is a city
located alongside the Ashida River
As of the February 1, 2005 merger, the city has an estimated population of 426,795 and a density of 925 persons per km². The total area is 461.23 km². After Hiroshima City, it is the largest city in Hiroshima Prefecture and is located on the far east side of the prefecture. The city's symbol is the rose and it holds an annual "Rose Festival" in the month of May. Fukuyama City is a vital commercial, industrial and communications center. It produces machinery, Koto (Japanese harps), rubber products, electronics, textiles, and processed foods.
What is today the city of Fukuyama was founded as a castle town in 1619 by Mizuno Katsunari, a cousin of Tokugawa Ieyasu
who was given command of a territory in western Japan consisting of southern Bingo Province
and southwestern Bitchu Province
. He built a new castle-town as his capital and called it Fukuyama. It first became a city in 1916.
- 1871 With the abolition of the han system, the Fukuyama Prefecture was founded, shortly renamed Fukatsu (?) Prefecture.
- 1872 Fukatsu Prefecture and Kureshiki Prefecture were merged to form Oda (?) Prefecture
- 1875 Oda Prefecture merged into Okayama Prefecture
- 1876 Much of the former Bingo Province, including Fukuyama, transferred to Hiroshima Prefecture
- July 1, 1916 Fukuyama Town becomes Fukuyama City with a population of 32,356
- 1933 10 villages from surrounding Fukayasu district are merged into Fukuyama
- 1942 2 villages from Numakuma district are merged into Fukuyama
- August 8, 1945 (two days after the atom-bombing of Hiroshima) 91 B-29 bombers make an air-raid on Fukuyama, destroying much of the city
- March 31, 1954 several towns and villages in Kōrimatsu district merge to found the city of Matsunaga.
- 1956 Several towns and villages in Fukayasu district merge into Fukuyama
- 1962 Fukayasu Town, Fukayasu district merges with Fukuyama
- May 1, 1966 Fukuyama City and Matsunaga City merge to form a new Fukuyama City.
- April 1, 1974 Ashida Town in Ashina District merges with Fukuyama
- February 1, 1975 Kamo Town, Fukayasu District and Ekiya Town, Ashina District merge with Fukuyama
- April 1, 1998 Status raised to that of Core city
- February 3, 2003 Uchiuma Town in Numakuma District and Shin'ichi Town in Ashina District are merged into Fukuyama. Ashina District is dissolved thereby
- February 1, 2005 Numakuma Town in Numakuma District merges with Fukuyama, dissolving the district.
- March 1, 2006 Kannabe Town merges with Fukuyama, dissolving the Fukayasu District.
The city was founded on July 1, 1916.
The city is a regional rail hub and a stop on the coastal Sanyō line as well as a terminus for the Fukuen line extending north into Hiroshima Prefecture. Additionally, three types of Shinkansen train on the Sanyō Shinkansen line (limited express Nozomi, express Hikari and local Kodama) stop there, making the city easily accessible from anywhere in Japan.
Regional and city buses carry passengers throughout the city and link it to other cities in the region. Some of the cities reachable by highway bus are Hiroshima, Kobe, Kyoto, Matsue, Okayama, Osaka, Tokyo and Yonago.
Fukuyama is home to some 70 elementary schools, several dozen junior high schools and roughly twenty high schools, both public and private. Fukuyama University is located in the northwestern district of Matsunaga. The university offers many courses of study, but is best known for its excellent pharmacology
The Holocaust Education Center in Fukuyama, that was inaugurated on June 17, 1995, is dedicated to the memory of 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust. It has the distinction of being the first institution in Japan devoted to Holocaust education.
Fukuyama is home to several large department stores, including Caspa, Lotz, Tenmaya, and Ito Yokado/Happy Town/Port Plaza. Kannabe-cho is home to the department store Fuji Grand. Many shops selling traditional Japanese goods can be found along the city's Hondori (covered shopping arcade), as well as throughout the city.
Further away from the center of town are the districts of Matsunaga, known for its traditional Japanese footwear, called geta, and Tomo-no-Ura, a fishing village known for its traditional sea bream netting display every May.
- Tomo-no-ura - fishing port of numerous interesting temples and shrines; approximately 30 minutes south of Fukuyama by bus (14 km from Fukuyama).
- Myōōin - Buddhist temple with two national treasures.
- Taichōrō - temple hall on the hill behind the ferry terminal was built at the end of the 17th century to house a Korean delegation, which would at times pay its respects.
- Uono-sato - snack-food factory that processes most of the locally-caught fish. One can observe workers make chikuwa (ground-fish snacks) and senbei (rice crackers).
- Fukuyama Castle
Fukuyama, Hiroshima is twinned with Hamilton in Canada.