Hiroshima (広島) is an industrial city of wide boulevards and criss-crossing rivers on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea.
Although internationally famous for the horrific split second on August 6, 1945, when it became the site of the world's first atomic bomb attack, Hiroshima is now a modern, cosmopolitan city with excellent cuisine and a bustling nightlife. Those expecting to step off the Shinkansen into a pile of smoldering rubble will be in for a surprise, as Hiroshima has all the ferroconcrete and blinking neon of any other modern Japanese city. Teenagers stream in and out of the station, where McDonald's and the latest keitai (mobile phones) await; hapless salarymen rush down Aioi-dori to their next meeting, casting a bloodshot eye toward the seedy bars of Nagarekawa as they pass. At first glance, it can be hard to imagine that anything out of the ordinary ever happened here. Today, Hiroshima has a population of more than 1.1 million. Automobiles are a major local industry, with Mazda's corporate headquarters nearby. There are three excellent art museums in the city center, some of Japan's most fanatical sports fans, and a wide range of culinary delights - most notably the city's towering contribution to bar cuisine, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.