Day 64: Hiroshima

Hiroshima is a busy port city with a population of about 1.2 million people and was founded in 1589 by the powerful warlord Mōri Terumoto. Hiroshima castle was built especially for him in 1593. The main port area was largely developed in the 1880′s and a tremendous amount of the cities wealth is generated by sea trade. Geographically, Hiroshima is the largest city located along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea in the western of Chugoku region of western Honshu, the largest island in Japan.

This capital of Hiroshima Prefecture has a modern face of an industrial city punctuated with criss-crossing rivers, broad highway, and a populous city center. The Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall was constructed in 1915 as a center for trade and exhibition of new products. The city, and especially its ports, played a big part in both the first and second Sino-Japanese wars and was extended militarily during around the turn of the century. During these war, Hiroshima was used a number of times for high-level talks, indicating its importance in the actions.

From day to day, modern Hiroshima is lively and busy. For shopping and food, Hondori street is probably the place to start. It has many retail stores and good, reasonably priced restaurants and eating places. It’s certainly lively, and you can try some of the local specialities.

Hondori archade.

Okonomiyaki: One of many local dishes.

Why not try some okonomiyaki, look out for places offering anago, maybe oysters or local fugu (though neither are in season), and if it’s your thing, horumon-yaki (grilled offal). Summer is a good time to visit one of the places for Hiroshima style tsukemen as well. Look out for the Hiroshima specialty of kozakana (baby fish) at the sushi places.

There are public parks that create a very open feel, despite some very modern, slick buildings, and well designed urban areas. Next to all of this modern style is one historical event that my virtual self will now go and visit. August 6th 1945.

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