General

A Journey to Seto Inland Sea region

Discover and experience the hidden charm of West Japan, the Seto Inland Sea region.
The Seto Inland Sea region has been progressive in politics, economics, society and culture of Japan since ancient times. A major factor in this is that the culture of China passed from Kyushu Island through the Seto Inland Sea region to the Yamato Kingdom (AD 4 – 7, now Nara).

The Seto Inland Sea is made up of a thousand big and small islands, including Japan’s first national park.
Discover its breathtaking vistas, temperate climate and a history that spans from ancient times.
Experience the daily lives of local people and learn about their fascinating and unique traditions and culture!

9 Day Tour of Seto Inland Sea region: Kobe, Kinosaki (Hyogo), Hiroshima City, & Kurashiki (Okayama)

Tour Route: Kobe – Kinosaki Onsen, Hot- springs – Hiroshima – Kurashiki

Day 1: Enter Kobe from your arrival place.

Kobe was one of the first ports to be opened when Japan began trade with the outside world in the Meiji period (1868 – 1912) after a long period of seclusion.
While Chinese merchants set up the Nankinmachi (China Town) near the port European merchants and diplomats settled down at the foot of the Rokko mountain range, which is now an historical district with many Western styled houses built in the late 19 th and early 20 th century, known as the Ijinkan area, Kitanocho.
Kobe offers a unique Japanese experience with its relaxing and healing onsen, hot-springs and sake breweries.

– Free time
Stay: Hotel La Suite Kobe (An Ocean View room where you can enjoy the Kobe sea)
Meals: none

Day 2: Kobe

Transportation: limousine taxi
– Free time

Recommended spots to visit

You can see how Japanese carpenters built traditional Japanese architecture working by hand with carpentry tools. (30 minutes by car from the hotel)
Hyogo Prefectual Museum: Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art
The museum was built by Tadao Ando (30 minutes by car from the hotel)

– Kikumasamune Sake Museum in Nada district.

In the brewery, which has been producing sake for more than 350 years, since the Edo era, you can enjoy tasting various sakes (30 minutes by car from the hotel)

Stay: Hotel La Suite Kobe
Meals: breakfast at the hotel, no lunch, Kobe Beef dinner at a Kobe Beef restaurant (Enjoy famous Kobe Beef!)

Day 3: from Kobe to Kinosaki Onsen (Kinosaki Hot- Springs) through Izushi town

Transportation: limousine taxi (3.5 hours including 1 hour stop at Izushi, a town well known for soba noodles.)
Kinosaki Onsen is located in the northern Hyogo prefecture on the coast of the Japan Sea.
This pleasant town, built along a willow-lined river, is one of the top hot springs destinations in Japan.
The hot springs were discovered in the 8th century and since then the town has developed into a charmingly old-fashioned hot springs town.

– Free time
Stay: Nishimuraya Honkan (traditional Japanese inn)
Meals: breakfast at the hotel, lunch: Izushi soba noodles, dinner: Kaiseki (traditional Japanese multi course meal) at the ryokan

Day 4: Kinosaki Onsen (Kinosaki Hot- Springs)

Transportation: partly on foot, partly on taxi
– Free time

Recommended spots to visit
– Meditation & Sutras experience at the Hokkeshuhonyuji Temple (8 minutes on foot from the ryokan)
– A basaltic cave: a basaltic mass formed by hardened lava which is 65 meters across and 42 meters high. (15 minutes by taxi from the ryokan)
Stay: Nishimuraya Ronkan (traditional Japanese inn)
Meals: breakfast at the ryokan, no lunch, dinner: Kaiseki at the ryokan

Day 5: from Kinosaki Onsen to Hiroshima through Himeji Castle.

Transportation: limousine taxi from Kinosaki to Himeji (2 hours) & from Himeji to Hiroshima by Shinkansen, a bullet train (1 hour)
Himeji Castle is regarded as the finest surviving example of prototypical Japanese castle architecture, also known as White Heron Castle (Shirasagijo) due to its elegant, white appearance.
Hiroshima, located on Honshu Island, is younger than many Japanese cities, less than 500 years old, but its fate was forever sealed in history on August 6, 1945, when it became the first city in the world to have an atomic bomb dropped on it. Thus, the city’s attractions center around peace: Peace Park, Peace Memorial and Peace Memorial Museum.
Stay: Sheraton Grand Hotel Hiroshima
Meals: breakfast at the ryokan, lunch: no, dinner: no

Day 6: Hiroshima & Miyajima

Transportation: 1 hour by train & ferry, or direct boats
Miyajima, the Shrine Island, a world Hertage site, is one of the most scenic spots in Japan. It has long been regarded as an Island of Gods on the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. The giant Torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine seems to float on the water at high tide.
There are a few hiking trails leading up to Mt. Misen. You can enjoy the abundant nature of the virgin forest, and great seasonal views.
Stay: Sheraton Grand Hotel Hiroshima
Meals: breakfast at the hotel, lunch: no, diner: no

Day 7: from Hiroshima to Kurashiki (Okayama)

Transportation: Shinkansen (40 minutes)
Kurashiki, located in southern Okayama Prefecture, is one of Japan’s great old merchant towns, and the preserved canal area dates back to the Edo Period (1603 – 1867). Enjoy a gondola ride on the canal, which is surrounded by weeping willows, and many historical buildings such as beautifully preserved wooden white-walled warehouses.
Stay: Kurashiki Ryokan: a Japanese traditional – style well-established inn that was converted from an Edo era warehouse.
Meals: breakfast at the hotel, lunch: no, diner: Kaiseki at the ryokan

Recommended spots to visit
– Stroll the canal area beside the gondola ride
– Visit old wealthy merchant houses such as the Ohashi house and Ohara House.

Day 8: Kurashiki

Transportation: taxi
Visit Inbe town – Bizen – yaki (1 hours from Kurashiki by car)

Bizen is named after the village of Imbe. It has a history of more than 1,000 years, which makes it one of the oldest pottery making techniques in Japan.
– Visit Mr. Jyun Iseki’s workshop, a living national treasure of Bizenyaki

Visit Osafune town – Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum (1 hour from Kurashiki by car)

Osafune once flourished as a major producer of Japanese swords. The museum is one of a limited number of sword museums and features a variety of Japanese swords on display.
You can learn about the history and manufacturing process for Japanese swords as well as experience the beauty and power of the swords up close.

Stay: Kurashiki Ryokan
Meals: breakfast at the ryokan, lunch: no, dinner at the ryokan

Day 9: leave Kurashiki after breakfastt

If you would like to explore Setouchi area by video please take a look Ms Kerry Ferro videos:

Activities

Walking, Exploring, History

Itinerary

Day 1: Enter Kobe from your arrival place.

Stay: Hotel La Suite Kobe (An Ocean View room where you can enjoy the Kobe sea)
Meals: none

Day 2: Kobe

Recommended spots to visit
Stay: Hotel La Suite Kobe
Meals: breakfast at the hotel, no lunch, Kobe Beef dinner at a Kobe Beef restaurant (Enjoy

Day 3: from Kobe to Kinosaki Onsen (Kinosaki Hot- Springs) through Izushi town

Stay: Nishimuraya Honkan (traditional Japanese inn)
Meals: breakfast at the hotel, lunch: Izushi soba noodles, dinner: Kaiseki (traditional Japanese

Day 4: Kinosaki Onsen (Kinosaki Hot- Springs)

Recommended spots to visit
Stay: Nishimuraya Ronkan (traditional Japanese inn)
Meals: breakfast at the ryokan, no lunch, dinner: Kaiseki at the ryokan

Day 5: from Kinosaki Onsen to Hiroshima through Himeji Castle.

Stay: Sheraton Grand Hotel Hiroshima
Meals: breakfast at the ryokan, lunch: no, dinner: no

Day 6: Hiroshima & Miyajima

Stay: Sheraton Grand Hotel Hiroshima
Meals: breakfast at the hotel, lunch: no, diner: no

Day 7: from Hiroshima to Kurashiki (Okayama)

Stay: Kurashiki Ryokan: a Japanese traditional - style well-established inn that was converted
Meals: breakfast at the hotel, lunch: no, diner: Kaiseki at the ryokan
Recommended spots to visit

Day 8: Kurashiki

Stay: Kurashiki Ryokan
Meals: breakfast at the ryokan, lunch: no, dinner at the ryokan

Day 9: leave Kurashiki after breakfastt

Available departures

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This is a daily tour.

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Kobe (Hyogo Prefecture)

Kobe (Hyogo Prefecture)Welcome to Kobe Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan and the capital city of Hyogo Prefecture. It is located on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, on the north shore of Osaka Bay. With a population around 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Read more

Kurashiki (Okayama Prefecture)

Kurashiki (Okayama Prefecture)Welcome to Kurashiki Kurashiki is a very beautiful little town located in Okayama prefecture. The town do have a preserved canal area since the Edo period which was between 1603-1867. Long time ago it was a town with many store for kept the rice, and now of age those stores become a museum, boutiques and Read more

Miyajima (Hiroshima Prefecture)

Miyajima (Hiroshima Prefecture)  Welcome Miyajima Miyajima Island, is one of the most scenic spots in Japan, has long been regarded as an Island of Gods on the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. It is a historical island where Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage site, is located less the on hour from Hiroshima and have numerous preserved shrines, temples Read more

Hiroshima (Hiroshima Prefecture)

Hiroshima (Hiroshima Prefecture)  Welcome to Hiroshima Hiroshima is a thoroughly modern city of wide boulevards, numerous rivers, a thriving downtown, and a population of more than 1 million. But its main tourist draw Peace Memorial Park is the legacy that sets the city apart: it was the world’s first city destroyed by an atomic bomb (the second was Read more

Kinosaki Onsen (Hyogo Prefecture)

Kinosaki Onsen (Hyogo Prefecture)Welcome to Kinosaki Onsen Located in Hyogo Prefecture and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy Japanese culture. Although many poets, writers, and calligraphers have come to Kinosaki for inspiration, many other travelers and Japanese residents frequent the area to unwind and enjoy themselves. Located in the northern portion of Hyogo Prefecture on the Read more

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