About Hiroshima

広島

Hiroshima prefecture is located on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea, at the heart of the Chugoku region in the western part of the island of Honshu.
The Seto Inland Sea coastal area is warm and mild, but northern Hiroshima prefecture sees cold winters. There are even ski fields. Because the climate varies so widely across the prefecture, people sometimes call Hiroshima the epitome of Japan.
Hiroshima has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Atomic Bomb Dome and Itsukushima Shrine.
Saijo, in Higashi-Hiroshima city, is well known as one of Japan's three top locales for sake brewing.
Hiroshima is also Japan's leading grower of lemons.
Hiroshima’s large, richly flavored oysters are also popular as a representative of winter cuisine.

About Hiroshima

Hiroshima Prefecture is located on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea, at the heart of the Chugoku region in the western part of the island of Honshu.

As of August 1st, 2014, Hiroshima Prefecture's population was estimated at 2,834,084.

According to a survey from October 1st, 2013, the Prefecture's area covers 8,479.81 k㎡.

Hiroshima Prefecture is ranked 12th in population and 18th in population density among Japan's 47 prefectures.

The Seto Inland Sea coastal area is warm and mild, but northern Hiroshima prefecture sees cold winters. There are even ski fields. Because the climate varies so widely across the prefecture, people sometimes call Hiroshima the epitome of Japan.

Tourism

Hiroshima's must-see places include the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Itsukushima Shrine and the Atomic Bomb Dome.

Miyajima

The island of Miyajima, where Itsukushima Shrine is located, is famous nationwide as one of the traditional "Best 3 Views in Japan."

Since ancient times, Miyajima island has been regarded as divine. The first shrine is thought to have been built in the 6th or 7th century CE.

In 1168, Tairano Kiyomori (Japan's first samurai clan leader) remodeled the shrine in its present form.

The red shrine appears to float on the ocean at high tide. The gorgeous, crimson Heian-era palatial architecture contrasts with the green of Mt. Misen and the blue Seto Inland Sea. This one of the best sightseeing locations in Japan, drawing crowds of visitors year round.

Atomic Bomb Dome

The Atomic Bomb Dome was designed by the Czech architect Jan Letzel and opened on August 5th, 1915.

At that time, most of central Hiroshima's buildings were 2-story wooden structures. So the brick building with partial steel framing was very unusual and became a Hiroshima landmark.

At 8:15 on the morning of August 6th, 1945, the first atomic bomb in human history was detonated above a point just 150 meters east of the building .

In an instant, the massive heat and force of the blast destroyed the building, with flames tearing through the ceiling. Only the dome and portions of the frame and outer walls remained in the state you see them now.

Originally the Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, people began calling the building the Atomic Bomb Dome because of the shape of the surviving steel frame.

The Atomic Bomb Dome is not just a war ruin, but serves as a symbol of war's miseries, conveying the urgency of peace to visitors from home and abroad.

Setouchi Shimanami Kaido

The Setouchi Shimanami Kaido is a cycling route providing bicycle access to some of the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

Japan's first cyclist's hotel opened in the town of Onomichi, the Honshu terminus for the route. The hotel allows guests to bring their bicycles into their rooms, and is gaining attention from cyclists around the world.

Speciality Dishes

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is Hiroshima's own local soul food. Vegetables and meat are heaped atop a thin crepe and grilled on a hot plate. Once ready, it can be topped with a special sauce, mayonnaise, and seaweed flakes.

The dish's origins lie in Issen-Yoshoku (one dime Western food) popular as a children's snack in the years before WWII. But the cheap, versatile dish came to be loved by everyone during postwar food shortages.

Later, additional ingredients including meat, eggs, and udon or soba noodles became part of the dish.

The dish continues to evolve, with parts of Hiroshima prefecture claiming their own styles. For instance, Fuchu style uses ground meat, while Onomichi style uses gizzards in place of the standard sliced pork, while Kure style uses thinner udon noodles. You can enjoy many variations of this simple dish.

Oysters and Lemons

One of the region's classic winter cuisines is local oysters. In a 2010 survey, Hiroshima was Japan's leading oyster producer. The large, flavorful oysters are very popular.

Hiroshima Bay is surrounded by the capes and islands of the Seto Inland Sea, with gentle waves and tidal currents ideal for oyster farming.


In addition, the production of Setouchi lemons, grown without pesticides in the warm climate of the coastal region, is also number one in Japan.

Grown without pesticides, even the peel can be safely eaten, making Setouchi lemons a sought-after commodity nationwide.

Industries

Hiroshima has long been a thriving center for industries such as shipbuilding and car manufacture.


During the war, Hiroshima prefecture was home to important army and naval bases, as will as military factories. Later, craftsmen and engineers from those facilities turned their skills to new endeavors.

The automotive, shipbuilding and steel industries were developed as core areas of the Setouchi industrial district.

In addition to these heavy industries, in recent years makeup brushes crafted in Hiroshima prefecture's town of Kumano have become popular.


In the past, Kumano made brushes mainly for art and calligraphy. But after Hollywood makeup artists began using high quality Kumano-made cosmetic brushes, they've exploded in popularity, gaining more than 50% of the global market.

These superb brushes are made with animal hair, the variety depending on the brush's intended uses. Expensive brushes can cost about 20,000 yen.

Sightseeing spots in Hiroshima

宮島

Miyajima

An island in northwest Hiroshima Bay, in the western Seto Inland Sea.
Along with Matsushima and Anamo-hashidate, one of the "Three Views of Japan."

Atomic Bomb Dome

Atomic Bomb Dome

A monument revealing the devastation wrought by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima Castle

One of the Japan's best 100 castles, with a total space of around 120,000 square meters.

Shukkeien Garden

Shukkeien Garden

A Japanese garden located in Kaminobori-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima.