Wednesday, February 11, 2004


City, Hyogo ken (prefecture), western Honshu, Japan. During the Heian period (794 - 1185), it was a seaside resort for courtesans from Kyoto. It became a castle town in the 17th century, when the powerful Ikeda clan took up residence. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the establishment of chemical factories and steel mills has transformed Ako into one of Japan's most polluted industrial