Muroran is a port city in Japan's Iburi Subprefecture (Hokkaido Island) with population around 95,000 and total area approx 81 km2 (31 ml2).
During late-16th century, the entire region came under Matsumae clan's rule. The town was then developed as a trading post between the clans Matsumae (originally named Kakizaki) and Ainu (the "barbarians" from the north). The seaport was officially opened in 1892. Also then started the construction of city's main road linking Hakodate with Sapporo. In 1899, the port received its "open port" status allowing trading with UK and USA.
The municipality was established in 1922 after opening the shipping route to Mori and the railroad extension to Iwamizawa. In the following years, the city was developed as a major transportation hub and center of steel production. Unfortunately, in the end of WW2 (13939-1945), most of its industrial plants were severely damaged by USA's newest battleships. Currently, the city has large oil refineries, steel mills, cement factories and shipyards - all clustered around the port.
City's best-known tourist attractions include Hakucho Bridge (ranked eastern Japan's largest suspension bridge with length 720 m / 2360 ft), Mt Wshibetsu, Itanki Beach, Muroran-Hakkei (8 scenic locations).