Chugoku

More relaxed and laid-back than the areas to the east, the Chugoku region of Japan is a delight to explore.

For lovers of art, Kurashiki's fabulous Ohara Museum and Naoshima "Art Island" on the Inland Sea offer a wealth of works, from Western masters to conceptual pieces by Japanese artists.

On the Japan Sea Coast, Matsue boasts the Adachi Museum, an unrivalled collection of Japanese modern art exhibited with the backdrop of a splendid Japanese garden.

The most famous city in this region is Hiroshima, where the events surrounding the dropping of the atomic bomb are commemorated at the haunting Peace Park and A-Bomb Museum.

A short distance from the Hiroshima coast you will find Miyajima, a charming island populated by friendly deer and monkeys. Watching the sun set behind the "floating" tori gate of Itsukushima Shrine here is one of Japan's most beautiful sights.

  • Naoshima on the Seto Inland Sea is one of my favourite places in Japan. With its art house projects, amazing museums and fantastic natural scenery, Naoshima is well worth a stop on anyone's itinerary.
    Cate Füchter - Travel Consultant
  • Hiroshima

    Western Honshu's largest city needs little introduction as the name Hiroshima has become synonymous with the Atomic Bomb. For this reason alone, millions of visitors flock to the municipality every year to pay their respects at the Peace Park and Museum.

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  • Matsue

    Matsue City is known as ‘The City of Water' being as it is both on the coast and sandwiched between two lakes. At first glance the city may not appear any different than any of Japan's small regional population centres. However, just a little investigation reveals a city with some striking features.

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  • Hagi

    Hagi is a small seaside treasure tucked away in the north of Yamaguchi Prefecture on the Japan Sea coast. The quiet white walled streets in the old castle town, gardens dotted with Natsumikan orange trees, tranquil Kikugahama beach and picturesque surroundings give Hagi a relaxed pace of life.

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  • Tsuwano

    Situated at the base of an idyllic valley, Tsuwano is a small town which prides itself on traditional arts, crafts and literature.

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  • Kurashiki

    Kurashiki has perhaps the best preserved old town district to be found anywhere in Japan. Weeping willows line the picture-perfect canals with the old 'kura' warehouses on either side now housing art museums and charming coffee shops.

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  • Okayama

    Located on the eastern seaboard half way between Osaka and Hiroshima, Okayama is like many other Japanese cities; an unattractive collection of concrete structures and no town planning. But here you will find a stunning garden, beautiful ceramics, and delicious peaches.

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  • Miyajima

    The beautiful Miyajima is a tiny island set in the tranquil Inland Sea, just off the coast of Hiroshima. This peaceful haven is home to the venerable shrine of Itsukushima, famous for its huge vermilion gate, or torii, which rises majestically out of the sea.

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  • Yamaguchi

    It's easy to see how Yamaguchi city gained the title

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  • Oki Islands

    The Oki Islands lie off the coast of Shimane Prefecture, in the crystal clear blue-green waters of the Sea of Japan. This hidden area offers rugged walks, quaint coastal villages, giant trees, secluded beaches, water sports, ancient Shinto shrines, seafood feasts and legends of giant squid.

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  • Tomonoura

    In the small fishing town of Tomoura traditional fishing techniques can still be seen today and you can be sure to get the freshest fish at the town's market. However, Tomoura is not all about fishing! It is also home to some impressive temples and a specially brewed “Longevity Sake”.

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