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Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chugoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan.It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M. on August 6, 1945,near the end of World War II.Hiroshima gained city status on April 1, 1889.On April 1, 1980,Hiroshima became a designated city.The city's current mayor is Kazumi Matsui.

Hiroshima was founded on the river delta coastline of the Seto Inland Sea in 1589 by the powerful warlord Mori Terumoto, who made it his capital after leaving Koriyama Castle in Aki Province. Hiroshima Castle was quickly built, and Terumoto moved in in 1593.Terumoto was on the losing side at the Battle of Sekigahara.The winner, Tokugawa Ieyasu, deprived Mori Terumoto of most of his fiefs including Hiroshima and gave Aki province to Masanori Fukushima, a daimyo who had supported Tokugawa.The castle passed to Asano Nagaakira in 1619, and Asano was appointed the daimyo of this area. Under Asano rule, the city prospered, developed, and expanded, with few military conflicts or disturbances.Asano's descendants continued to rule until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.Hiroshima served as the capital of Hiroshima Domain during the Tokugawa period.

After the han was abolished in 1871, the city became the capital of Hiroshima prefecture. Hiroshima became a major urban center during the imperial period as the Japanese economy shifted from primarily rural to urban industries.During 1870s, one of the seven government-sponsored English language schools was established in Hiroshima.Ujina Harbor was constructed through the efforts of Hiroshima Governor Sadaaki Senda in the 1880s, allowing Hiroshima to become an important port city.

Hiroshima was proclaimed a City of Peace by the Japanese parliament in 1949,at the initiative of its mayor, Shinzo Hamai (1905–1968).As a result, the city of Hiroshima received more international attention as a desirable location for holding international conferences on peace as well as social issues.As part of that effort, the Hiroshima Interpreters' and Guide's Association (HIGA) was established in 1992 in order to facilitate interpretation for conferences, and the Hiroshima Peace Institute was established in 1998 within the Hiroshima University.The city government continues to advocate the abolition of all nuclear weapons and the Mayor of Hiroshima is the president of Mayors for Peace, an international mayoral organization mobilizing cities and citizens worldwide to abolish and eliminate nuclear weapons by the year 2020 Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign.

How to Reach

By Air

Hiroshima Airport, located nearby in the city of Mihara, provides air service within Japan to Tokyo, Sapporo, Okinawa, and Sendai.International air service is provided to Seoul, Guam, Bangkok, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, and Dalian.Commuter air service is also available at Hiroshima-Nishi Airport.

By Train

The JR West Hiroshima Station offers inter-city rail service, including Sanyo Shinkansen which provides high speed service between Shin-Osaka and Fukuoka.Sanyo Shinkansen began providing service to Hiroshima in 1975, when the Osaka-Hakata extension opened.Other rail service includes the Sanyo Main Line, Kabe Line, Geibi Line, and Kure Line.

By Ferries

Ferries are operated by JR Miyajima Ferry and Miyajima Matsudai Kisen to Miyajima.Hiroden provides service to Miyajimaguchi Station, which is located near the ferry terminal for service to Miyajima.Hiroshima Port is the main passenger ferry terminal for Hiroshima, with service to Etajima, Matsuyama, and other destinations.There is also an international ferry terminal which has service to Busan and Ulsan in South Korea, Shanghai, Dalian, Qingdao and Ningbo in China, Keelung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, as well as Hong Kong.There is also a boat taxi service that runs along the ota-gawa channels into the city center.

By Bus

Long-distance buses arrive and depart from the north exit of JR Hiroshima Station,where there is a JR Bus counter, and the Hiroshima Bus Center in the city center.There is service to and from cities in Kanto, Kansai, Kyushu, Shikoku, and much of the rest of Japan.The New Breeze overnight bus runs between Tokyo and Hiroshima.There are two nightly departures in each direction: departing from Tokyo at 8PM and 9PM, with both buses arriving in Hiroshima at 8AM the next day.The trip costs ¥11,600 one way, ¥21,200 round trip.

Key places to visit
Hiroshima Castle, Shukkei-en, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine, Hijiyama Park, Mitaki-dera, Hiroshima Flower Festival


Places to Visit

Hiroshima Castle

Sometimes called Carp Castle is a castle in Hiroshima, Japan which was the home of the daimyo (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.


Is a historic Japanese garden in the city of Hiroshima, Japan.The Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum is located adjacent to the garden.Construction began in 1620 during the Edo period at the order of Asano Nagaakira, daimyo of the Hiroshima han.The seventh lord of the han summoned an expert in the construction of Japanese gardens from Kyoto, who greatly reconstructed Shukkei-en.Since the Meiji period, the garden served as the villa of the Asano family.When under Emperor Meiji the Imperial General Headquarters were relocated to Hiroshima, the emperor briefly lodged at the villa. The gardens were opened to the public, and in 1940 the Asano family donated them to Hiroshima Prefecture.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Is located in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, in central Hiroshima, Japan.It was established in August 1955 with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Hall (now the International Conference Center Hiroshima).The museum exhibit presents the facts of the atomic bombing, with the aims of contributing to the abolition of nuclear weapons throughout the world, and of promoting world peace. It is the most popular of Hiroshima's destinations for school field-trips from all over Japan and for international visitors, too.53 millions people had visited the museum from opening on 1955 through 2005.The number of visitors are over one million people per year. The architect of the main building was Kenzo Tange.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

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.

Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine

Is a Japanese Shinto Shrine in Hiroshima, Japan.The original shrine was founded in 1868, the first year of the Meiji period, in Futabanosato Hiroshima.The shrine was established to mourn the Hiroshima-Han victims of the Boshin War.In 1934 it was dismantled and moved to where Hiroshima Municipal Stadium now stands, and in 1939 its name was changed to the Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine.

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