The shinkansen station may have been built because of pork-barrel politics, but Onomichi is not such a dead end. Shipbuilding used to be a major industry, especially on the nearby island of Innoshima. These days, it sits at an important transport junction where the Nishi Seto Expressway crosses from Honshu to Shikoku. I once spent three works in a company training center on the island of Mukaijima, immediately across the water from Onomichi. This was about 30 years ago. I remember taking the cable-pulled ferry across the water and then queuing for ramen. At that time, they had started building the bridges that would connect Honshu and Shikoku. I got to drive across about seven years ago.