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 warring states 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 Fiefdom to the east and Hiroshima Fiefdom to the west. Under the abolition of Fiefs, the two regions were united into a single Hiroshima Prefecture and the current borders were established by 1876.
In August 1945, Hiroshima City was destroyed in an instant with the dropping of the atomic bomb. Neighboring cities also suffered damage as a result of the war. Through the efforts of Hiroshima’s citizens, the region made an impressive recovery and continues 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 in the southwest, Bingo in the southeast, Geihoku in the northwest, and Bihoku in the northeast. Each area has its own distinct local cultures, food and customs, making Hiroshima Prefecture a varied and exciting destination for visitors.
Hiroshima Prefecture is located in the southwest of Japan. It has a rich topography with the islands and the clear waters of the Seto Inland Sea in the south and the impressive Chugoku Mountains to the north.
Population (as of 2016)
Hiroshima Prefecture's population is 2.84 million, which is 2.2% of Japan's total. This makes Hiroshima 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 throughout Japan. Mountains make up approximately 73% of the land in the prefecture, and Hiroshima’s 138 islands dot the Inland Sea.
Hiroshima is blessed by a generally warm climate and is relatively unscathed by natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes. Nevertheless, the difference in climate between the mountainous north and the southern coast is quite pronounced. In the north, the average temperature is 12C and rainfall is 1,700mm, compared to 15C and 1,500mm in the south.