HIROSHIMA: A Snapshot
Hiroshima is a scenic prefecture bordered by the Chugoku Mountains to the north and the Seto Inland Sea to the south. The Shimanami Kaido Cycling Route linking Hiroshima Prefecture with the island of Shikoku is particularly noted internationally for its beautiful scenery. While agriculture and fishing thrive in the mild climate facing the Seto Inland Sea, a wide range of commercial fields, from heavy industries including automobiles and steel to cutting-edge enterprises such as electronic components, have developed throughout the prefecture to produce innumerable world-class companies.
The Summit host city of Hiroshima is an ordinance-designated city, giving it many prefectural level functions, and ranks as the largest metropolitan area in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions with its population of about 1.2 million. It is globally recognized not only as a city of peace, but also as an urban tourist destination blessed with mountains, rivers, and the sea. In 2018, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the city of Hiroshima alone received approximately 1.78 million overseas visitors, with Hiroshima Prefecture as a whole welcoming 2.75 million. Many come to see two important designated World Heritage Sites: The Atomic Bomb Dome, which speaks to the horror of nuclear weapons, located in downtown Hiroshima, and Itsukushima Shrine, an example of medieval Japanese architecture, which lies in the suburbs.
Hiroshima enjoys a long history, leveraging water transportation to develop as a seaside castle town following the construction of Hiroshima Castle by feudal lord MORI Terumoto in 1589.
The metropolis became identified as a military city once Hiroshima Garrison was established after the Meiji Restoration, a role which gained importance as the Pacific War intensified.
Under those circumstances, the city was devastated by a single atomic bomb on August 6, 1945, recovering remarkably thanks to the exertion of those who surmounted the ravages of war, and to domestic and international support.