Useful information about Hiroshima
General Information about Hiroshima Prefecture
Hiroshima is the largest and most populous prefecture in the Chugoku region of Japan, with a population of around 2.81 million people and an area of 8,480 km2. It is blessed with both mountains and the sea, and has a rich agricultural and fishing industry. Hiroshima consists of 14 cities and 9 towns.
There are 249 train stations in Hiroshima Prefecture, the most important ones being Hiroshima Station and Fukuyama Station. Hiroshima Station is the main terminal station of Hiroshima City (the prefectural capital) and a major stop on the Sanyo Shinkansen. The station has two main exits: the north or Shinkansen exit and the south exit. The south side of the station is a redeveloped area that features many commercial centers as well as cram schools. The north side features commercial centers, business hotels, restaurants, and medical institutions.
Fukuyama Station is the main station of Fukuyama City. Fukuyama Castle can be seen from the station's platform. It serves as an important terminal station situated between Hiroshima and Okayama. In terms of passenger traffic, it is the third busiest train station in the Chugoku region, behind Hiroshima and Okayama. Around the station, there are many schools and shrines in the Fukuyama Castle side, while there are several government offices, banks, and commercial centers in the south side.
The eastern part of Hiroshima Prefecture is a rural, countryside area. The prefecture also consists of around 140 small islands in the Seto Inland Sea.
Blessed with both mountains and the sea, Hiroshima has plenty of local specialty products, such as oysters, lemons, and oranges. Hiroshima is the largest producer of lemons and various varieties of oranges in Japan.
Foreign Residents in Hiroshima Prefecture
As of December 2019, there were 56,898 foreign residents living in Hiroshima Prefecture. By municipality, Hiroshima City tops the list by some margin, followed by Fukuyama and Higashi-Hiroshima. In terms of nationality, Chinese nationals are the most in number, with a population of 14,799. Next come Vietnamese with 13,275 residents, followed by Koreans, Filipinos, Brazilians, Indonesians, Thai, Americans, and Peruvians. For all nationalities, the population is mostly concentrated in Hiroshima City, but there is also a significant number of Vietnamese in Fukuyama, and Filipinos in Onomichi.
Data source: Hiroshima Prefectural Government "Status of Multicultural Society Building: Foreign Resident Population" (published December 2019)
Popular Residential Areas in Hiroshima Prefecture
One of the most popular residential areas in Hiroshima for foreigners is Naka-ku in Hiroshima City. It is conveniently located in the center of the city, and offers easy access to other areas of Hiroshima. It also features many restaurants and commercial facilities, making it popular in terms of livability.
Another popular area a short distance away from the urban center is Higashi-Hiroshima City. It is rich in nature but is not that far from Hiroshima City. It is also replete with commercial facilities, so you won't have to worry about dining and shopping,
Nishi-ku in Hiroshima City is another popular place to live in. It features mostly residential zones, so it offers a quiet living environment. Public transportation offers convenient access to other areas. There are small-scale commercial centers and several restaurants that add to the area's convenience.
Transportation in Hiroshima Prefecture
Hiroshima has several different modes of public transportation that interconnect the prefecture. Rail and tram operators include JR West and Hiroshima Electric Railway. JR West operates several train lines, including the Sanyo Main Line, a major line that connects Hiroshima City to Kobe, and local lines such as the Kure Line that are used by many commuters. Oddly enough, there are virtually no private railway operators in Hiroshima, a rarity for a prefecture of its size and population.
JR West also operates the Sanyo Shinkansen that passes through Hiroshima on its journey between Shin-Osaka and Hakata. It is used by many passengers traveling to neighboring regions.
The Hiroshima Electric Railway operates eight lines of streetcars in and around Hiroshima City, with Hiroshima Station serving as a hub. It is the largest network of streetcars in Japan, and has a long history that goes back to 1910. Throughout the years, it has supported the transportation needs of Hiroshima residents.
Hiroshima also has a network of buses that has become a vital mode of transport in the prefecture. Bus operators include Hiroshima Electric Railway, Hiroshima Bus, Hiroshima Kotsu, Chugoku Bus, Geiyo Bus, and Chugoku JR Bus. Hiroshima Electric Railway is the largest bus operator in Hiroshima, operating mainly in the western part of the prefecture. Hiroshima Kotsu offers bus routes from the urban center to the suburbs, while Chugoku Bus mainly operates in the eastern part of the prefecture. Geiyo Bus routes are centered in Higashi-Hiroshima City.
Expressways also play an important part in the transportation of Hiroshima. One of the most important routes is the Sanyo Expressway, with many interchanges lying inside Hiroshima Prefecture.
Recommended Sightseeing Spots in Hiroshima Prefecture
Blessed with a rich natural environment, Hiroshima is home to many tourist attractions. One world-famous spot is Miyajima, known as one of the Three Great Views of Japan. Miyajima is the site of the beautiful Itsukushima Shrine, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island is home to many wild deer, and is also famous for its food that include oysters and anago eels.
Another famous spot is the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima City, which has also been registered as a World Heritage Site. It now serves as an important monument that conveys the horrors of war and nuclear weapons to the current generation.
If you love Japanese sake, you should visit the Saijo Sake Brewery Street in Higashi-Hiroshima City. The Saijo district is known as one of the Three Great Sake Regions of Japan, and features many unique sake breweries in a beautiful townscape. You can take a tour of the different breweries and even taste their products.