Setouchi Finder Editorial Dept.

Setouchi Area

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write up by Setouchi Finder Editorial Dept.

Available Write Up: 156

2018.3.23 Art Kagawa

Kankakei Gorge – An artwork 13 million years in the making

Kankakei Gorge, located in the center of Shodoshima Island, possesses the sort of evocative beauty that any master artist would gladly claim as their own. The stark cliffs and expressive rock formations provide a unique canvas that brings out the best of the stunning vegetation of the island.

2018.3.23 Gourmet Kagawa

Nakabuan – Getting to Know Summer’s Perfect Noodle

I must confess, I’m a bit of a noodle freak. See a line forming at a ramen shop, I will jump on it, sure to be a winner. The same goes for udon and soba, which between them account for half my diet I imagine. Still, when summer rolls around, there is only one noodle I simply must have close at hand — soumen, the string-thin noodle, served chilled with a refreshing dipping sauce. Satisfying, like a cool sea breeze for the stomach.

2018.3.23 Art Yamaguchi

Hagi – An Open-Air Museum of Japan’s Entry Into the Modern World

No matter what way you cut it, Japan’s rise from a feudal society into its hyper-modern form has been an amazing transformation. Like many people, I was familiar with the basics of Japan’s journey to becoming a modern country – samurai rebellions, sending bright men to learn from advanced countries, and so forth – but I hadn’t really been to many of the historical sites where the nuts and bolts of this epic change took place.

2018.3.23 Art Yamaguchi

Shimonoseki Marine Science Museum “Kaikyokan” – A glimpse into the Wonderland Below the Waves

A short walk from Shimonoseki’s famous Karato Market along the Straits of Kanmon, is the Shimonoseki Marine Science Museum Kaikyokan (Sea Aquarium). From the wonders of high-speed penguins — and there are oh so many penguins — to the re-creation of the natural habitat thriving below in the straits, to the performing sea lion and dolphins, this aquarium has something fun and educational for all ages.

2018.3.23 Hotel Hyogo

Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland – Indulge Your Senses

If you’re looking to curl up in the lap of luxury, Hotel La Suite Kobe Harborland will deliver on a silver platter.

2018.3.23 Gourmet Hiroshima

Tempura Tenkou – Where Frying is an Art Form

The father and son moved silently between the chopping board and the fryer. It looked like a dance – each movement choreographed to perfection. With speed and precision, their metal chopsticks shimmered as they transferred each ingredient from the fryer to the plate.

2018.3.23 Art Ehime

Oyamazumi-jinja Shrine – Japan’s Most Extensive Samurai Treasury

Tucked away on the quiet island of Omishima in the Seto Inland Sea lies Oyamazumi-jinja Shrine — ancient Shinto sanctuary, and holy pilgrimage destination for Japan’s warriors for more than 1,400 years.

2018.3.23 Cycling Hiroshima

Shimanami Kaido – Cyclist’s Paradise

Ever since I first heard about the Shimanami Kaido – an epic cycling course in Japan – I knew I wanted to do it. After all, it sounds like cycling paradise.

2018.3.23 Hotel Hiroshima

Kinsuikan – A Perfect Fusion of Old and New in the Heart of Miyajima

Surprised to see the Miyajima ferry veering so close to the famous vermilion gate of Itsukushima-jinja Shrine, I rushed onto the deck for a better view.

2018.3.23 Art Hyogo

Engyo-ji Temple – A Zen experience on Mt. Shosha

Just a brief bus ride and a ropeway ascent from Himeji station, the beautiful Mt. Shosha hosts a mixture of Buddhist and Shinto buildings. While it was established as a major center for Buddhism in 966, the name Engyo-ji refers to the entire mountain covered with sites, buildings, and statues of devotion.

2018.3.23 Gourmet Hiroshima

Okonomiyaki at Koshida Honten – Hiroshima’s Soul Food, Served with Heart

When it comes to Hiroshima, there’re a few things every visitor needs do – visit the Peace Memorial Museum, see Miyajima, and eat okonomiyaki. That delicious combination of noodles, cabbage, eggs – and whatever else you want – grilled hot, layered onto a crepe, and drenched in Otafuku sauce will get you every time.

2018.3.23 Art Okayama

Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum – Keeping the Ancient Arts Alive

As a longtime admirer of medieval arms, I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum, especially as it’s located in Setouchi city, Okayama Prefecture — an area with a millenia-long reputation for producing Japan’s finest blades.

2018.3.23 Art Hiroshima

Kagura Monzen Tojimura – Experience Ancient Theater in a Vintage Village

Three samurai meet with three old women in a mountain pass.

2018.3.23 Art Ehime

History Comes Alive in Uchiko

Nestled into the mountains south of Matsuyama, the historic town of Uchiko thrived during the Edo Period (1603 – 1868) and the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912) producing high-quality washi paper and Japanese candle wax.

2018.3.23 Gourmet Ehime

Sawada – Exquisite Kaiseki Cuisine in Matsuyama

In an unassuming house in the suburbs of Matsuyama, the restaurant ‘Sawada’ serve some of the finest Japanese cuisine in the city.

2018.3.23 Art Kagawa

Well Worth the Climb – Kotohira-gu Shrine with a View

At first glance, Kotohira strikes me as just another small town in the Japanese countryside. But as it turns out, this township of 10,000 people boasts not just one, but two historic gems.

2018.3.23 Hotel Yamaguchi

Ganjima Bessou – Water Views and Fabulous Cuisine in World Heritage Town Hagi

Making my way along the small street along the river, the first things I notice are the fishing boats moored as far as I can see. Looking up, I realize I’m surrounded by mountains. Ahead of me, even the sea before me seems to be populated by peaks rising sharply from the Sea of Japan. I had come to Hagi to visit the world heritage site, I had not anticipated such captivating scenery and it brought a smile to my face.

2018.3.23 Hotel Yamaguchi

Bettei Otozure – A Tranquil Hideaway of luxurious Bathing

Nestled in verdant mountains beside a beautiful river lies the luxurious, traditional ryokan inn Bettei Otozure — an ideal place for those seeking an escape from the pressures of daily life.

2018.3.23 Art Yamaguchi

Iwakuni’s Kintaikyo Bridge – Feudal Architecture at its Finest

When you first lay eyes upon Iwakuni’s Kintaikyo Bridge, located just a short bus ride from Hiroshima City, you may find yourself feeling like something just doesn’t quite add up.

2018.3.23 Hotel Ehime

Setouchi Cominca Stays ORI – Staying in Luxury

What better way to enjoy your visit to Uchiko in Shikoku, than staying right in the heart of this beautiful historical town?

2018.3.23 Hotel Yamaguchi

Kokian – Onsen Oasis in Yamaguchi City

Kokian operates as an oasis of serenity in the city of Yamaguchi. After driving past the surrounding buildings and hotels in this popular hot spring resort area, it’s a surprise to step into the crisp open spaces of the silent lobby. Through the glass, grass seems to glow green in the sunlight. Lining the lawn sits a row of comfortable seats for ashiyu, hot springs specifically to warm and relax your feet.

2018.3.23 Gourmet Hyogo

Setsugetsuka – Home of Kobe’s iconic beef steak

Sitting down at the huge teppanyaki hotplate, the first thing I notice is the friendly chef grinning his welcome. The second point is that I don’t feel hot at all, despite the massive grill directly in front of me. Turning to my left, it’s impossible to miss the room-sized glass cellar full of wine. This establishment is stocked to the rafters with super fine vintages, and even carries a Michelin star.

2018.3.23 Art Hyogo

Himeji Castle – The White Heron

The first thing that strikes me as I stroll toward the illustrious Himeji Castle is its gleaming white surface. Shimmering in the sunlight against a bold blue sky, there’s no question as to where its monikers Hakuro-jo and Shirasagi-jo (“white egret castle” and “white heron castle”) come from. The wooden masterpiece is snow-white and elegant, like a bird poised for flight.

2018.3.23 Gourmet Kagawa

Nakano Udon School – Make Noodles to the Music

Cooking has never been my strong point, especially when it comes to making foods from scratch by following a recipe. But, when presented with the chance to learn the art of making Sanuki udon — the scrumptious soul food of Kagawa Prefecture — I couldn’t pass it up.

2018.3.23 Art Kagawa

Ritsurin Garden – A living window into Japan’s past.

“Konnichiwa, dozo!” the boatman exclaims cheerily as he hands me a conical-shaped hat made of straw like the one he is wearing — a sugegasa, as it is called in Japanese. Traditionally these hats were worn to shield the wearer from rain and harsh sun. Admittedly, I hesitate, feeling a bit silly.

2018.3.22 Art Tokushima

The Vine Bridges of Iya Valley – 800 years of History

“Tooi inaka!” exclaims the man next to me on the bus from Osaka when I tell him my destination. Even for my fellow Japanese passenger headed to Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, the Iya Valley is considered tooi inaka — deep countryside.

2018.3.22 Art Hiroshima

Hopping Mad for Rabbit Island

When I disembarked at Tadanoumi Station I knew I was heading for the same place as everyone else. Every year, over 100,000 visitors flock to the ferry port at Tadanoumi to sail the short distance across to Okunoshima Island – better known to the world as ‘Rabbit Island’.

2018.3.22 Art Hiroshima

Itsukushima Shrine & Senjokaku

Itsukushima Shrine needs no introduction. Its vermillion torii gate rising from the sea is an image recognized throughout the world. Every year millions flock to this small island off the coast of Hiroshima to marvel at the architecture and soak up the atmosphere of this World Heritage Site.

2018.3.22 Gourmet Hiroshima

Shells on the Sea Shore – Raw Oysters at Farm Suzuki

Look out to sea from Hiroshima Prefecture and you’ll see bamboo rafts floating on the serene waters of the Seto Inland Sea. Fishing boats with crane attachments sail from one raft to the next before returning to their makeshift jetties. These are Hiroshima’s oyster-cultivators. They grow their crops of succulent oysters on wires hanging down into the water from the bamboo struts.

2018.3.22 Hotel Ehime

Setouchi Aonagi – Sojourn to Luxury Minimalism

The world-renowned Pritzker Prize winning architect Tadao Ando has strong ties to the Seto Inland Sea. He worked closely with the Benesse Corporation turning the provincial island of Naoshima into one of the best-known art locations in the world. On the island, Ando is responsible for having created three museums and the hotel ‘Benesse House.’