Hiroshima Prefecture is located in the southwestern part of the Japanese islands. It is rich in the natural beauty of the Inland Sea and the Chugoku Mountains, with mountains, sea, rivers, valleys, plains, basins that characterize Japan’s landscape. Hiroshima Prefecture’s population is 2.86 million, 2.2% of Japan’s total,ranking it the 12th most populous prefecture in the country. Hiroshima Prefecture stretches 130 kilometers from east to west and 120 kilometers from north to south. It encompasses an area of 8,479 square kilometers, 2.2% of Japan’s total land mass, ranking it 11th in size among Japan’s 47 prefectures and metropolises.
Its geological features include mountains, sea, islands, rivers, valleys, plains, and highlands, essentially all of the natural elements found in Japan. Mountains make up approximately 73% of the land in the prefecture, and 138 islands dot the Inland Sea.
Hiroshima is blessed by a generally warm climate and is essentially free from natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes. Nevertheless, the difference between the mountainous area in the north and the seaside region in the south is quite pronounced.
The average temperature and rainfall in the north is 12 Centigrade and 1,700mm, respectively, compared to 15 Centigrade and 1,500mm in the south. Hiroshima’s origins can be traced to the end of the 6th century and beginning of the 7th century when the area began to prosper. At the time, Hiroshima was divided into two regions, Aki and Bingo. Towns prospered along transportation routes through the mountains and on the inland sea.
In 1589 Mori Terumoto, a regional warlord during the Sengoku period, gave Hiroshima its name and built a castle in what is now Hiroshima City. During the Edo period(1603-1867), modern-day Hiroshima Prefecture was divided into two domains, the Fukuyama Fief to the east and Hiroshima Fief to the west. Under the abolition of Fiefs, the two regions were joined into a single Hiroshima Prefecture and by 1876 the current borders had been established. Hiroshima Prefecture and by 1876 the current borders had been established. In August 1945, the city of Hiroshima was destroyed instantaneously with the dropping of the atomic bomb. Neighboring cities also suffered damage as a result of the war. Afterwards, through the ceaseless efforts of Hiroshima citizens, the region made an impressive recovery and is now continuing to develop as a center of government, economics, and culture in the Chugoku-Shikoku Region. Hiroshima prefecture can be roughly divided to the four areas - Aki Area of South West, Bingo Area of South East, Geihoku Area of North West, and Bihoku Area of North East. Those areas have each local cultures, food cultures, climates and so forth, so visitors can feel each individual attraction.
Hiroshima has a professional symphony orchestra, which has performed at Wel City Hiroshima since 1963. There are also many museums in Hiroshima, including the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, along with several art museums. The Hiroshima Museum of Art, which has a large collection of French renaissance art, opened in 1978. The Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum opened in 1968, and is located near Shukkei-en gardens. The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, which opened in 1989, is located near Hijiyama Park. Festivals include Hiroshima Flower Festival and Hiroshima International Animation Festival.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which includes the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, draws many visitors from around the world, especially for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, an annual commemoration held on the date of the atomic bombing. The park also contains a large collection of monuments, including the Children’s Peace Monument, the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and many others. Hiroshima’s rebuilt castle (nicknamed Rijō, meaning Koi Castle) houses a museum of life in the Edo period. Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine is within the walls of the castle. Other attractions in Hiroshima include Shukkei-en, Fudōin, Mitaki-dera, and Hijiyama Park.