As a commemorative event, Setouchi city (Okayama) and Mitoyo city (Kagawa) collaborated and ran the “Bisan Seto Cruise – Islands of Mitoyo -” on October 11th!
My friends from Tokyo and I went on that special Setouchi cruise. (It’s not a regular service route.)
Each with its own route, a number of companies run Seto Inland Sea cruises.
The special cruise we went on was from Ushimado (Okayama) to Shishijima Island and Awashima Island. It took about 2 hours one way.
Being inland, the Seto Inland Sea is very calm; vessels ‘slide’ across it as if on glass. As the waters are so peaceful, boats are able to get up close to both inhabited and uninhabited islands.
However, the main highlight of any Seto Inland Sea Cruise is getting up close to and going under the Great Seto Bridge – Very impressive! This is the best part and the reason why people go on Setouchi Cruises.
Including the viaduct section, the Great Seto Bridge is 13.1 km long. As a combined railway-road bridge, it is the world’s longest.
The boat moors at both Shishijima and Awashima ports in Mitoyo, Kagawa.
Thought to be 1,200 years old, “Ōkusunoki (Giant Camphor Laurel)” in Shishijima has great charisma.
The plan was to see the giant tree from the ship, but because of the strong wind – a typhoon was moving closer on this particular day – we gave up! Cruises are susceptible to such minor occurrences!
We stopped by “Hyōryū Yūbinkyoku (Drift Post Office)” in Awashima.
Visitors can read letters at the post office that “accepts post with unknown addressees”. Such lost letters contain bittersweet yet warm feelings.
Within the Seto Inland Sea area, there are some 3000 islands of various sizes.
Among those islands, there are infinite combinations of which ones to visit, when to visit, and what route to take… Making your choice is one of the attractions of taking a Seto Inland Sea cruise. Choose wisely!
Setouchi-shi Okayama, Industry Promotion Division
Address: 300-1 Owari, Oku-chō, Setouchi-shi, Okayama, 701-4249
Website (Japanese): http://www.city.setouchi.lg.jp/
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Asai Asami, Katsutoshi Asai (Kokohore Japan)
Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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