@62 days until Hiroshima Summit: Beer

by Tomoyuki Kada, Staff Writer

Hiroshima is known for its sake, but people have also enjoyed beer since the prewar period. The KIRIN Beer Hall opened in 1938 in the present-day Hondori district in Hiroshima City’s Naka Ward. There was also a tavern nearby run by the late Hiroshi Shigetomi, who had learned the knowledge and skill of beer brewing from a German engineer.

The beer hall reopened for business a little more than four months after the atomic bombing. Although the beer hall building that survived the bombing was demolished in 1991, there remains a monument on the outer wall of the Hiroshima PARCO Main Wing, which was the former location of the beer hall. Mr. Shigetomi’s tavern was burned down by the atomic bomb, but he opened a new beer restaurant and served draft beer. His grandson Yutaka, 60, also runs beer stands in Naka Ward and in the commercial facilities in JR Hiroshima Station, where smiles spread across customers’ faces as they enjoy the taste of beer poured into a mug.

(Originally published on March 18, 2023)