyaki cooked many times now, I want to warn you that despite what some people say about “having no reaction,” the amount of cross contact with a shared grill is huge and inevitable.

Imagine cooking normal pancakes on a grill all day with the same spatula without cleaning it, then plopping your gluten free batter on the same surface that’s covered in gluten remnants and flipping it and chopping it with a spatula caked in wheat batter. SO MUCH GLUTEN.

In my opinion, it cannot really be called “gluten free” anymore in good faith. No amount of gluten is safe for celiacs. However, if you are very mildly sensitive to gluten and not celiac, then you may be okay here. I don’t want to limit your options, which is why I mention Hassei, but I did want to add this hefty warning.

One thing I will say is this restaurant is VERY open about their level of cross contact, and on their menu they even offer that people with allergies are welcome to bring in their own meals from outside, so that they can still dine with family or friends ordering the normal okonomiyaki. I think that’s very kind, and it’s not necessarily normal in Japan either.

Address: Hassei, 4-17 Fujimicho, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, 730-0043, Japan

aerial view of table with two plates of okonomiyaki.
Our okonomiyaki (gluten: top, gluten free: bottom) at Koguma – we did not visit Hassei because it’s not celiac safe.
A-bomb dome in Hiroshima
The A-bomb dome.

More Gluten Free Hiroshima Restaurants

In an effort to make this gluten free Hiroshima guide as complete as possible, I’m including some additional restaurants that, based on my research before our most recent trip, do serve gluten free food.

Please note that I did not eat at the below places myself, and as always you should double check cross contact protocols before your visit.

More Hiroshima restaurants with gluten free options:

  • Yamaichi Bekkan: A Japanese restaurant that is very accommodating for gluten free. Per their website, they have gluten free soy sauce and are willing to adjust most meals to be gluten free. They cannot do any fried food gluten free as the oil is contaminated. Beyond the restaurants we visited above, this would be your next best bet, I think.
  • Kissa Saeki: Organic restaurant that marks allergens (including wheat) on their menu online. Per reviews, they have knowledge about gluten.
  • Craft Beer & Sumibi Harebare: A brewery where, per reviews, staff can help you find gluten free options on the menu (GF options are primarily vegan as well).
  • Miyabi Tei: Restaurant inside the Sheraton hotel, per reviews it has gluten free soy sauce and they can adjust dishes to be gluten free.

If you have the chance to eat at any of the above restaurants, please comment below and share your experience!

Floating torii gate Miyajima Island.
The famous “floating” torii gate on Miyajima Island – a must see when visiting Hiroshima.

My Favorite Gluten Free “Back Up Plans” in Japan

As difficult as being gluten free in Japan can be, one thing I love about traveling in this country is that there are quite a few reliable gluten free “back up plans.”

What do I mean by this? I’m referring to chain restaurants and convenience stores that have celiac safe options, and that you can find in pretty much any city in Japan.

Reliable, celiac safe, gluten free quick meals in Japan:

  • Conbinis: Convenience stores in Japan include 7/11, Family Mart, and Lawson’s. Check out my guide to gluten free Japanese snacks for GF products at conbinis.
  • Mos Burger: A burger chain across Japan that has a low-allergen menu consisting of a certified gluten free hamburger and hotdog. They are both tiny, but pretty good, and come in separate plastic packaging to prevent any cross contact. Note that only the larger Mos Burgers (not the “Mos Cafes”) have the low allergen menu.
  • Coco Ichibanya Curry: This fast-casual Japanese curry chain has a special low-allergen curry that is gluten free. It’s served in a heated-up bag, which you pour yourself, to prevent any cross contact from occurring.

Let’s be honest, sometimes things don’t go according to plan with gluten free travel. It’s so nice to have a back up plan so you get some safe food in you!

Bullet train tray table with food from 7/11.
My gluten free haul from 7/11 on our bullet train departing Hiroshima: 2 salmon onigiri, strawberry yogurt, Calbee’s potato sticks, cheese, prosciutto, and coke. (I purchased the little gluten free soy sauce sachets in Hakone).
Mos Burger Japan gluten free burger.
The (teeny tiny) gluten free burger at Mos Burger – a chain across Japan.

Where to Stay in Hiroshima If You’re Gluten Free

Dan and I stayed in Hiroshima for one night only, and we wanted an affordable place to stay that was close to the Peace Park and gluten free restaurants.

We chose Hostel Mallika – one of those famous Japanese capsule hotels! – and loved it.

Hostel Mallika

Hostel Mallika was a great place to stay on a budget. We booked two separate capsule beds, which were clean and comfy.

The hostel had lockers for our valuables that they let us continue to use even after check out, for the rest of the day.

Regarding gluten free, it’s across the street from Otis!, and walking distance to the Peace Park and Cafe Ponte. Also easily accessible by public transport to Koguma Okonomiyaki, Miyajima Island, and the train station. Overall a prime location!

Book your stay here.

Capsule hotel in Japan
Hostel Mallika – the capsule hotel where we stayed in Hiroshima.
Sarah smiles, lying on bed of capsule hotel in Japan
My little capsule home for the night in Hiroshima!

Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel

The Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel will be a good choice for those with a higher budget who prefer to stay near Hiroshima Station, rather than in the center of town.

Miyabi Tei is an on-site restaurant at the Sheraton that’s reported to have some gluten free options, although I can’t personally confirm.

Book your stay here.

Hiroshima no Yado Aioi

Hiroshima no Yado Aioi is a great option for families or couples visiting Hiroshima.

It’s a ryokan-style hotel with tatami mat floors, and an onsen spa. It has a great location close to the Peace Park, and some of the rooms even have views of the A-bomb dome.

Book your stay here.

Hiroshima A-bomb dome at night.
Love this photo I took while walking through the Peace Park at night.

Gluten Free Hiroshima Itinerary Example

I started writing travel itineraries within my gluten free guides last year, and they’ve been a huge hit. As a gluten free traveler, you really do need to plan ahead when it comes to the locations of activities, gluten free food, and opening hours. Nowhere is this more important than Japan!

2 Day Itinerary for Celiacs in Hiroshima

Day 1

Take the bullet train from Osaka, Tokyo, or Kyoto to Hiroshima. Be sure to pack some gluten free snacks from 7/11 for the journey! Check into your hotel (I recommend Hostel Mallika for clean, budget-friendly capsules).

This evening, get your bearings by taking a walk through the Peace Park. Have a gluten free dinner at Cafe Ponte, before going to bed early because tomorrow is a long day.

Day 2

Wake up early and take the tram to Miyajimaguchi, in time to catch the first ferry of the day at 6:25am. Once on Miyajima Island, walk to the giant torii to see it without the crowds. Visit Itsukushima Shrine and Daisho-in Temple, before getting breakfast (gluten free fried chicken!) at Miyajima Base when they open at 9am. Grab a coffee at Starbucks and do some final wandering before taking the ferry back to the mainland.

Next, take the old tram to Koguma Okonomiyaki for the most authentic, celiac-safe okonomiyaki in Japan. Be sure to message on Facebook to make reservations at least 24 hours in advance.

After lunch, take the tram back to the Hiroshima Peace Park. Visit the A-bomb dome and the Children’s Peace Monument, before spending a couple hours in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

For dinner, this depends if you’re staying the night in Hiroshima or not. If you’re staying overnight, go to Otis! or one of your trusty gluten free Japan plan B’s (Coco Curry or Mos Burger). If you’re catching an evening bullet train to Tokyo, like we did, pick up some conbini snacks on your way to the station.

RELATED | Gluten Free Tokyo

Daisho in temple walkway with statues.
Daisho in temple on Miyajima Island – it is full of these statues and one of my favorite temples in Japan.
Hiroshima A-bomb dome at night.
The A-bomb dome at night, after our dinner at Cafe Ponte.

Gluten Free Hiroshima: Final Thoughts

There you have it, my complete guide to gluten free Hiroshima restaurants, hotels, itinerary, and more.

Hiroshima might have been a surprise add-on at the end of our month in Japan, but I’m sooo glad we visited. Not only did it feel incredibly important to pay our respects and visit the Peace Memorial Museum, but I also had one of my favorite meals of the entire trip at Koguma Okonomiyaki.

If you have any questions, or would like to share updates after your own trip to Hiroshima, leave me a comment below!

Pin it for later…
Check out this guide to gluten free Hiroshima and Miyajima Island in Japan. Find gluten free restaurants, including celiac safe okonomiyaki!
Check out this guide to gluten free Hiroshima and Miyajima Island in Japan. Find gluten free restaurants, including celiac safe okonomiyaki!

Looking for more?


  1. Thank you so much for all these detailed recommendations! This’ll be such an amazing list to go off of for my celiac partner and I on our next trip <3

  2. Hi,
    I just wanted to say thank you for your website. Before finding it I was really struggling as a celiac to find anything. At one point in our Japan journey, I was so hungry I had a full teary meltdown.

    Your map helped us narrow down places, in relation to where we were. It became a bit of a gf map bible.

    I am very grateful ☺️ thank you so much. Your research has been invaluable for me 😊

    Off to Hiroshima now with a restaurant all lined up thanks to you!!

    Kind regards,
    Laura (A fellow celiac from Australia.)

    1. Wow, what a nice comment to leave!! I’m so happy that my map and blog posts were able to help. The “gf map bible” part made me laugh out loud haha. Hope you had a good time in Hiroshima!

  3. Hi Sarah
    I am celiac and we used your website extensively to prepare for our trip to Japan. We just got back home to New Zealand yesterday. I’d also like to thank you for the research and work you put into your website, it was very valuable to us.
    We went to Base on Miyajima and it was of my favourite meals, we initially ordered chicken karage each and it was so good I also got the curry to try which was also amazing. Miyajima is stunning during cherry blossom season!
    We actually went to Hassei because it was 5 minutes walk from our hotel. I had no gluten issues with their okonomiyaki, although I’m not super sensitive (maybe I should say not super symptomatic). It was prepared on the same teppanyaki but they were very careful to clean an area down and used separate utensils as far as I could tell. But the issue was that there was no GF noodles or batter used to make it so you’re really not getting the full experience, it was basically cabbage with the bacon and egg. It was still good though.

    Thanks again,
    Des and Kim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *