The port of Mihara sits pretty much in the center of Hiroshima prefecture’s Seto Inland Sea coastline, 20 minutes by bullet train from Hiroshima and right between Takehara and Onomichi. The town has an interesting history (the “floating castle” around which the town was built was once one of the most impressive in the region), a Daruma Festival in February, the Yassa Dance Festival in August, and nearby Buttsu-ji Temple has some of the most astounding autumn colors in this part of Japan. Amalgamation with several neighboring towns in 2005 has extended the city limits deep inland and along the coast, and it is in these more remote areas that many of Mihara’s attractions are located, and they are most easily accessed by car.
Many visitors to Hiroshima find themselves in Mihara without even realizing it as Hiroshima Airport is located here, high in the hills of the Hongo area. Right next to the airport is Sankeien Garden and a forest park which has a challenging 12km cycle course built for the Asian Games. In this area there are also hiking trails, waterfalls, Seishin Temple Park with its lovely lotus pond, and many town dwellers drive out to the orchards to enjoy seasonal fruit picking.
The views from the coast road (and “Marine View” railway line) between Mihara and Takehara is very pretty. Even the huge Koyo Dockyard can look beautiful when silhouetted against a setting sun with tiny uninhabited islands dotting the shimmering sea. Sunami Beach Park, which has an excellent Italian restaurant as well as good, clean beach facilities, is one of the nicest along this part of the coast.
Of the many islands visible from the top of mountains like Funekaki-yama and Sakura-yama, only the little visited Ko-sagishima and Sagishima (the venue for an annual triathlon race at the end of August) come under Mihara city jurisdiction. These are servided by ferries from Mihara port from which you can also access Setoda on Ikuchi-jima Island and Innoshima Island.