Best of Setouchi – Highlights from Chugoku (Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi) – Selected by Japan Travel Writers

JapanTravel is the leading resource for Japan travel information and the primary destination for visitors planning and traveling to Japan. In response to a special Japan Travel campaign, their community writers descended on the Setouchi region to find, discover and share some of the best things to do on the Japan Travel website. The region is diverse in culture and nature and is easily accessed by Shinkansen.

1. The White Heron Castle of Himeji – Travel back in time in this beautiful original castle

Originally built over 400 years ago, Himeji Castle still stands today as a testament to the craftsmanship of its ancient builders. Also known as the White Heron Castle, it offers a firsthand glimpse into Japanese history.


That experience will, of course, be different for everyone. But there’s no doubt it is an experience worth having.



Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/hyogo/the-white-heron-castle-of-himeji/33083

2. Kinosaki Marine World – Not just an aquarium – it’s a marine life experience!

As an island nation, Japan is deeply connected to the sea. At Kinosaki Marine World, the nation’s relationship is on display in an amazing way. Kinosaki Marine World is not just an aquarium – it’s a marine life experience!


A visit here is like an education, underwater adventure, and loads of fun all at the same time.



Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/hyogo/kinosaki-marine-world/33134

3. Korakuen Garden – Discover one of the top three Japanese gardens

Although there are many impressive gardens throughout Japan, few can match the design and beauty of Korakuen in Okayama City. Considered one of the top three gardens in Japan, this former recreation area of the lord of Okayama Castle is worthy of a visit in any season.


Fitting the best elements of Japan into one place is tough, however they have successfully done that at Korakuen.




Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/okayama/korakuen-garden/33152


4. Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter – The “Venice of Japan” lives up to the title

Sometimes known as the “Venice of Japan,” the Bikan Historical Quarter in Kurashiki City lives up to the title. Though it is much smaller than the real Venice, don’t let its size fool you! This hidden travel gem is one of Japan’s finest historical sites.


The unique mix of a peaceful canal, architectural beauty and interesting history have earned the Bikan Quarter the title “Venice of Japan.”





Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/okayama/kurashiki-bikan-historical-quarter/33150

5. Cat Alley in Onomichi – Explore sloping streets through art, cafes and museums

Neko no Hosomichi or Cat Alley in Onomichi is hidden away between the sloping streets that wind around the town. It connects art, the town, people and greenery into one unique experience that you will not forget.


Cat Alley connects the town, art, people and greenery into one unique experience that you will not forget.



Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/hiroshima/cat-alley-in-onomichi/33165

6. Cycling the Shimanami Kaido – Experience the Seto Inland Sea at your own pace

The Shimanami Kaido Expressway connects six islands from Onomichi in Hiroshima to Imabari in Ehime. Six spectacular bridges link these tranquil islands in the Seto Inland Sea. The bike ride is 70 km in total and provides users with spectacular aerial and land views of the diverse landscape these islands for which these islands are famous.


Cycling across the Shimanami Kaido also provides you with the flexibility to deviate off the main road to stop in small towns to see sights along the way such as the Hirayama Museum, Kosanji Temple or a hot radon bath at Tatara Hot Spa.




Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/hiroshima/cycling-the-shimanami-kaido/32981

7. Yamaguchi’s Yuda Onsen and Rurikoji – Onsen found by white fox and a recommended walk in Onsen neighborhood

Travel to Yamaguchi’s Yuda Onsen & Rurikoji Temple to see wonderful lesser-known sightseeing spots in the Setouchi area of Japan. Soak in the relaxing hot springs of western Japan and enjoy a visit to one of the country’s most beautiful pagodas.


There are a number of other temples and shrines in the area worth seeing, as well as some of Yamaguchi Prefecture’s top museums.




Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/yamaguchi/yamaguchi-s-yuda-onsen-rurikoji/33074

8. Best of the Yanai Historic District – Historic street decorated with goldfish lanterns

Travel to Yamaguchi Prefecture and slip back in time into Japan’s past in Yanai City’s lovely historic district, only 35 minutes by train from Iwakuni. Yanai’s beautiful preserved townscape will delight visitors at every turn.


Shopping is something to save for the end of your visit. Stop in Kijiya to purchase some popular Japanese & Western-style cakes and sweets.



Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/yamaguchi/best-of-the-yanai-historic-district/33202

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