Western Honshu: Places to Explore


  • Hagi

    Hagi is virtually surrounded by two branches of the Abu-gawa—the river's south channel, Hashimoto-gawa, and the river's northeast fork, Matsumoto-gawa. Rising in great semicircles behind the sleepy town... Read more

  • Hiroshima

    On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 am, a massive chunk of metal known as Little Boy fell from an American plane, and the sky ignited and glowed for an instant. In that brief moment, however, it became as hot as... Read more

  • Izumo Taisha

  • Kurashiki

    From the 17th through the 19th century, this vital shipping port supplied Osaka with cotton, textiles, sugar, reeds, and rice. Today Kurashiki thrives on income from tourism. If your views were limited... Read more

  • Matsue

    Matsue is a city blessed with so much overwhelming beauty and good food that you will wonder what to look at, what to eat, and what to do first. It's where the lake named Shinji-ko empties into the lagoon... Read more

  • Miyajima

    Miyajima's majestic orange O-torii, or big gate, is made of several stout, rot-resistant camphor-tree trunks, and is famed for the illusion it gives of "floating" over the water. The torii is one of Japan's... Read more

  • Okayama

    The city of Okayama claims to have the most sunny days in Japan, and the disposition of the locals tends to reflect this. A beautiful black castle is set amid a spacious and luxuriant garden, justly rated... Read more

  • Tsuwano

    This hauntingly beautiful town, tucked into a narrow north–south valley at the foot of conical Aono-yama and its attendant dormant volcanic mountain friends, may be the most picturesque hamlet in all Japan... Read more