Where is Hiroshima?
Hiroshima Prefecture is situated in the southwestern part of Japan’s main island of Honshu with a total land area of 8,479km2 and a population of about 2.9 million people. The prefecture’s geography is generally mountainous. The Western Chugoku Mountain Range is comprised of a series of mountains at least 1,000 meters in elevation in the northern part of the prefecture. In addition, clear river gorges, scenic new growth in the spring, and the beautiful colors of fall spread over a vast area. To the south, the prefecture borders the Seto Inland Sea, an area dotted with countless islands both large and small creating a panorama of island beauty.
The weather in Hiroshima
The climate of Hiroshima, a Japanese city in the southwestern part of Honshu Island, is temperate humid, with quite mild winters, and muggy and rainy summers. Like the rest of Japan, the city is affected by the monsoon circulation: in winter the northwest cold currents prevail, while in summer they are replaced by hot and humid currents of tropical origin. The town is located on the coast, in the Seto Inland Sea, a short distance from the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. In winter there are fairly mild periods, with highs above 10 °C (50 °F), alternating with cold periods, with wind and rain, highs around 5/7 °C (41/45 °F) or less, and possible falls of sleet or snow. Snowfalls, however, are generally light, as are nocturnal frosts.
Summers are hot and humid; there can be periods of good weather, with maximum temperatures around 35 °C (95 °F), tropical nights and high humidity, but also periods of bad weather, due to the summer monsoon. August is the hottest month, both for the thermal inertia of the sea, and for the lower frequency of periods of bad weather.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (Hiroshima Heiwa Kinen Kōen) is a memorial park in the center of Hiroshima, Japan. It is dedicated to the legacy of Hiroshima as the first city in the world to suffer a nuclear attack, and to the memories of the bomb's direct and indirect victims (of whom there may have been as many as 140,000). The location of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was once the city’s busiest downtown commercial and residential district. The park was built on open field that was created by the explosion. Today there are a number of memorials and monuments, museums, and lecture halls, which draw over a million visitors annually. The annual 6 August Peace Memorial Ceremony, which is sponsored by the city of Hiroshima, is also held in the park.[The purpose of the Peace Memorial Park is to not only memorialize the victims, but also to establish the memory of nuclear horrors and advocate world peace.
A Bomb Dome
Commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome or A-Bomb Dome (Genbaku Dōmu), in Hiroshima, Japan, is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The ruin serves as a memorial to the people who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
In December 1996 the A-Bomb Dome was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List based on the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
Hiroshima Castle, sometimes called Carp Castle was a castle in Hiroshima, Japan which was the home of the daimyō(feudal lord) of the Hiroshima han (fief). Originally constructed in the 1590s, the castle was destroyed in the atomic bombing in 1945. It was rebuilt in 1958, a replica of the original which now serves as a museum of Hiroshima's history prior to World War II.
Memorial Cathedral for World Peace
The Memorial Cathedral for World Peace, renowned as one of the major Catholic cathedrals in the Orient, was built in commemoration of the first A-bomb victims in the world. The foundation of the cathedral was originally requested by the German Reverend Hugo Lassalle, whose naturalized Japanese name is Makibi Enomiya. He himself was wounded by the A-bomb. About 100million yen has been donated by Catholics and other people from all over the world. Mr. Murano masterly reconciled Western classical architecture with Japanese traditional style to design the cathedral, for example the dome with a Chinese phoenix and the stained glass with designs of pine, bamboo and plum flowers.
Itsukushima Shrine/Miyajima Island
Miyajima is believed to be the island where God dwells. It is said that Itsukushima Shrine is built in the coast because the whole island is believed to be God's body and is sanctified. Itsukushima Shrine was built in the end of sixth century and modified to the present building with its solemn appearance by Kiyomori Taira, who came into power for the first time as a warrior in 1168. It is located in the sea and has a bold structure because the shape changes by the rising and falling tide. Also, the scenery combined with the vermillion-lacquered shrine building, green virgin forest on the back and the blue sea duly symbolizes the Japanese sense of beauty. The beautiful scenery never ceases to attract visitors.
Mount Misen (Misen) is the sacred mountain on Itsukushima in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima, Japan, and is the highest mountain on the island at 535 m it is situated within the World Heritage area of Itsukushima Shrine. The sea around the island (Seto Inland Sea) and all of the island are within Setonaikai National Park.The north side of the mountain is covered by primeval forest which is protected by Hiroshima prefecture. The foot of the mountain has Momijidani-Kōen (紅葉谷公園 Maple Valley Park). According to the website of Miyajima Tourist Association, Mount Misen was visited by Kūkai in the year 806, the 1st year of the Daidō era. Since ancient times, the mountain has been an important destination for religious visitors.
Standing at the far western end of Miyajima's town area, the Miyajima Public Aquarium (Miyajima Suizokukan) was rebuilt, greatly improved and reopened in August 2011. The aquarium introduces the sea life of the local salt and fresh waters around Miyajima, the Seto Inland Sea and seas and oceans around the globe. Among the more original displays is an example of an oyster farm, representing the large numbers of actual farms around the island of Miyajima. Oysters are a local specialty of Hiroshima Prefecture.
Asano Nagaakira began construction of this garden for his villa the year after he was appointed as the Daimyo of Hiroshima in 1619. The job of creating the garden was left to the tea master Ueda Soko. There is a theory that the garden is said to be comprised of many picturesque scenes created in miniature, or that it is modeled on the West Lake in Hangzhou in China. It was designated as a National Site of Scenic Beauty in 1940 and it is also famous for its cherry blossoms and plum blossoms.
Takehara has a 350-year history, spanning a period when the its merchants were leading makers of salt and sake in Japan. Today you can see their old houses as well as the many public buildings erected with the town’s wealth, including old shrines and temples. Take a relaxing stroll through Takehara and enjoy a walk through time.
Miyahama Hot Spring
This is a quiet spa area with four inns and hotels, built on a low hill along Route 2, it has a pleasant view of the Seto Inland Sea. These inns and hotels are popular among residents in Hiroshima and Iwakuni. You can enjoy fresh fish from the Inland Sea and sake brewed in Hiroshima together with a splendid view of Miyajima Island. You can also enjoy delicious oysters grown in the Ondo no Seto in front of the spa during oyster season.
Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium
Current home of Hiroshima Toyo Carp is "MAZDA Zoom-Zoom STADIUM Hiroshima". It is as large as the ballpark of major league and allows spectators watch the game in a spacious seat. The stadium provides characteristic seats such as "Suna Kaburi Seat" where the audience can watch the game in front of their eyes and "Performance Seat" where energetic Carp supporters gather. Also the stadium is designed as "universal design" which is easily accessible by handicapped, elderly people or those accompanying children. Anyone can enjoy watching the game without distinction of age or sex. There are also shops that sell support goods and character goods, and food stands selling boxed meals, snacks, and beverages.
The hometown of “Sanfrecce Hiroshima” is Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture. Sanfrecce is a name that was created by combining the Japanese word for three, “san,” with the Italian word “frecce” (arrow), meaning “three arrows.” This team name originates with the historical “three arrows” incident involving a feudal warlord closely connected to Hiroshima, Motonari Mori, and indicates the support obtained through the three unified strengths of Hiroshima citizens, local administration, and business. Also, it refers to the three factors at the core of team sports, “skills, tactics, and stamina” and the three principles that are necessary for each individual player, “spirit, technique, and physical condition.” Moreover, since the 2005 season, there has been a new design for the Sanfrecce Hiroshima club emblem, which represents the “Club Spirit” and “Club Goals” and is also “typically Hiroshima.”
Mazda is an automobile manufacturer based in Hiroshima. The Mazda Museum on the company's grounds is open to the public and is popular with visitors from both Japan and overseas. Here, you can see the past, present, and future of Mazda's automobile manufacturing and visit as well the actual assembly plant. Reservations are required, so please telephone or book online. An English-language online reservations form is available. (Guided tours in English and Japanese only.)
TOHO BEADS STYLE Garasu-no-sato (Glass Village)
Experience the beauty and the romance inherent in glass...
A wonderland of glass, unlike anything else you'll find in the entire world; a place where, through the appreciation of glass artworks and the hands-on experience of creating your own works of glass, you can learn by playing and also enjoy shopping while having fun.
You can enjoy the experience of glass in a variety of ways--you can view rare and priceless works of glass artwork, both ancient and modern, in the museums; you can experience first hand many different types of glass making at the Glass Workshop; you can enjoy shopping at the gift shop, which is stocked with glass products from around the world.
There is also a restaurant within the grounds, so you can relax and enjoy a nice, relaxing time here.
Saijou (Japanese Sake Street)
Leave JR Saijo Station and walk the course shown below. You’ll see eight of Saijo’s breweries, learn about sake brewing, do a bit of tasting, and have a chance to purchase sake and other products. You’ll also be able to absorb the unique, traditional feel of sake breweries that colors the streets of Saijo. Experience firsthand what makes Saijo one of Japan’s premier sake brewing neighborhoods.
Wood Egg Okonomiyaki Museum
This is a theme park run by the Otafuku Sauce Company, which produces sauce for Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima. Not only can visitors experience the process of putting sauce into bottles in the factory that is next to the company building, but they can also join a tour in which a guide explains the manufacturing process of each seasoning they produce, such as sauce and vinegar, and also how they choose raw materials and keep the quality of their products high. However, the best experience visitors can enjoy is actually cooking the Okonomiyaki by themselves. It costs 1,000 yen per person, but children under 11 years old cannot join unfortunately.
Okonomi-mura (お好み村, literally "Okonomiyaki Village") is a Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki food theme park located at Shintenchi in Hiroshima. It is near the east end of Hondōri and has 24 okonomiyaki restaurants, each with a slightly different style and set of ingredients. The restaurants there use a specialty okonomiyaki sauce created especially for Okonomi-mura by Sun Foods. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that Okonomi-mura was the top food theme park destination for families in Japan according to an April 2004 poll.
Aohata Jam Factory
AOHATA was founded in Tadanoumi, Takehara City, Hiroshima in 1932 for the purpose of manufacturing canned oranges and orange marmalade. We are committed to applying our canning techniques to the manufacture of safe and secure foods made of fresh and flavorful ingredients, under our belief that “canned foods must be made by trusted persons, because the contents cannot be seen.” Tadanoumi, Takehara City (the location of our head office) is a place of scenic beauty, located virtually at the center of Setouchi, one of the best growing areas for citrus fruits.
About a quarter of an hour from Tadanoumi Port, Takehara City, this small island, just 4 km in circumference, is known for being home to some 700 wild rabbits, and attracts both domestic and overseas tourists seeking solace and healing. The Poison Gas Museum and the various related sites around Okunoshima tell of the history of how the island was once known for housing a poison gas factory, and the importance of never again fighting wars. The island is currently part of a national park, and contains a number of facilities such as the National Vacation Village Okunoshima, which offers accommodation, a hot spring, and local delicacies, as well as a campsite and the Okunoshima Visitor Center. In addition to cycling, tennis and fishing, visitors can enjoy sea bathing and outdoor pools in summer.
This museum showcases the history of Kure from its origins with Japan's push for modernization after the Meiji Restoration - modernization built around steel and shipbuilding. The exhibits also explain the efforts and hardships experienced by the people who built the city. There is a 1:10 scale replica of the battleship 'Yamato' inside the museum as well as a real Mitsubishi Zero A6M fighter plane. On the third floor, there are ship simulators and other exhibits that let you experience and learn about the technology behind ships and shipbuilding firsthand.
The Whale of Iron Museum
This museum is the first in Japan to exhibit an actual full-size decommissioned submarine. The museum houses exhibits explaining the history of the Maritime Self-Defense Force and its connections with Kure. You can board the submarine 'Akishio' and inside the captain's quarters and the officers' quarters have been recreated. It also simulates what the conditions are like when the submarine is submerged.
Alley Karasu Kojima Park
This is the only park in Japan where you can see a submarine up close. A Maritime Self Defense Force submarine and escort ship is anchored here. This area is remembered for its past as the Kure naval base. The rows of brick buildings from the former naval arsenal give the area a retro feel and the battleship Yamato was built at a nearby dock in strict secrecy. But times have changed, and now it's a park where anyone can enjoy a stroll any time. "Alley-Karasukojima" takes its name from the name of a small island called Karasukojima 30 to 40m around in Kure inlet, and the English word "alley" (Karasukojima was built as a torpedo launch training facility in the Taisho Period.). Take a stroll down the green and brick colored alley. There is also an old crane for loading and unloading torpedoes.
Mitarai thrived as an anchorage port for the commercial boats in Japanese medieval ages. In those days boats were navigated with the help of the wind. When the wind was not suitable for sailing, they had to wait for a wind change. Mitarai provided an excellent harbor in which to anchor for a few days while waiting for favorable winds. As with port towns all over the world, to meet the needs of passengers and the crew members with time on their hands, hotels and places of entertainment sprung up, such as theaters, bars, and even brothels.
Onomichi-shi is a city located in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, facing the Inland Sea. The city is known for its many temples such as the Buddhist Senkō-ji Temple (founded in the 9th century), has a shipbuilding yard and a motor factory. It offers a steamship service to ports of northern Shikoku and islands in the Inland Sea. Onomichi often called "town of slope" has lots of attractive narrow paths on the slope. One of the paths is "path of cats", that is the narrow lane reached to the downward slope from the Senkoji temple, has special atmosphere. You can see the real cats on the path, and also there are 108 large and small round cats made of stone, too.
Cat Alley (Neko No Hosomichi)
Neko no Hosomichi goes on for about 200m from the eastern side of Ushitora Shrine to the three-floor pagoda of Tennei-ji Temple. The area was given its name due to the many Fukuishi Cats (stones with cats painted on them) left there. The cats were painted by Shunji Sonoyama, an artist who lives in Onomichi. In the area, there is also the Maneki-neko Museum where you can enjoy the scene of “cats and Onomichi”.
Saikoku-ji is the temple most apart from the rest, located up the narrow valley that divides the town. Saikoku-ji is approached up a long path passing through the Niomon (guardian gate) with its 2 meter high straw sandals hanging on either side. This is the largest temple in Onomichi and the legend says it was founded by Gyoki in 739.
Shimanami Sea Route
The Shimanami Kaido is a 60 kilometer long toll road that connects Japan's main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku, passing over six small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. It is also known as the Nishiseto Expressway. There are two other land connections between Shikoku and Honshu, but the Shimanami Kaido is the only one traversable by foot or bicycle. The Shimanami Kaido begins on Honshu in Onomichi City. It then leads across the six islands of Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima and Oshima, before terminating on Shikoku in Imabari City. The route was opened in 1999, so the bridges are modern and attractive. Along the way, travelers can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Seto Inland Sea and the islands' small towns.
Shimanami Sea Road Cycling
Japan's Shimanami Kaido: One of the world's most incredible bike routesJapan's Shimanami Kaido might be an expressway, but it was designed with the cyclist in mind. A spectacular 60-kilometer road-and-bridge network connecting Japan's main island of Honshu with Shikoku (the nation's fourth largest island), it spans six smaller islands in the process and features bike and pedestrian lanes for its entire length. The sublime scenery of the Shimanami Kaido (Island-Wave-Sea Route) runs from Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture down to Imabari in Ehime Prefecture. Whichever way you travel, the views of the Seto Inland Sea National Park are sublime. Cycling gives you the freedom to stop for a photo halfway across a bridge or detour to investigate lighthouses, shrines and natural wonders most automobile travelers zip past.
Inno Shima Island
Innoshima was a separate city until 2006 when it merged into the expanded city of Onomichi. It has an estimated population of around 30,000 people. Innoshima is the birthplace of Honinbo Shusaku, the master Go player. It has lots of coastline and the Skyline Drive is particularly beautiful as you drive for about 10 km, on a narrow road that runs along the edge of the coastline. Innoshima is also home to the Murakami Pirates and their castle still exists today. If you have time, Innoshima is worth a visit. There are some spectacular views on the island which are indicated below.
Ikuchi Jima Island
Ikuchijima is a small island of about 11,000 people in the Seto Inland Sea between the main island of Honshu and Shikoku. Located in Hiroshima Prefecture, from 2006 Ikuchijima has been part of Onomichi City. Since 1999 Ikuchijima has been connected to the mainland by the Shimanami Kaido, a road linking Onomichi with Imabari on Shikoku that passes through six islands via seven bridges. The bridge connecting Ikuchijima with Omishima, named Tatara Bridge, is particularly graceful with a center span of 890 meters and was the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world when it was built.
Kōsan-ji is a Hongan-ji school Jōdo Shinshū temple on the island of Ikuchijima in Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Founded by the industrialist Koso Kōsanji in 1936 in honour of his deceased mother, and with an area of approximately fifty thousand square metres, many of its structures are modelled upon the country's most famous historic temples and shrines. The Miraishin no Oka is a monument landscaped with five thousand square metres of Carrara marble, weighing some three thousand tons, by Kazuto Kuetani. The Kōsan-ji Museum houses over two thousand items, including nineteen Important Cultural Properties.
Within the grounds of Kosanji Temple, the works of art that Kozo Kosanji collected over a lifetime are on display in Pavilion No. 3 (Hohozo), Pavilion No. 4 (Sohozo) and Kongo Gallery. The collection features sculptures, paintings and handicrafts that are representative of Japan, including Important Cultural Properties and Important Works of Art, on permanent display or available for viewing as part of special exhibits.
Senkō-ji is a historic Japanese temple in Senko-ji Park in Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan. Senko-ji was founded in the year 806, the 1st year of the Daidō era. Senko-ji is the 10th site of the Chūgoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage. From Senko-ji, visitors can view the downtown of Onomichi and the Seto Inland Sea. There is a Bungaku no komichi (Path of Literature) about 25 authors related to Onomichi, including Shiga Naoya and Fumiko Hayashi.
Fukuyama Castle, also referred to as Hisamatsu Castle, is a five-story (six-level) castle located in Fukuyama, Hiroshima. Since the 17th century it has played an important role in Japanese history and was one of the greatest castles of the Edo period. It is designated as one of the 25 National Historic Sites of Hiroshima and considered one of Japan's Top 100 Castles, a list created by the Japanese Castle Foundation and chosen based on its cultural and historical importance. The castle is situated in Fukuyama Castle Park and within a stone’s throw of Fukuyama Station.
Shinshoji Zen Museum and Gardens is a place for visitors to experience the spirit of Zen through a variety of activities, like tasting a bowl of tea, appreciating a piece of Zen calligraphy, eating a Zen meal that nurtures the body and soul, taking a bath to cleanse the mind and body, and strolling in the extensive gardens.
Miroku No Sato
Miroku-no-sato is an utterly intriguing destination for anyone looking for a fun family day out. Miroku-no-sato is not a state-of-the-art amusement park along the lines of a Disney or Universal Studios park, but a “well-loved” community fun-zone hidden in the countryside to the east of Hiroshima city, near Fukuyama. Enjoy over 20 classic rides, attractions, park land feeding animals and a retro nostalgia-zone in a park that spans over 2 million square meters. Miroku-no-sato also has an onsen hot spring, a swimming pool zone, an art museum, has been used several times and hosts special events throughout the year, including some of the region’s largest winter illuminations. All at reasonable price and without the crowds.
Many people who travel by sea have worshipped at Bandaiji Temple, situated at the tip of the Abuto Cape on the Numakuma Peninsula. Not only people praying for safe sea travel but also women praying to be blessed with babies and easy deliveries have worshipped at Kannon-do Temple (an important cultural property of Japan), containing a stone figure of the Kannon with eleven faces called the "Abuto Kannon", in the precincts of Bandaiji Temple.
It is said that long ago, when Jirouemon, a pious man who lived at Tomo, was fishing in the sea near Abuto Cape, he caught a bright stone figure of Kanzeon (Kannon) in his fishing net. He immediately consulted with the priest from Bandaiji Temple to install the figure of Kannon on the cliff top of Abuto Cape.
The story was much talked of by people and heard by Motonari Mori, who built the splendid Kannon-do Temple in 1570.
Sensui Jima Island
An island 6km in circumference, symbolizing the scenic beauty of the town of Tomo-no-Ura. It is a place with many natural treasures like the Goshikiiwa (Five-Colored Rocks) and the sea fireflies. There are also plenty of leisure facilities on the island such as accommodations, a camping ground, and a beach. It takes 5 minutes by ferry from Tomo-no-Ura. Located in the middle of Setonaikai National Park, the first of its kind in Japan, Sensuijima Island has nature that has not been touched by Man. Aside from the 2 hotels, there is no one else living on the island, and once the final ferry leaves at 9:35 pm, Sensuijima takes on the appearance of a genuine deserted island. It is the habitat of sea fireflies and their blue glow in the water gives that impression of a mysterious island. Between June and September, there are sea firefly tours held at night.
Tomonoura is an picturesque port town located in Fukuyama City with more than 1000 years of history. For a long time the port was a pivotal crossroads for trade in the Seto Inland Sea. The stone lantern and stone pier in the harbor were built during the Edo period (1603-1867). One of Tomonoura's popular souvenirs is Homei-shu - a medicinal liquor thought to be effective against cold and fatigue. The view of the Seto Inland Sea from the Edo period guesthouse Taicho-ro in Tomonoura is so picturesque, a Korean envoy famously remarked "it's the most beautiful view in Japan".
This beautiful gorge runs through the mountains northwest of Hiroshima City. The lush greens of spring and the golden hues of the autumn leaves makes this a popular spot for ramblers and nature-lovers love to hike through Sandankyo, enjoying its refreshing greenery during summer and its autumn leaves in fall. There are some breathtaking waterfalls and crevasses in the gorge, including a famous two-tiered and three-tiered waterfall. The best thing? Sandankyo is accessible on public transport from Hiroshima City.
Sera Kogen Farm
On the farm’s 150,000 ㎡ grounds, many festivals are held like the spring tulip festival, the summer sunflower festival, and the autumn dahlia festival. The barbeques on the terrace and the café are also popular. Located in the center of Hiroshima Prefecture on the 500m-high Sera Highlands, Sera Kogen Farm is about 40 minutes away from downtown Onomichi by car. The farm is only open during the seasons of spring, summer and autumn when the festivals are held. The flowers are hand-planted for each event. There is an observation point from where you can view the entire farm which provides incredible flower fields on a massive scale.
It is a valley located in the place where it ran for about 15 minutes a prefectural road No. 25 by car from Hiroshima Prefecture Shobara Dongcheng. Visited It is summer. Parking was a fee of 400 yen. Rock wall became a tunnel of the bridge can be hollowed out in the erosion of nature called "Yu-kyo" is impressive. It seems to have been said to be uncommon for one of the three major world natural bridge in the world. People in the past is so there is a trace that was used as a bridge actually.
One of Miyoshi's famous products is the wine produced at the Miyoshi Winery. This showcase winery is a tourist attraction by itself. The wine making process is all on display through large observation windows onto the factory floor. Signs (in Japanese only) explain the process that transforms grapes into the different types of wines. A number of nonalcoholic beverages are made at the winery as well. Free samples. The winery also, in addition to a large store, has a barbecue restaurant featuring their product, a temporary display room, and a small vegetable produce store. The winery's store is open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. The winery is open every day except the 2nd Wednesday monthly and during New Years. It is located south of Miyoshi City near the Miyoshi Interchange.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony is an annual Japanese vigil. Every August 6, "A-Bomb Day", the city of Hiroshima holds the Peace Memorial Ceremony to console the victims of the atomic bombs and to pray for the realization of lasting world peace. The ceremony is held in front of the Memorial Cenotaph in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Participants include the families of the deceased and people from all over the world. This traditional ceremony began in 1947 by the then Hiroshima Mayor Shinzo Hamai.
The traditional Bugaku, ancient musical court-dance, of Itsukushima Shrine has been handed down through the generaｔions from the day of Taira-no-Kiyomori. The elegant Bugaku performed to the accompaniment of Gagaku music on a grand vermilion colored stage that is reflected beautifully on the blue sea, is reminiscent of the culture glory of the Heian Period.
Medieval nobles' style of entertainment reproduced at Itsukushima Shrine, which is one of the three scenic beauties of Japan. Kangen is music performed by playing the flute, drums and Japanese string instruments used in Japanese court music. In the ancient capital, nobles used to enjoy the graceful orchestra festival by playing these kangen instruments on boats floated on ponds and rivers. Approximately 800 years ago, Taira-no-Kiyomori (1118-1181), the warlord of the latter years of the Heian Period, constructed Itsukishima-Shrine and brought the then prevalent customs to this land in order to hold a ceremony dedicated to the gods. This Shinto ritual, staged on the Seto Inland Sea, later developed into a graceful yet dynamic festival reminiscent of the Heian Period when the culture of the nobility flourished, and is now ranked among the three finest float festivals in Japan.
Kure Minato Festival
Every year on April 29 some of the neighboring city of Kure’s main streets (centered on Kuramoro-dori St) are closed for parades, stages and, of course, lots of food and drink stalls Kure Minato Matsuri or Kure Port Festival. Two things that jump out are a local beer festival (Kure’s navy beer wins many craft beer awards) and a yacht race in the harbor.
Kumano cho is the capital of brushes, and produces 80% of the brushes made in Japan for painting, writing and cosmetics. However, none of the materials used to make the brushes come from Kumano. In other words, natural hairs of sheep, horse, itachi wolf, or raccoon are all imported from North America and China. Materials for brush handles are either from Okayama and Shimane prefectures, or imported from Taiwan and Korea.
The quality of Miyajima Bori comes from the way the chisel is used to carve the wood. The skill when using the chisel either delicately and/or with strength makes all the difference. The craftsmen place the edge of the chisel against the surface of the wood and move it through rapidly to carve without a rough sketch, gradually revealing the shape of the beautiful Otorii.
Some time between 1789 to 1880, the priest Seishin dreamed of Benzaiten one night. He was sympathic toward the difficult lives of the islanders. He then imaged the musical instrument, the Biwa, and decided to make the rice scoop. He also taught the islanders how to make the scoop. It was the beginning of the Miyajima rice scoop. Because there were not many souvenirs for visitors who came to Itsukushima Shrine, it became very popular, and soon spread across Japan.
What to Eat in Hiroshima
You haven't done Hiroshima if you haven't done Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki! Okonomiyaki, a savory pancake cooked on an iron hotplate, containing egg, chopped vegetables, meat and/or seafood, is found all over Japan. In Hiroshima, this dish is bulked up by adding noodles and lots of veggies. Rather than mixing all the ingredients together, as in the more common Kansai or Osaka style, here in Hiroshima they are layered. The whole thing is topped with a savory-sweet sauce. Usually served at small counter-style restaurants, it is generally eaten directly from the hotplate with a metal spatula called a hera. The locals are very proud of their contribution to Japanese cuisine, and regional rivalry, while good natured, is strong. Be prepared to be quizzed about whether you prefer your okonomiyaki Hiroshima or Kansai style.
Oyster landed in Hiroshima is very big and thick tasty, and Hiroshima is the number one of landing of oysters in Japan. Kaki-no-Dotenabe (Oyster in the pot which spread miso on its edge) is Hiroshima local dish and Hiroshima residents often cook fried oysters and oysters on rice in winter. Also, there are some oyster shops that serve grilled oysters and vinegared fresh oysters to visitors in the Miyajima Island.
Anago Rice bowl
This is a famous dish from the Seto Inland Sea region which has been rich in high quality anago (sea eel) since ancient times. Fresh tender anago is grilled over a charcoal fire until smoky, slathered in a sweet and salty sauce made from soy sauce and mirin, and then placed on rice. Anago meshi can be eating in Miyajima, Hatsukaichi, Onomichi and on the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.
Onomichi ramen is made from a clear soup consisting of stock drawn from small fish in the Seto Inland Sea with added soy sauce, and crimped noodles with a bite. With toppings such as pork with back fat, it has a refreshing and rich flavor.
Momiji Manju are distinguished by their momiji (maple) leaf shape. They’re made by wrapping azuki bean jam in a castella-like dough—made using wheat, eggs, sugar and honey—and baking the combination in a maple-leaf-shaped mold. For the jam, it’s considered customary to use koshi-an, a form of pureed sweet bean jam made by removing the testa, or outer covering, of azuki beans. Momiji Manju are actively sold on the road approaching Itsukushima Shrine on the island of Miyajima in Hiroshima, and there are facilities where you can even try making them for yourself.