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Saijo (西条 Saijou?) is a suburb located in the center of Higashi-Hiroshima City with a population of about 100,000 people. It is about 40km from downtown Hiroshima City. Saijo is best known for its sake and sake-related activities. It is amongst the top three quality sake brewing areas in Japan. Most of the time when a non-resident speaks the name of Saijo, the words "Sake Matsuri" follow or proceed it. Sake Matsuri is a nationally renowned festival that takes place every fall. For a weekend the city doubles in population welcoming people from all over the county, and more than 900 sake makers from all over Japan arrive to showcase their sake. For the 362 days that Sake Matsuri is not happening, Saijo defines itself primarily as a service center for the rural areas surrounding it, as a bedroom community for Hiroshima City and the home of Hiroshima University.
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Higashi Hiroshima Municipal Area in bright pink.


TransportationEdit

Getting inEdit

To/from the airportEdit

Saijo is the closest metropolitan area to Hiroshima International Airport. From the airport take a bus (leaving from platform 4) to Shiraichi Station (12min). From there take the train to Saijo (10 min). The total fare amounts to 590 yen.

By trainEdit

Saijo has a station on the JR Sanyo line. It is about 35 minutes from Saijo to Hiroshima City. Higashihirosima Shinkansen Station is also in Saijo, however it is serviced only by the Kodama trains.

By busEdit

The train station doubles as the bus station, from which many buses come and go to Onomichi, Kure, Fukuyama, Mihara, and of course Hiroshima City.

By carEdit

Getting aroundEdit

Saijo is a flat sprawling city. You can easily bike to major locations in the city within 40 minutes. More than likely anywhere that you want to go will be within walking distance of Saijo Station or Hiroshima University. There is a fairly regular bus service between those two destinations.

WorkingEdit

JET placementsEdit

There are currently 5 High School JETs based in Higashihiroshima (employed by the prefecture).

There are 6 JETs that work for the Higashihioshima City Board of Education. 3 of which are based out of Saijo, 3 of which are based in smaller communities within 20 min drive of Saijo.

Foreign communityEdit

In addition to the JETs there are a few other English teachers based in Saijo. There are quite a few foreign students based at Hiroshima University. There is a growing community of Chinese, and South/Southeast Asian immigrants working and living in the area.

SightseeingEdit

Places to visitEdit

Sakagura-Dori (酒蔵通り) The majority of the sake distilleries are scattered along this famous street and are easily recognizable as they are painted black and white. Some of the breweries have open tours once a month and sometimes private tours upon request. You get a chance to have an insider's view of the breweries, learn the history about the distilleries and get some information about sake production. As schedules may be subject to change it's best to call and ask for updated schedules. The primary brewing season is from October until March. You can visit their website here.

Kagamiyama Park (鏡山公園) A beautiful park with lots of open areas to play a game of Frisbee, barbeque or just have a sit down. This park is a crowd pleaser come spring as the cherry blossoms are blooming and hundreds of people come to the park for Hanami.

Minaga Reservoir (三永水源地) This place is definitely worth a visit too. It has a wisteria trellis overlooking the water, which is beautiful when in bloom. Not too far from the reservoir are the Azumako Falls, which are reputedly the largest falls in Higashi-Hiroshima City. A tower from a Christian music school rises in the backdrop when viewed from the top of the falls, and you can climb down to the pool at the bottom. Just to the side, near the truck stop, tucked away is a lovely stone pagoda built in remembrance of some semi-legendary historical tragedy.

FestivalsEdit

Sake Festival (酒祭り) One weekend in October, Saijo becomes the top destination for people all around Hiroshima-ken, including JETs. The Sake Festival has all your typical festival food, games and atmosphere, but with the added bonus of sake. About 900 different kinds of sake are brought from almost every prefecture. A ticket is needed to gain entrance to the sake park in order to taste the sake. Your ticket gets you a sake cup and entrance to the sake park. The sake is all you can drink until the stock runs out. You can buy tickets from a konbini or buy them on the day, though the former is cheaper.

ShoppingEdit

In comparison to other Japanese cities, Saijo is generally built around the car. Shopping and entertainment can be pretty spread out. Malls and department stores are large, and have a great selection of goods, but there are fewer non-franchised local businesses.

SupermarketsEdit

As an agricultural hub, Saijo has it's fair share of groceries.

  • Shoji (ショジ本部), 東広島市西条土与丸2丁目6-49, 082-423-3144, [1]. Shoji is a local grocery store chain with sixteen locations in the Higashi-Hiroshima area.
  • Yamaya (やまや 西条店), 東広島市西条上市町9-41, 82-493-8521, [2]. Yamaya is a great place to visit to stock up on foreign foods and alcohol.

Department storesEdit

  • YouMe Town (ゆめタウン東広島), 東広島市西条土与丸一丁目5-7, 082-423-1111, [3]. This department store has all the essentials. There's a grocery store, a stationary store, a great 100 yen store, a bedding/cookware department, a few restaurants and some clothing stores.
  • Fuji Grand (フジグラン東広島), 東広島市西条町御薗宇4405番地, 082-431-5611, [4]. This department store/mall is a bit bigger than YouMe Town. There's a nice grocery store on the first floor and a bevy of restaurants to choose from on the second. The biggest highlight of Fuji Grand is their 6 screen movie theater on the third floor. There are weekly specials that are worth checking out, too. Tickets are usually 1800 yen, but cost only 1,100 yen for men on Mondays or for women on Wednesdays. This also applies for couples on the 22nd of every month.
  • Saijo Plaza (西条プラザ), 東広島市西条西本町28番30号, [5]. Not the most notable department store but the YMCA is located there.

Home & Garden storesEdit

  • Home Daiki (ホームセンターダイキ土与丸店), 東広島市西条土与丸五丁目6番17号, 082-493-5235, [6]. A home supply store with two locations, one near Youme Town, and the other near Fresta.
  • NAFCO (ナフコ東広島店), 県東広島市西条下見7丁目4−1, 82-431-5171, [7]. A home supply and furniture shop that has a great selection of affordable and modern furniture. Near Hiroshima University.

Book shopsEdit

  • Tsutaya (ツタヤ), 東広島市西条御条6-20, 082-431-6633, [8]. 10am-1am. A large store with books and other supplies for purchase, and CDs, movies, and comics for rent. A Tully's has also been added recently.

ElectronicsEdit

  • Edion (東広島市エディオン), 東広島市西条町御薗宇4598-1, 082-423-3211, [9]. For all your electronic needs, though a little expensive at times.
  • Kitamura Camera (カメラのキタムラ), 東広島市西条御条町4番46号, 082-422-5213, [10].  This store offers digital and film development services, and sells new and second hand digital camera equipment.
  • Saeda Camera (カメラのサエダ), 東広島市西条昭和町12-46, 082-493-6500, [11]. This store is larger than Kitamura Camera and offers the same services, but is usually a little more expensive.

OthersEdit

  • Second Street (サカンドストリート西条中央店), 東広島市西条中央3丁目3番11号, 82-493-6822, [12]. A second hand shop that has a variety of furniture, electrical appliances, clothes and other oddities. A great place to furnish your house when you arrive.
  • UNIQLO (ユニクロ), 東広島市西条御条町1-23, 82-493-7251, [13]. Uniqlo offers good quality basic clothing at reasonable prices.

EatingEdit

Japanese FoodEdit

  • Mencookai (麺空海), 東広島市西条土与丸5丁目4−34, 082-424-2070, 11am-10pm, closed Tuesdays.. A favorite of locals and ALTs alike! This ramen restaurant has a stellar menu with favorites like curry ramen and the pork-filled taisho ramen. Enjoy the friendly staff, delicious food, and great atmosphere!
  • Gyukaku (牛角西条中央店), 西条中央3-4-2, 82-424-2929, [14]. A conveniently located yakiniku place that has a great selection of food. A tad pricey but worth it.
  • Kura-Zushi (無添くら寿司), 東広島市西条土与丸2-2-32, 082-493-7610, [15]. 11am-11pm. Cheap 100 yen sushi restaurant conveniently located off the freeway. Tasty for its price point.
  • Sushi-sen (すし鮮(回転寿)), 広島県東広島市西条町土与丸1518-1, 82-431-3580, [16]. Delicious doesn’t begin to describe this place, if it’s sushi you desire, sushi-sen is where you go. It gets very busy at meal times, wait times of 30 minutes or more and not uncommon. There is also a take out option.

Foreign FoodEdit

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Coffee & TeaEdit

  • Earthberry (アースべリー), 東広島市西条昭和町6-2, 82-421-6155, [17]. 10am-6pm, closed Sundays and national holidays.. A delicious specialty coffee shop. Located out of the way and behind a corner, the owners are friendly and knowledgable. Coffee is roasted fresh, and bags as well as brewing equipment are available for purchase. Desserts available.

DrinkingEdit

IzakayasEdit

Izakaya restaurants are typically places where you order a lot of different small Japanese dishes, share with friends and can order various cocktails and drinks. The portions are small but if you like to try a lot of different things this is the place to do that. These restaurants are often the meeting place for work parties, Enkais. Also, check out the Sakaguradori Specialty Restaurants, which are a few minutes from Saijo station. Located in the Sakaguradori (酒蔵通り) district, these restaurants are sure to appease hungry appetites after a long night of work or going out. You can have your choice of okonomiyaki, yakitori or ramen.

  • Za Watami (坐和民広島西条駅前店), 東広島市西条本町12-5, 082-493-5605, Literally right next to the station, you can’t miss it. A 4-story building with a restaurant for each floor. Lots of choice and a good place for an enkai.
  • Wara Wara (笑笑 西条駅前店), 東広島市西条栄町2-3, 082-422-8788, This izakaya is just down from the station, past the first set of lights next to the 7/11. A slightly cheaper option with great tatami rooms and staff who are always genki.
  • Uotami (魚民), 東広島市西条栄町2-3 新21ビル1F, 082-422-9088, [18]. 5pm-5am. An izakaya located a few minutes from Saijo station. They have a variety of Japanese and western dishes.

BarsEdit

  • Bar name here, Description here

LivingEdit

BanksEdit

  • Hiroshima Bank (広島銀行西条支店), 東広島市西条昭和町2−7, 82-422-2151, [19]. Hiroshima Bank is a 10-minute walk from Saijo Station on the boulevard. Unfortunately, the bank is only open until 3pm and is closed on weekends. There are plenty of ATMs you can use throughout the city, though.

Government OfficesEdit

  • Higashi Hiroshima City Office (東広島市役所), 東広島市西条栄町8番29号, 82-422-2111, [20]. Matters relating to your residence in Higashihiroshima will be dealt with here.

Post officesEdit

  • Akisaijou Post Office (安芸西条郵便局), 東広島市西条栄町10-38, 82-422-3327, [21]. The post office is also only 10 minutes from the station. You can use a post account like a bank account as well as sending money home for a fee of about 2,000 yen. GoRemit is the best option for sending money home.

Medical FacilitiesEdit

  • Emergency Clinic (休日診療所), 東広島市西条町土与丸1113番地, 82-422-5400, [22]. Health and Medical Care Centre Higashihiroshima clinic is open on weekends and public holidays and offers accident and emergency facilities.
  • Inokuchi Hospital (井野口病院), 東広島市西条土与丸6丁目1-91, 82-422-3711, [23]. This hospital offers general health treatment services.
  • Nozomi Orthopedic Clinic (のぞみ整形外科クリニック), 東広島市西条町助実1182-1, 82-422-6000, [24]. This clinic offers internal medicine and orthopedic services.
  • Motonaga Hospital (本永病院), 東広島市西条岡町8-13 , 82-423-2666, [25]. This hospital offers internal medicine and gynecology services.
  • Nikaido Eye Clinic (二階堂眼科), 東広島市西条中央3丁目5-38, 82-421-1110, [26]. This clinic offers specialist eye services.
  • Nonoyama Dental Clinic (ののやま矯正歯科病院), 東広島市西条本町12-9, 82-420-8790, [27]. Located right next to the station this clinic offers regular and orthodontic dental services.

LibrariesEdit

  • Saijo Central Library (西条中央図書館), 東広島市西条中央7丁目25-11, 082-422-9449, [28]. A two-story library that has a small collection of English books.

Hair dressersEdit

  • Service name here, Description here

Sports facilitiesEdit

  • YMCA (東広島YMCA), 東広島市西条西本町8-30西条プラザ内, 82-422-1717, [29]. This gym is located in Saijo Plaza. It has friendly staff, a weight room, a number of dance and yoga classes.
  • Renaissance (スポーツクラブ ルネサンス 東広島), 東広島市西条町御薗宇上戸6100, 82-431-0333, [30]. A health club that provides a weight room, aerobics class and a pool. This health club is a bit bigger and nicer than the YMCA.
  • Higashi Hiroshima Undo Koen (東広島運動公園), 東広島市西条町田口67-1, 82-425-2525, [31]. Located on the 375 past Saino high school, they have a gym as well as facilities for badminton, basketball, tennis, soccer, martial arts and dance.


CommunityEdit

  • Hiroshima University (広島大学), 東広島市鏡山一丁目7番1号, 082-422-7111, [32]. Hiroshima University was founded on May 31, 1949. In 1973 Hiroshima University relocated its main campus to the Kagamiyama district of Higashi-Hiroshima. The university has a diverse population of students from various prefectures and from overseas. It also offers a number of faculties and specialized research programs. The growth of the university has helped develop Saijo into a “University town,” and has created an upswing in new businesses and restaurants in the surrounding area. Though, main facilities are restricted to faculty and students it`s still worth taking a stroll around the campus. The campus has a number of athletic fields, cafes, and a museum. If you take the JLPT in the winter you will most likely take it at the university.
  • Sun Square (サンスクエア), 東広島市西条西本町28-6, 082-424-3899, There's always someone at the help desk who will be available to help you, but depending on who is manning the desk he or she will have varying English ability. There are some English magazines and newspapers, a computer with free internet access, and you can also find information about monthly festivals & events as well as free Japanese classes that are offered in the city.
  • JICA/HIP (広島国際プラザ), 東広島市鏡山3-3-1, 82-421-5900, [33]. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Hiroshima International Plaza (HIP) are organizations that are involved with international projects with foreign countries as well as hosting overseas nationals for short term intercultural exchange. There`s a small library and free internet access as well. First year students will have their one week language course here.

Travel agentsEdit

  • Service name here, Description here

MapEdit

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External linksEdit

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