Japan’s main sea artery! Alluring Setouchi cruise!


The Seto Inland Sea was discovered by foreign visitors.

The words “Seto Inland Sea” came into use more than 80 years ago. The body of water was actually named by Western travelers who visited this region. The name is said to have been born from the translation of “The Inland Sea,” which was the term used by them. It was not the Japanese themselves but foreigners who found the singular beauty of the Seto Inland Sea.

Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen (1833-1905)

A German geographer and explorer who defined and named the “Silk Road” through Sinology.
Words by Richthofen
“You could not find more elegant scenery extending over such a wide area anywhere else in the world. In the future, this area will be highly valued as one of the world’s most appealing places, attracting many people.”

The oldest tourist map of the Seto Inland Sea which was created 90 years ago.


This bird’s-eye view map of the Seto Inland Sea was produced as a supplement to the ‘Osaka Mainichi Shinbun’ newspaper dated January 1, 1927. The author, Hatsusaburo Yoshida himself carried out exploratory investigations of the local climate and history of the places he mapped, and humorously drew scenic locations in a dynamic, deformed style. People say that his maps were wildly popular as tourist maps at the time. What an enviable map published as a supplement to a newspaper in those days! The elaborate, beautiful map is still as vivid and valid today.
* “Chugoku-Shikoku Bird’s-Eye View Map” by Hatsusaburo Yoshida (in the possession of Hiroshima Prefectural Library)
* Photo provided by: ADPLEX

A special sea trip that will stimulate the five senses. Let’s take a cruise trip on the Seto Inland Sea!

The real pleasure of taking a cruise on the Seto Inland Sea is that you can admire the beautiful, varied scenery of “Japan” while enjoying an extremely extraordinary atmosphere in which time flows at a leisurely pace. Here, let’s take a look at the recommended cruises from a restaurant cruise that visitors can enjoy spontaneously, to a yacht charter that allows visitors to stay aboard for consecutive days and visit several islands.


The largest restaurant ship in Japan, “Luminous Kobe 2,” boasts of a passenger capacity of 1,000 persons. It offers various cruise plans including a casual lunch cruise.


The 3,911m long Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge that connects Kobe and Awajishima is the world’s longest suspension bridge. The cruise itinerary calls for passing under this bridge highlighted by the magnificent scenery of the bridge from directly above the deck. Tourists from abroad also exclaim in admiration.


Luminous Kobe 2, which was built in the image of the French luxury cruise ship Normandie, has minimum pitch and roll because of its large size, providing relaxed comfort. The interior is a uniformly visual Art Deco Style throughout the ship, and the entrance hall and rooms on board are spaciously designed.


Onboard “Concerto,” quality cruises offer high quality entertainment live performances. Four services are offered daily in front of MOSAIC at Kobe Harborland, which can be used even during small vacancy trips.
↓For details, read here.
Kobe Harbor Cruise towards Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Aboard “Concerto” (Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture)


Ginga is the one and only restaurant cruise ship that gives passengers the opportunity to visit by sea the World Heritage site “Miyajima” with a relaxed two and a half hour cruise from Hiroshima City to Miyajima’s Itsukushima Shrine while enjoying lunch. The ship stops offshore in front of Itsukushima Shrine’s otorii for about 5 minutes, during which passengers may offer a prayer from the sea as a unique cruise experience.
↓For details, read here.
Exquisite “lunch cruise by Ginga” on the Seto Inland Sea/ Setonaikaikisen Inc. [Hiroshima City, Hiroshima](Japanese)

If you want to charter a boat, a yacht is recommended. You can enjoy your own cruise while feeling the winds and tides of the Seto Inland Sea. The catamaran yacht sailed by the “Japan Yacht Charter Association” has minimal pitch and roll and is a comfortable cruise.

Without being tied to a tight schedule, chartering allows you to continue your trip by island-hopping, which is difficult on regular lines.

Unlike on board a yacht, the catamaran is spacious with the cabin including four to six rooms, as well as a bedroom, a shower room, galley, and a living room.

A stream of Setouchi cruise projects underway!

Preparations for the “Seven Stars Project of the Sea,” a project that aims to create the world’s first luxury passenger yacht that will serve as a symbol of Japan, are underway. Original designs for taking a leisurely and comfortable tour on the Seto Inland Sea and other seas surrounding Japan will be incorporated in the future.

Luxurious “guntû,” a small inn floating on the Seto Inland Sea, is scheduled to begin service in the autumn of 2017. You can experience an unprecedented cruise on the Seto Inland Sea by touring scenic spots in coastal areas of the Seto Inland Sea, while enjoying the sights in a spacious comfortable room and delicious meals and feeling as one with the sea.

The charm of cruising on the Seto Inland Sea are the close routes taken so near the main islands and the smaller islands. Not by simply touring sightseeing spots but by “taking a look at Japan from the sea,” the beauty of countless islands floating in a magnificent evening scene, expansive bridges connecting islands, urban night views, and yet to be discovered landscapes and seascapes. Why not enjoy cruising on the Seto Inland Sea?

◆ Luminous Cruising Co., Ltd. (Luminous Kobe 2)
◆ Kobe Cruiser Co., Ltd. (Concerto)
◆ Setonaikaikisen Inc. (Ginga)
◆ Japan Yacht Charter Association (Yacht charter)
◆ Ryobi Group (Seven Stars Project of the Sea)
◆ Setouchi Holdings, Inc. (guntû)

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