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Onomichi & Fukuyama

Famous for its beaches, hiking, cycling, and the beautiful townscape clinging to steep slopes, Fukuyama is the largest city in Hiroshima Prefecture. Originally established as a castle town in 1619 by Tokugawa Ieyasu’s cousin Mizuno Katsunari, Fukuyama has a rich history and is now a popular destination for tourists.

One of the main attractions of Fukuyama is its beaches. The city is located near the Seto Inland Sea, which is known for its pristine beaches and clear blue waters. Setoda Sunset Beach is particularly famous for its stunning sunset views. Visitors can relax on the sandy shores and watch as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky with vibrant hues of orange and pink.

Another must-visit attraction in Fukuyama is Onomichi Ramen. This local delicacy is a popular dish among locals and tourists alike. The soup is a light mix of soy sauce and chicken bone broth, served with flat noodles and silky chunks of pork fat. It is the perfect comfort food after a long day of exploring the city.

For those interested in history and culture, Fukuyama is home to several temples and shrines. Many of these temples are part of the Chugoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage Route, a famous pilgrimage route in the Chugoku region. Myooin Temple in Fukuyama and Senko-ji, Jodo-ji, Saikoku-ji, and Kojo-ji in Onomichi are just a few examples of the stunning temples that can be found in the area.

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In addition to its cultural attractions, Fukuyama is also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The city offers numerous hiking and cycling trails that allow visitors to explore its beautiful natural surroundings. One of the most popular cycling routes is the Shimanami Kaido, a 60km route that links Onomichi to Shikoku. The route offers breathtaking views of the Seto Inland Sea and its many islands, making it a favorite among cyclists.

As a port city, Fukuyama has a vibrant and lively atmosphere. The port, which was first established in 1168, still plays a significant role in the city’s culture. Every April, the Onomichi Minato Matsuri, or Port Festival, takes place, attracting thousands of visitors. The festival features food stalls, parades, and a dance competition, showcasing the city’s rich history and traditions.

When it comes to getting to Fukuyama, there are several options available. By local train, it takes approximately 80 minutes to travel from Hiroshima Station to Onomichi Station, via Mihara Station. From Fukuyama Station, the journey to Onomichi Station takes around 20 minutes. Fukuyama Station is also a stop on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line, making it easily accessible from Tokyo, Osaka, or Hiroshima.

Once in Fukuyama, there are plenty of accommodations to choose from. From luxury hotels with stunning views over the bay to cozy guesthouses nestled in the heart of the city, there is something for every traveler’s budget and preference. Many of these accommodations also offer access to natural hot springs, where visitors can relax and unwind after a day of exploring.

In conclusion, Fukuyama is a city that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re interested in relaxing on its beautiful beaches, hiking through its scenic trails, or immersing yourself in its traditional temples and shrines, Fukuyama has something to offer for everyone. So, why not plan a trip to Fukuyama and experience the beauty and charm of this unique city for yourself?

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