Next Stop, Japan

Next Stop, Japan

Hiroshima Prefecture

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Hiroshima Prefecture is the largest and most populous prefecture on the western end of the main island of Honshu. From ancient times, its people have utilized the sheltered waters of the Seto Inland Sea to its south for fishing and trading. Its most famous food product, oysters, are grown in large quantities along the coast and among the islands of the sea. Much of the coastal economy is tied to shipbuilding and fishing.

Centrally located, Hiroshima Prefecture is surrounded on all sides. To the west, Honshu ends with Yamaguchi Prefecture. The coast on the northern side of Honshu is held by Shimane Prefecture. In the east, Okayama Prefecture also enjoys a location on the inland sea. The southern approach, where most storms come from, is protected by Shikoku. This large island is divided into four prefectures with Ehime Prefecture being the closest.

While fortunately sheltered, the area has little room for cities and towns. The prefecture's tallest mountains leap up from the coast and hilly terrain slopes away to the north. It is a natural platform for scenic drives and hikes that leaves little room but on the flood plains and tidal flats of rivers for people.

When to Visit Hiroshima Prefecture

As visiting Hiroshima Prefecture requires a fair bit of activity outside, it is best to visit during March, April, May, October or November. During the winter, the inland regions experience a fair bit of snowfall. Hiroshima Prefecture is the furthest west on Honshu where a ski slope is found. The coast never receives any snowfall to speak of.

Min and Max Temperature by Month

Main Article: When to Visit Japan

Cities and Towns: Hiroshima, Fukuyama, Kure, Mihara, Miyoshi, Onomichi, Takehara, Kawajiri

Hiroshima
Hiroshima Area, Japan

Recreation

Seto Inland Sea

Scenic Spots

UNESCO World Heritage sites

Seto Inland Sea

The Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海) is almost entirely enclosed from the ocean by Honshu, the mainland of Japan, and Shikoku in the south. This warm and calm sea is a highly productive aqua culture area. Oysters have been an important product of this area ever since the development in the 16th century of shoreline oyster farms and later floating farming rafts. The Inland Sea is considered one of Japan's most beautiful locations.

Hiroshima Prefecture's Cities

1. Hiroshima City

Hiroshima Prefecture's largest city and capital is known worldwide for the tragedy that occurred in it but today's Hiroshima City is far removed from its past historic events. It is a forward looking and energetic city with world-class museums, gardens, temples, professional baseball, shopping and more.

2. Fukuyama City

Fukuyama City, the rose city, is located at the eastern edge of the prefecture's coastline on the Ashida river delta. Tomo-no-Ura, Fukuyama Castle Museum and the Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of History are among the city's attractions.

3. Kure City

Kure City is a little under 40 minutes southeast of Hiroshima on express trains and buses. The Yamato Museum opened in 2005 as a tribute to the skills and efforts of the people of Kure.

Other Major Cities: Hatsukaichi, Mihara, Miyoshi, Onomichi, Shobara, Takehara

Professional Sports Teams

Hiroshima Toyo Carp

The Carp are the most popular sports team in Hiroshima. They were once a powerful team in the Japanese Central League and have won their division 6 times and the championship 3 times. Since 1991, they've had trouble staying out of last place. They are named after the nickname for Hiroshima Castle.

Website: Hiroshima Toyo Carp

Colors: Red, White / Sponsor: Toyo / Plays at: MAZDA Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima, Hiroshima City

Sanfrecce Hiroshima

Hiroshima's J-League soccer team is a recent but welcome addition to the sport scene in the city. Their stadium is in Hiroshima's northern Asaminami-ku suburb and is best reached on the Astram Line.

Website: Sanfrecce Hiroshima

Colors: Purple / Sponsor: Sanfrecce / Plays at: Hiroshima Big Arch, Hiroshima City

Official Symbols of Hiroshima

The design of Hiroshima Prefecture's flag is based on the shape of the first letter of Hiroshima in Japanese. It's round shape symbolizes the harmony and unity of its citizens and the overlapping double symbols represents the area's rapid development. It was decided upon on July 16, 1968.

FlowerNone. The Japanese maple is the unofficial flower.
TreeJapanese maple (Acer palmatum)
BirdRed-throated diver (Gavia stellata)
FishOyster. The prefecture produces 60%-70% of Japan's total output.

Getting There

Hiroshima Prefecture's major airport is in Mihara City and is under an hour by car from Hiroshima City. Hiroshima Airport is almost exclusively a domestic airport, but most large airports in Japan have direct flights to it.

The Sanyo Shinkansen line travels through Hiroshima Prefecture and there are train stations in Hiroshima, Mihara and Fukuyama that all Shinkansen trains stop at. Local train lines extend to all of neighbouring prefectures. All trains in the prefecture except for the inner-city train lines in Hiroshima City are run by JR West.

Long distance buses travel to Hiroshima Prefecture from as far away as Tokyo. These buses are sometimes cheaper than traveling by train, but take much longer than traveling by express train.

The largest port is in Hiroshima City. A number of local destinations and Korea can be reached from here by ferry. Many more smaller ports along the coastline in Hiroshima Prefecture have ferries that go to the many islands in the inland sea and other cities on Shikoku.

Posted: April 3, 2011 Updated: August 1, 2015

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