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Hiroshima Prefecture’s natural beauty and abundance of marine life are almost always upstaged by the tragedy that befell its capital in 1945.

The city of Hiroshima, a symbol of Japan’s postwar peace movement, has long been an important destination for school trips, as educators attempt to impress their students with the legacy of the bomb. Many people know little, however, about the prefecture’s scenic splendor or its delicacies.

Which is where Hiroshima Yume Terrace comes in. It is a store in Shinjuku Ward tasked with enhancing Tokyo residents’ knowledge of the prefecture by featuring some 200 local specialties and a restaurant offering Hiroshima cuisine.

“The complex coastline and numerous islands of the Seto Inland Sea create a beautiful landscape and our prefecture abounds with marine delicacies,” said Eiichi Teraoka, manager of the store.

The store, right outside the south exit of JR Shinjuku Station, also provides information on Hiroshima tourism and employment opportunities.

Hiroshima may be synonymous with the atomic bomb in the minds of many, who flock to the city to visit the museums and memorials dedicated to the victims, Teraoka said. “But we have a lot of other things to offer customers and tourists.”

The complex coastline, dotted with picturesque ports, and currents in the Seto Inland Sea nurture a distinct seafood haul, Teraoka said, adding that his store offers many processed seafood products, in particular the famed Hiroshima oysters.

Other popular items are the area’s sweets, including the renowned “momiji manju,” a sponge cake baked in the shape of a maple leaf.

Although it is not widely known, Hiroshima is one of the nation’s major sake producing prefectures, with some 80 breweries. The Tokyo store sells some of the prime local varieties.

The store’s best seller, however, has been Hiroshima-zuke, original pickles that are overwhelmingly popular in the prefecture.

Not many Tokyo residents know about the pickles, but sales at the store have been sustained by Hiroshima natives living in the capital who have difficulty finding them elsewhere in the area.

“The food culture is quite different between western and eastern Japan, and a store like ours is necessary for marketing research as well,” Teraoka said.

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