Explore Setouchi -Seto island sea-
In recent years, the Setouchi has attracted visitors not only from the rest of Japan, but also from overseas.
The New York Times ranked the Setouchi Islands 7th in their 52 Places to Go in 2019, and it was their only choice from Japan.
Here are some suggested routes from Matsuyama to the Setouchi Islands,
rich in nature, history, culture, art, and much, much more.
Cross the Seto Inland Sea and visit the history and culture of Hiroshima
Access to Hiroshima from Matsuyama is very convenient by boat. The small excursion across the Seto Inland Sea on a ferry or high-speed boat can be quite exciting in itself. You can also take the land route along the Shimanami Kaidō with 10 bridges connecting the islands, by car, bicycle, or even walk across. Choose your style and add a little bit more to your journey.
Hiroshima Prefecture is a treasure trove of sightseeing resources. The Peace Memorial Park, with the Memorial Museum and Atomic Bomb Dome is definitely a location you do not want to miss. The island of Miyajima in Hatsukaichi City that floats on the Seto Inland Sea is known as one of the three most scenic spots in Japan. It is home to the World Heritage Site Itsukushima-jinja shrine and its aesthetic landscape is filled with picturesque places to see. Kure City flourished as a naval port town that built the battleship Yamato. Visit the Yamato Museum and be amazed at the collection of powerful exhibits.
Hiroshima-Matsuyama Line discount for overseas visitors.
There is a 30% discount from the regular price when you use the high-speed boat between Miyajima and Hiroshima together with the Super Jet between Hiroshima Port and Matsuyama. Please check the following for prices and offer periods.
Cut across Shikoku to indulge in the art and gourmet of Kagawa
When you get back to Matsuyama, cross over to Kagawa Prefecture on east side of Shikoku. We recommend the train ride too, along the coastal route to tickle the travel bug in you. Get yourself an ekiben lunch box, sit back, relax, and enjoy the changing scenery from the car window as you pass by communities of idyllic fields and seaside homes or industrial areas.
Once you’re in Kagawa Prefecture, set your eyes on the Seto Inland Sea decorated with works of art. Artists come from around the world to work on projects from various perspectives of nature, culture, people, and food at the Setouchi Triennale held once every three years when the islands become the setting. One of the great attractions is the integration of life and art. You can encounter works that have completely become part of the island scenery even when the event isn’t being held.
With a nickname like “Udon-Ken (Udon Prefecture)”, Kagawa is the place for udon noodles that you really mustn’t miss. There are shops that don’t have signboards, some where you’ll have to wait in line, and of course a vast number of remarkable shops that everyone talks about. “Udon-shop hopping” is not uncommon. Fill up with bowls of authentic Sanuki udon to your heart’s content.
Savor the Seto Inland Sea. How you enjoy it is totally up to you.
If you start naming the charms of the Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima, Kagawa, and other prefectures, there’s no end. The climate is mild all year round and the area is blessed with the sea, sky, land, and rich nature. It seems to have its own easy flow of Setouchi Time.
The painting-like beauty of the groups of islands that nature has woven shows a different expression depending on the season and time of day. The bridges connecting them too, have a majestic beauty that goes beyond the confines of simple construction for transportation. They are in perfect harmony with nature.
Another interesting aspect of the Seto Inland Sea is the variety of local specialties of fresh seafood caught in the different areas because the tide flows differently. Of course agricultural products that are the blessings of the earth also have different local characteristics.
Each location’s history and culture are filled with individuality and charm. Stop by here and there and let your whole body feel the greatness of Setouchi.