Home of roses, geta sandals and Ponyo, Fukuyama lies between Osaka and Hiroshima. Here can also be found much natural beauty as well as many museums, temples and shrines
Most travelers who pass through Fukuyama do so only briefly, alighting from the shinkansen to jump on a bus to the picturesque fishing port of Tomo-no-ura, which provided the inspiration for the setting of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli animated film, Ponyo.
The center of Fukuyama City, however, boasts a pleasant park in which a replica of Fukuyama Castle (which can be seen from the railway station) stands and where there are a number of museums. The rose was adopted by the city as a symbol of its postwar recovery (over 80% of the city was flattened during World War II), and during May and June the fragrant and colorful flowers can be seen in parks and along city streets. The Rose Festival is the city's biggest event of the year, held annually in the middle of May.
To the west, the town of Matsunaga can be described as the home of Japan's traditional geta wooden sandal. The town produces well over half of all the geta sandals in the country. You can design your own pair of sandals to take home and the annual Geta Festival in autumn even has a "Geta Olympics".
North of the city, in the Kannabe, Yamano and Shinichi Ashida areas there are many temples and shrines with long histories, as well as mountains, gorges and waterfalls. The coast and islands of the Utsumi Numakuma southwest of the city also provide great views for the traveler with the time to move at a slower pace.