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Onomichi City

The Heart of Japan

Located along the Seto Inland Sea in eastern Hiroshima Prefecture is the nostalgic port town of Onomichi. Connected to the mainland over the bridges of the Shimanami Kaido, it stretches narrowly along the channel. Small ferries operate between downtown area and nearby islands.

Discover Onomichi City

Discover a rich history and culture, with famous temples and birthplace of notable authors and directors. A quaint setting, stores and houses in town retain a Showa era atmosphere. Walls and stone steps wind and cling to the slope of the mountain. The connection of faith and daily life is strong here. In the Edo era the Kitamae Ship connected Hokkaido to Osaka and made a port call here making the whole town buzz with activity and wealthy merchants who built fine temples. Climb the many slopes and paved labyrinthine lanes to reach 25 temples.

Japanese literature walk by 25 stone monuments path connects the top of Mt. Senkoji and Senkoji Temple, to discover the thoughts and feelings of writers and cultured people who loved Onomichi. The famous authors from here are Hayashi Fumiko who wrote “Diary of a Vagabond” and Shiga Naoya who wrote, “A Dark Night’s Passing”. Often used as a film location take a visit to the Onomichi Movie Museum to learn more about Tokyo Story a famous film directed by Ozu Yasujiro.

The area is known for lemons and Hassaku, a thick-skinned grapefruit-like fruit. A flourishing fishing harbor local specialties like Hamako Nabe contain seafood such as octopus, oysters and other fresh seafood and vegetables, boiled in a miso based soup. Anago Don is sea eel over rice and sweet sauce, other seafood specialities are the Tako-Meshi Octopus Rice and deepfried whole Okoze Stonefish.

Visit on the last weekend in April for Onomichi Minato Festival to praise Hirayama Kakuzaemon who opened the port. Join in the “Eejan Sansa Gari” contest, dancing, and many more events. In mid may enjoy the graceful Noh dance in the light supplied by bonfires. A Takigino play is held at Jodoji Temple, and Noh and Kyogen, a traditional short comedic drama are played at Amidado Hall. The Betcha Festival may be frightening for children every November 1st to 3rd, however if tapped by the masked locals it is said to bring good fortune and protection from illness and greater intellect.

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