- Photogenic icons Beside Miyajima, the O-torii rises from the Inland Sea. An hour from Matsue is the austere Izumo Taisha, a Shinto shrine reputed to ensure marital happiness.
- Fabulous seafood Great seafood abounds oysters (kaki) in Hiroshima; anago (conger eel) in Miyajima; uni-don (sea urchin over rice) in Hagi; mamakari (a sardinelike fish) in Kurashiki; and little black shijimi clams in Matsue.
- Lessons of the past Although A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima is held in great reverence, the city has embraced the future with its energetic multinational vibe.
- Gardens Okayama is home to one of Japan's top three gardens, the spacious and lush Korakuen, which surrounds the stunning black U-jo, or "Crow Castle."
- The people Though English is not widely spoken and foreigners may draw stares, locals will go above and beyond to help puzzled tourists.
FODOR'S GO LIST 2015
The top 25 places we think should be on every traveler's radar this year.More