The port of Himeji is an international trade port located in the eastern part of the Seto Island Sea, on the coast of Himeji City, in the center of the Harima district. It extends 18km from east to west and has an area of 7,700 hectares. It contributes greatly to Japan's economic development, together with the adjacent Harima Port.
It was old, and Himeji Port developed as port which supported castle town "Himeji" as strategic point of traffic of the Seto Inland Sea, but postwar, put what greatly developed together with maintenance of the community quay, and maintenance of exclusive facility was pushed forward by locations such as factories. In addition, this port of is supply base of energy of Kinki, and power station, LNG base facility is located.
Former Shikama port (Shikama district) which opened out in the river mouth of Noda River was old and, under the pretense of "omoigamako", ship of not only ship which came and went but also envoy to the Tang Dynasty did the Seto Inland Sea in anchor night and was full. The port is also a supply point for the Kinki region’s energy, with electric power stations and natural gas stations.
Long ago, the old Shikama Port at the mouth of the Noda river was called “Shikamae”, and bustled with the activity of ships plying the Seto Inland Sea and those of envoys to Tang China. In 985, when Emperor Kazan paid an imperial visit, the name was changed to “Shikamatsu”. Thereafter for about 1,000 years it flourished in its strategic position on the Inland Sea routes. In the Edo period, water transport linked it to Himeji Castle, and it prospered as the “gateway to the sea” for the Himeji domain. In 1889 the name was changed to Shikama port, and in 1931 it was incorporated as a major port. In 1935 it was designated as a class 2 major port, and acted as an attraction for steelworks and other factories to locate nearby. Also, in the Hirohata port area, the semi-public Japan Iron & Steel Co. (now Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Hirohata plant) developed port facilities such as wharfs, breakwaters, sea channels and anchorages. In 1939 a 1,000-ton blast furnace, of which there were very few at the time, began operating.
With the outbreak of WWII, military expansion created a quickly growing demand for munitions, leading to swift growth in industrialization along the port’s waterfront. The Shikama port repair work, which had been discontinued, started up again in 1943, and along with Hirohata port, development of port facilities grew apace. After the war, in January 1951, Shikama, Hirohata and Aboshi ports were consolidated and designated as a major port under the name Himeji Port, and then in April 1959 it was designated as an open port.
When the Harima district was designated as an industrial development area by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1958, a 5-year port development plan from 1958-1963 was the basis for construction of Shikama’s and Aboshi’s breakwaters and dredging of Hirohata and Aboshi district sea channels.
Furthermore, and and the center of Harima district was appointed in specially important harbor as eggplant harbor in June, 1967 if Harima district was appointed in industrial maintenance special area, in 1963, harbor area was enlarged, too and fixed form of current Himeji Port.
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