Last Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Takehara City

The “Little Kyoto” of Hiroshima Prefecture

Donny Kimball
8 min readSep 10, 2023

--

Takehara Hiroshima (meaning “Bamboo Field”) is a mercantile town on the Setouchi region of Japan that has a truly historic vibe to it.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a part of Hiroshima Prefecture that not many tourists know about. Known as Takehara (lit. “Bamboo Field”), this locale was an important port town on the Seto Inland Sea during the Edo period (1603–1868). The homely hamlet specialized in the production of both sake and salt and has a history that reaches back hundreds of years to when it was a subsidiary of Kyoto’s Shimogamo Shrine. Today, you can still see many of the old houses that belonged to Takehara’s affluent merchants. Thanks to these structures, the town has earned itself the nickname the “Little Kyoto” of Aki, the former name for Hiroshima Prefecture.

Unlike with the eternally popular Miyajima and the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima City, Takehara is a place that is still located far off of the beaten path. Thus, if you visit Takehara, you’re likely to be one of the only non-Japanese travelers there that day. Thanks to this, you can experience strolling around the streets of Takehara without the need to deal with the annoying crowds that you might find at comparable destinations elsewhere in Japan. If you’ve ever been to Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture, Takehara has a very similar vibe but without the normal throngs of people that you tend to find at these kinds of historic sites.

All things considered, Takehara is a great add-on to any travel itinerary that takes you to eastern parts of Hiroshima. While many people only ever explore the mainstays of the prefecture, there is so much more to Hiroshima than most international visitors to Japan know. Especially if you’re planning on and outing to feed the rabbits of Okunoshima (trust me, it’s way better and far cheaper than traditional therapy), Takehara is something that you should not miss out on before continuing on to wherever else you’re going in Japan.

How to Get There

Instead of taking the local train, one of the best ways to get to Takehara City is to take the etSETOra luxury train on the JR Kure Line from Hiroshima Station

All things considered, there are quite a number of ways to get to Takehara and my recommendation really depends on how you approach the town. For example, if you’re coming…

--

--

Donny Kimball

I'm a travel writer and freelance digital marketer who blogs about the sides of Japan that you can't find in the mainstream media. https://donnykimball.com/