Walking Around Tomonoura, A Place Ghibli Film PONYO Was Set -Part 1-

This is a blog article introducing Tomonoura in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Tomonoura is a place Ghibli film PONYO and The Wolverine were set.

Tomonoura in Hiroshima Prefecture has kept traditional and nostalgic scenery that attracts filmmakers. A Studio Ghibli film PONYO, a Hollywood movie The Wolverine, a Japanese TV series Ryusei Wagon were set in Tomonoura.

Tomonoura was in my bucket list for a while and finally I got an opportunity going there! I found a great deal going there by a bus.

You need to take a Shinkansen (a bullet train) or a bus to Fukuyama Station and switch to a bus to Tomonoura. Tomonoura Historic Site Visit Bus Ticket includes not only bus tickets but also admission tickets for temples.

Tomonoura Historic Site Visit Bus Ticket (4,550 yen) includes:
・Round Trip Express Bus Tickets between Hiroshima Sta. - Fukuyama Sta.
・Round Trip Tomotetsu Bus Tickets between Fukuyama Sta. - Tomo Ko (Port)
・Admission Tickets for sites

Let’s Start Walking Around!

Whew… It took 2 hours from Hiroshima Sta. to Fukuyama Sta. and took another 30 minutes from there to Tomonoura.

“Oh look! I’ve seen it on TV!”

This is called Jouyatou which is a night-light in Edo era. It spinned ships and boats in the right way in the dark. This night-light was built in 1859.

I saw many people drawing pictures from here.

I found an old post!

Streets made me feel so nostalgic… Good old!

A friendly cat welcomed me too.

A View From Taichoroh In Fukuzenji Temple Is Breathtaking!

Tomonoura Historic Site Visit Bus Ticket includes an admission ticket for Taichoro in Fukuzenji Temple, so why not visiting there?

There were some arts were displayed when I visited.

Take my shoes off and walk inside...

Look how beautiful view it is!

Taichoro in Fukuzenji Temple is one of the places you can see such a wonderful view in Tomonoura.

Taichoro had been used as an accommodation facility for high ranking officers of Joseon (Korean) Mission to Japan. A superior officer admired by saying “the view is the most beautiful scenic area in Japan” and named it Taichoro. This was quite a compliment I guess...

Admission fee is 200 yen for an adult, 150 yen for a midlle-high school student, and 100 yen for an elementary student. Just remember, you have an admission ticket if you got Tomonoura Historic Site Visit Bus Tickets.

Historic Traditional Ryokan: Onfunayado IROHA Has Influence By Hayao Miyazaki

I had lunch at Onfunayado IROHA.
In the end of Edo era, Iroha Maru, the steamship that Ryoma Sakamoto rent from Ozu-han (in Ehime Prefecture), was crushed with a Meiko Maru of Kishu-han (in Ehime Prefecture) and sank in the sea. This place was used as a place for discussion of compensation.

※Ryoma Sakamoto was one of the most popular Samurais. He made a strong claim that Japan would need to open up to the world, end Edo era, and modernize Japan during Meiji Restoration.

IROHA has been renovated based on Studio Ghibli’s movie director Hayao Miyazaki’s degin drawing (oops, I forgot taking a picture…).

Pretty little garden!

I ordered Tai Irohazuke Gozen in here.

TA-DA! Marinated Tai (red sea bream) with Sake, kelp, and other seasonings was OH-SO GOOD! I enjoy itself first and put Tai on rice then pour hot broth (it is called Otyazuke) after.

Of course IROHA is a Ryokan, so you can stay for a night. If you are interested, there is an English webpage available here.

Tomonoura Historic Site Visit Bus Ticket includes another admission ticket for Ankokuji Temple, so I walked in...but it looked closed...sigh...

Someone spoke to me over my shoulder… Who’s this guy? What’s going to happen to me??

To be continued...

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Written by Kinako Kashiwagi

Lives in Hiroshima. I draw comics and illustrations. My hobby is traveling alone. I want to visit every prefecture in Japan!