Fukuyama City (福山市), the rose city, is the second largest city (426,795 - 2005) in Hiroshima Prefecture. It is located at the eastern edge of the prefecture's coastline on the Ashida river delta.
Fukuyama's connection to roses sprung from a dark chapter in the city's history. Fukuyama Castle and most of the city was burnt to the ground by an air raid on August 8, 1945. The city began reconstruction under a new development plan after the war but many people missed their old city. In 1956, the residents who lived near Minami Park (Today: Rose Park) decided to cheer up the neighborhood by planting 1,000 roses in the park. Now over 400,000 roses are planted in Fukuyama and the city's long term goal is to plant 1 million roses.
Fukuyama Castle Museum
Fukuyama Castle is a concrete reconstruction that was built in 1966 and is far better looking on the outside and a far better museum inside than a good example of a Japanese castle. There is a good collection samurai armor and artifacts from castle life and a few parts dedicated to pre-castle history. Some of the period samurai armor would have difficulty fitting today's Japanese children. It is located behind JR Fukuyama Station in Fukuyama Castle Park and costs 200 yen to tour.
Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of History
The prefectural museum's goal is to show the history of civilization on the Seto Inland Sea. Its highlight is a recreation of a medieval town called Kusado Sengen that once thrived along the Ashida River south of central Fukuyama City. This town was wiped out by a catastrophic flood and had its history buried in the river bed. Research and years of field excavations have revealed a detailed look into early civilization (13th to 16th century) in the area. The museum opened in 1989 to show the results of these efforts which began in 1961.
Fukuyama Museum of Art
This art museum features works from 20th century European artists, artists from this region of Japan and other contemporary Japanese artists.
Japan Footwear Museum
The Japan Footwear Museum is the only museum in Japan primarily focused on the history of footwear in Japan and elsewhere in the world. The museum has an exhaustive collection of footwear and many are registered cultural properties. The museum is a short walk from JR Matsunaga Station which is west of JR Fukuyama Station along the Sanyo-Honsen line.
Fukuyama City is a major stop on the Shinkansen line. All classes of Shinkansen stop at Fukuyama's Station. The Sanyo-Honsen local train line goes along the coast to Mihara City in the west and Okayama City in the east. Trains also go to the northwest to Miyoshi City and to the northeast to Ibara City.
The Sanyo Expressway passes to the north of Fukuyama City and Fukuyama Higashi Interchange (福山東IC) is a short drive northeast of the city center.
Submitted by mbystedt on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 23:31