Chugoku Travel Guide

The Chugoku region is located in the western part of Honshu. It includes Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi Prefectures. It faces the Sea of Japan on the northern side and the Seto Inland Sea on the southern side.

Among the destinations in the Chugoku region, the most popular among visitors from overseas is Hiroshima Prefecture. The Hiroshima area features the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Atomic Bomb Dome, and in the Miyajima area there is Itsukushima-jinja Shrine which is known for its scarlet torii floating in the ocean.

Okayama Prefecture is known as a fruit production area for fruits such as grapes and peaches. The Okayama area features the Koraku-en Garden which is one of the 3 best gardens in Japan, the Kurashiki area has traditional white-walled buildings, and the Bicchu area has Bicchu Matsuyama Castle, built in the highest location in Japan. On the ocean side of the prefecture, it is easy to access the islands of the Seto Inland Sea such as Naoshima.

In the Izumo region of Shimane Prefecture, the Izumo-taisha Shrine is famous for the god of marriage. There is also the Iwami Silvermine in the Iwami area, which formerly prospered as a silver mining area, and the Matsue area with Matsue Castle (Chidori Castle) which is designated as a national treasure. Aside from those, the Oki area includes Oki Island which is certified as a World Geopark.

In Tottori Prefecture, the Tottori/Kurayoshi area is famous for the Tottori Sand Dunes. You can enjoy these dunes to your heart’s content by walking or riding through them on a camel, and you can even see art made with sand at The Sand Museum. Bordering Tottori Prefecture is the Yonago/Sakaiminato area where you can enjoy outdoor activities at Daisen; this region is also the birthplace of the artist Shigeru Mizuki who created the famous manga GeGeGe No Kitaro, so there are many places related to him here.

Yamaguchi Prefecture is located on the westernmost tip of Honshu. It is connected to Kyushu via an underwater tunnel. This prefecture features the Yamaguchi area which has the limestone caverns Akiyoshido Limestone Cave, as well as the Hagi area where many old samurai residences still remain. In the Hagi area, Motonosumi Inari Jinja Shrine was selected by a certain publication’s “31 Most Beautiful Locations In Japan.” This shrine is a tourist hotspot for its spectacular views of 100 red torii all lined up in a row.

Hiroshima | Okayama | Simane | Tottori | Yamaguchi |