Known as one of the most beautiful places in Japan, Tomonoura is a photogenic port town located at the southern end of Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture. With over 1000 years of history, the town was a key port town for trades in Seto Inland Sea and many of the important meetings of Japanese dignitaries were held in this town too. Up till the 1900s, if any Korean officials ever came to Japan, they would be arranged to stay in Tomonoura as it is believed that the beauty of the town would charm them into a better state for negotiations. What’s more? You would be able to recognize this town from Wolverine: Samurai the movie starring Hugh Jackman.
Tomonoura Japan Guide
During the golden days of the port town, many sail boats and merchant ships would stop at the town while waiting for the best tide to travel. Therefore, the town is filled with seamen favorited activities and liquor industries known as the homeishu (保命酒), a medicinal version of shochu (焼酎) which uses 16 different types of traditional herbs and it is said to prolong life span. You could catch a glimpse of the glorious days of the port town when you walk through the old town center lined with rustic old houses and wooden facades and the Bayfront area. Let us take you on a guide around some of the famous known attractions here.
This is an Edo Period (1603-1867) lighthouse and also a landmark of the town. Standing magnificently overlooking directly at the waterfront south of the town center.
The home of homeishu brewing, this is the place where the brewing started from the late 17th century which is owned by a family. During the 1710 to the Meiji Period, the family monopolized over the whole production of homeishu and the family was making huge bucks. The residence was expanded to multiple tatami rooms, tea rooms and most importantly homeishu storehouses. Unfortunately, after the business took a plunge, the residence was sold off. Today it is a museum that visitors could visit.
Irohamaru Exhibition Building
This is a shore warehouse that was built in the Edo Period while the neighboring Gangiand Joyato is filled with modern harbor facilities, going into this traditional warehouse is like walking back to the past. Irohamaru is also the name of a merchant ship that sank in 1867, it is important because the historical figure Sakamoto Ryoma was on board. This warehouse exhibits the tragic incident with the ship retrieved artifacts, parts of the wreckage and the belongings of Sakamoto Ryoma. There is even a diorama showing how did the ship sank.
Access Tomonoura by Bus
The best access to Tomonoura is by bus from Fukuyama Station that runs every 20 minutes, the English signs are rare here, you could look out for buses bound for 鞆港, Tomokō, located at the bus stop number 5 just in front of the station exit. It takes around 30 minutes to get to the Tomonoura (鞆の浦) which is recommended for you to stop here because you could get to the visitors center to get some maps and info before your tour around the city.