Takehara (竹原市 takehara-shi?) is a small city located in the center of Hiroshima Prefecture with a population of about 27,252 people. This seaside town is sometimes called “Hiroshima’s Little Kyoto.” It is a good place to visit for a historical sightseeing trip or as base for a trip to Osakikamijima and Okunoshima.

598px-Takehara in Hiroshima Prefecture Ja.svg

Takehara municipal area in bright pink


Getting in & aroundEdit

To/from the airportEdit

By trainEdit

If coming by train, Takehara Station is located on the Kure Line in between the cities of Mihara and Kure, and there are numerous trains running daily.

By busEdit

  If coming by bus, there are several bus lines connecting Takehara to the nearby cities of Saijo and Mihara. If coming from Hiroshima you can take the Kaguyahime (かぐや姫) Bus from either Hiroshima Station or the bus center, and this takes about an hour and 15 minutes.

By carEdit


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Places to visitEdit

Sake Museum of Kozasaya An old sake factory, it has been remodeled into a museum to exhibit the history of sake brewing. The museum is attached to Taketsuru Shuzo (Brewery). Here, visitors can enjoy the atmosphere of the old sake cellar dated back to the Edo period and free samples are offered. It is located in the old district of Takehara.

Saihoji Temple Fumeikaku Tower Originally built in 1560, it burned to the ground. It has evolved since then with parts being added over many years. The Saihouji compound is up on top of a long flight of stairs. It faces out towards Takehara and the sea. The view is wonderful.

Bamboo Joy Highland has a wind instrument made of 270 bamboo poles. Many events are held at this hall. A good place for Cherry Blossom viewing or simply to enjoy a picnic with a view of the beautiful sea.

Okunoshima/ Bunny Island A 20 minute ferry ride from Tadanoumi 忠海 This island is great for a day trip as you can have a picnic, go hiking, lie on the beach, play tennis and visit the interesting Poison Gas Museum. There are many remains of the Poison Gas factory on the island which gives the island an eerie feel. Besides that you can see many rabbits that live on the island. They are pretty tame so remember to bring carrots and your camera!

Mt. Kurotaki and Mt. Shirotaki From Tadanoumi station head towards the very tall mountain, which is Mt. Kurotaki. At the top of the mountain, there is a temple sacred to Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, which is said to have been established in the year 730 by the Buddhist saint Gyoki. A panoramic view from the mountaintop cliffs is breathtaking, overlooking studded islands including Okunoshima Island, just below the mountain to the faraway Ishizuchi mountain range in Shikoku. There are also 33 stone Buddhist images scattered on the mountainside, and these were dedicated by local people 150 years ago. Many people pay a visit to these places as a miniature pilgrimage of western Japan. Mt. Shirotaki is just behind Mt. Kurotaki and at the top is a temple which is run by a priest who is originally from England.

Miyatoko cave sauna From Tadanoumi station turn left and walk along the train tracks till the second left. Keep walking straight down windy roads till you get to Miyatoko beach. This beach is hundreds of years old and is famous for being in the 1950’s film “Hinode”. On the far right side of the beach you will see a funny building attached to the cliff. This is the entrance to the cave sauna. It is open 11:30-21:00 and costs 1200 yen. You can sit in your swimming costume or shorts and t-shirt. There is only one other place in Japan like this, so please do make a visit.


Kurotaki Cherry Blossom Festival (Early April)
Tadanoumi Miyatoko Festival (End of April) This festival came about because lots of children got sick and died from a smallpox plague. This festival is thus dedicated to children. Both days have concerts and events as well as flea market. On the Sunday head to Miyatoko Beach at round 4pm to take part in the crazy prize catching game. There are great prizes to be won, and it is quite an experience.
Tadanoumi Gion Festival (Mid-July) This festival is for the boys who turn 20 years old. They dress in cool costumes. In the beginning their backs are covered in “monkeys”. They have a ceremony where they throw these “monkeys” and if you catch them you will have good luck. Then the boys and some old men carry a giant portable shrine around the town all day. They get blessed by almost every shop in the town. At night fall they head for one of the temples to put the shrine back. Really an emotional experience, especially as Tadanoumi has so few boys coming of age.

Takehara Summer Festival & Fireworks (Late August)

Takehara Bamboo Festival (October) This festival puts all other lantern festivals to shame. Walk through “Little Kyoto” to see beautiful bamboo light artwork. Also watch performances, listen to music, have your photo taken with the Bamboo Princess, dance with the Break dancing Panda, eat loads of good food and join the old men in drinking lots of Takehara sake.



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External linksEdit

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