Western Honshu Feature

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Top Reasons to Go to Western Honshu

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.

Updated: 2014-02-04

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