Onomichi-shi: A Place Where You Can Be A Part Of The Origins Of Japanese Cultural

Onomichi-shi, also known as “City of Hills” and “City of Film,” is located at the southeastern part of Hiroshima prefecture. Surrounded by flourishing mountains and the ocean, it’s location has played an important role as a trading center that is accessible by both the east and west sides of Japan. Like San Francisco in the U.S., the city and it’s housing are constructed on hills, so there are many slopes inside the town. Not only do the interesting geological characteristics attract tourists, but also the cultural significance of the city is equally important.


Admired By The Most Successful Japanese Director, Yasujiro Ozu.

Even though the city has developed through trading and has become a modern city, there are still many homes that still exist as nostalgic entities from the past through the geological characteristics of the city. One famous film that depicts the city’s past is, “Tokyo Monogatari” (Tokyo Story), directed by one of the most successful Japanese directors of all time, Yasujiro Ozu. The city is captured at the beginning of the film and is contrasted with Tokyo, showing how people and culture have left the past behind, and how Onomichi enjoys the interaction of the past and present Japanese cultures.

Water, Slopes, and People Create A Unique, Melting Flow of Japanese Culture

Not only did Yasujiro Ozu depict the city’s unique qualities, there are also many modern artists who capture the city’s interaction of past Japanese life with modern development. One of the most popular modern films that uses Onomichi as a major locale is, “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” an animation film based on a novel. The movie features a girl who happens to acquire time-travel skills by accident. There is a scene where she leaps through time by jumping from a long slope in Onomichi city. I believe that this could be a very similar feeling that a visitor may get when visiting the city. One might feel that he/she jumps into a culture that Japan has been losing in the recent decades. The city is surely not as gorgeous as Tokyo or Osaka, but Onomichi-shi has a melting flow of Japanese culture that connects past and present. Please visit the official website to get more information!


Onomich city, Hiroshima prefecture

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Writer/ Translator

I spent 19 years of my life in Japan before I moved to Brisbane and stayed there for 1 year. Today, I live in California. I'd love to try to rediscover and redefine my home country, and discuss with the dearest readers in the rest of the world.


Access Take a Sanyo Honsen train to Onomich station from Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Shin Onomichi station. Take a Sanyo Honsen train ro Onomich station from Hiroshima Airport.
Website http://www.ononavi.com/