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Western Honshu is bisected by a chain of picturesque, rugged mountains called the Chugoku San-chi. These mountains run east–west, making north–south travel a difficult proposition. Keep in mind that travel along the north coast, or San-in, is incredibly slow—local trains still plod from village to village—so if you are pressed for time to get to Hagi or Tsuwano, use Yamaguchi as your base; for Matsue, Kurashiki and Okayama work best.