Onomichi. In the Edo-era, the city flourished as a result of its official trading port status. Many merchants during the Edo-era (1603-1868) became very wealthy controlling the local trading and shipping and many hired poets, writers, artists and other craftsmen. Many temples and shrines were also built with this wealth. Despite heavy industrialization of most of the area during Japan's modernization the city has remained a focus of many artists. A famous trilogy of movies by a local-born and renowned director, Obayashi Nobuhiko, were made in the area. The area is famous for its cooking (ramen in particular) as well. Recent building developments near the station have help revitalize and beautify the city's core.