Guiding your trip to new adventures in Japan
Lose yourself in Setouchi and the authentic side of Japan
Setouchi offers many compelling experiences throughout the beautiful Seto Inland Sea, which comprises nearly 700 islands of all sizes. These include powerful moments in nature, such as insights into Satoyama (a mosaic of social-ecological systems), cycling trails with incredible views and well-preserved historical sites. Many other surprises may encourage visitors to extend their stay here, like deep cultural and artistic discoveries, cuisine focused on world-class seafood and architectural marvels.
Sustainable travel in Setouchi
Sustainable tourism in Setouchi is more than a buzzword. In Kamikatsu, set to be Japan's first zero-waste town, the Rise & Win Brewing Co. is championing sustainable brewing. In Toyooka, see the Oriental White Storks, konotori, thriving thanks to preservation in locations like the Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork, Hachigoro Toshima Wetland or the Kaya Wetlands. While at Farm Suzuki, you can enjoy a plate of freshly harvested and sustainably farmed oysters.
Immerse yourself in the unique culture of Setouchi
Exploring Setouchi by train is not only convenient – many incredible sightseeing trains with gorgeous interiors offer an exciting way to get a taste of prevailing cultures and traditions throughout the region. At the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum, craftspeople still forge swords using methods developed centuries before. And at Karato Market in Shimonoseki City, you'll see the vibrant and bustling atmosphere of Setouchi's seafood industry play out in real-time. It's an overwhelming delight for the senses.
Thousands of islands to explore on an unforgettable tour of the Seto Inland Sea
The number of islands in Setouchi's Seto Inland Sea, and their grandeur, is staggering. You can't explore them all, but there are some you simply can't afford to miss. Art lovers should make a beeline for Naoshima, Teshima and Shodoshima, a trio of traversable islands with impressive artistic credentials. Take in the scenery and enjoy a cycling adventure over some of Setouchi's largest islands on the Shimanami Kaido cycle route. And see the island chain from the water from the luxury cruise boat guntû.
Setouchi in the News
Discover the eclectic delights of Setouchi
The area of Setouchi comprises seven prefectures that surround the Seto Inland Sea and more than 700 islands. It’s known for abundant nature and satoyama (traditional rural landscapes), world-class art facilities and cycling courses, well-preserved historical areas and the relaxed culture of its islands. This diverse region truly offers something for everyone.
Discover Japan: Where Art Meets Nature
South of San’in, the Seto Inland Sea has served as an important sea route for millennia. Its dotted isles across the waters—when viewed from above, almost look like droplets of green paint on a canvas of deep blue—hide quaint rural villages and, more recently, thanks to the Setouchi Triennale art festival, a slew of art-centric destinations.
See a New Side of Japan with These Epic Outdoor Adventures
Travel + Leisure
For a post-thrill respite, sign up for a restorative Zen experience at Zenbo-Seinei. The wellness retreat and restaurant is housed in a minimalist wooden structure designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban. It appears to float amid the lush natural landscape of Awaji Island in Setouchi’s Hyogo Prefecture, just south of Kobe.
Setouchi offers many compelling experiences throughout the beautiful Seto Inland Sea, which comprises nearly 700 islands of all sizes. These include powerful moments in nature, such as insights into Satoyama (a mosaic of social-ecological systems), cycling trails with incredible views and well-preserved historical sites.