If you’re looking for a refuge from the rain, heat or to find great deals on discounted brand name goods or a fun, spacious place to take the kids- The Outlets mall is a good Hiroshima option.
The Outlets is a fantastic indoor-outdoor mega-mall offering brand goods at cheaper prices than you will find them at the original shops. There is also a tourist information center and duty-free shopping available.
The upper floors offer open-air shopping at Adidas, Dyson, Starbucks, Desigual, GAP and other popular brands. Head downstairs to underground cinema, restaurants, local artisan shops, Japanese retro-sweets Dagashiya, traditional Japanese gifts and items, bakeries and sweet shops as well as an indoor streetcar replica and car dealership.
For family fun, the indoor Game Center includes VR experiences like driving a motorbike and shooting zombies, trampolines, ice-skating, curling, bowling, karaoke as well as active video game fun such as archery, soccer and baseball. There is also a movie multiplex, shops, food court, supermarket & restaurants are all kid-friendly. The whole mall is smoke-free, smokers have to seek out enclosed smoking booths. There is also a lot of free parking and ample areas to sit down in between shopping, eating and wandering the facility.
I would rate it a top-level 5, but unfortunately, it is similar to other Hiroshima malls lacking in catering to food diversity as there are no regular meals available for vegetarians or vegans in the food court or at restaurants. Ordering off-menu for vegetarians or vegans may be possible if staff speak English, or customers can speak Japanese. As this mall is aiming to attract international visitors, we hope this improves. Of course, this is a typical problem for non-meat, non-fish diners in many parts of Japan. We also did not have luck trying the free WiFi which should be easy to access at the mall according to signs. It is also a little difficult to access by public transport- it will take about an hour from Hiroshima Station by a combination of train and bus.
On the plus side, it is possible to access the mall and facilities for customers with disabilities and there are some international currency exchange facilities for international visitors.