Hiroshima's Naka Incineration Plant

Environmentally friendly travelling

By JJ Walsh    - 3 min read

Seems strange to suggest that tourists visit a garbage plant, but this world famous, stunning structure built by a famous Japanese architect is well worth a visit. 

This is one of the buildings commissioned by Hiroshima's government under the 2045: City of Peace & Creativity Project. This project was designed to commission innovative buildings around Hiroshima in an effort to create an “inspirational cityscape”. The project started on the 50th anniversary of the A-bombing of Hiroshima and there are currently 6 projects completed in the city. The incineration plant is certainly the most elaborate and ambitious of the projects thus far. 

Completed in March, 2004, this 400 million yen incineration plant project is the creation of Yoshio Taniguchi- a Japanese architect responsible for the redesign of the famous Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA). 

Taniguchi has called this Hiroshima project the 'museum of Garbage'. The plant successfully incorporates not only an educational aspect, but also functional beauty. It is a great place to learn about not only how garbage is sorted and incinerated, but also how a practical building normally connected to dirt, grime and things we throw away (and hope to never see again), does not in fact, have to be ugly.  The big glass walls inside the building offer not only an interesting perspective on the machines used for waste disposal, but also a connection to the natural environment outside.

The site itself is built on re-claimed landfill and is located at the end of Yoshijima-dori. This is the same main street that connects the Peace Memorial Museum and park in the city center to this location on the peninsula. This building is like a gateway from the center of Hiroshima to the smaller islands in the Seto-Inland sea.

All in all, this is a very pleasant place to spend a few hours. You will see many people going there out of curiosity, but staying to enjoy the open space and views on the grounds. Have a picnic on the grass on a sunny day, play outside with the kids, take pictures of the structure and the Seto-inland sea views.

The plant is open to the public everyday from 9-4:30 when you are free to wander inside the plant to view the machinery and internal design. If you want a tour (in Japanese) you can make a booking with the main office.

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JJ Walsh

JJ Walsh @joy.walsh

I've been living in Hiroshima since the mid 90's & still discovering new things to enjoy. I'm a big fan of both the old "wabi sabi" as well as modern and new designs, Japan offers both of these type of places to explore and enjoy. Even after many years here, I am still discovering surprising, fantastic and wacky things about this strange and wonderful land. I hope you enjoy your adventures around Japan- feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about traveling with kids, vegetarian dining or anything specific to Hiroshima.

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