Western Japan Hotels, Yado & Ryokan
Located in Hiroshima, Miyajima is an island designated as a World Cultural Heritage. Since ancient times, Miyajima island has been called the island of god,because Mt.misen is considered to be a god itself. Therefore many shrines and temples are located on Miyajima, such as, Itsukushima Shrine , Otorii Gate, Daishoin Temple, Daiganji and so on. Miyajima also has an abundance of beautiful nature with the deep forest of Mt. Misen.
Onomichi,Hiroshima prefecture and Imabari, Ehime prefecture, is connected by Shimanami-kaido that runs through the islands in the Seto Inland Sea. It is getting more attention because of the well-prepared bicycle road. There are increasing number of not only bicyclists but also pedestrian who can enjoy crossing bridges at their own pace. Thomas Cook once acclaimed that the beauty of Seto Inland Sea is equal to the one beautiful scenery created by gathering the best spots in the world.
Tomonoura, Hiroshima Pref. is located in the center of Seto Inland Sea. It prospered as a port town in ancient times. In Seto Inland Sea, the tide rises and falls twice a day and it reverses every six hours. Tomonoura was the anchor ground for the trading sail boats without engines to avert the adverse current and catch the tide. This scenic area was designated as the national park for the first time in Japan.
These days, this town has got a lot of attention as the place where Hayao Miyazaki, the animation creator of Studio Ghibli had worked over his plot for the movie “Ponyo on the Cliff by the sea”.
Kurashiki is a historic city of the west Okayama. It developed as a riverport and as an area directly controlled by the Edo Bakufu during the Edo period. The old merchant quarter is called the Bikan historical area. It contains many wooden warehouse, KURA, painted white with traditional black tiles, along a canal framed with weeping willows. The Ohara Museum of Art is the first museum for Western art in Japan. A lot of other cultural facilities exist, Kurashiki archae logical museum, Museum of folk craft ,and the Japanse rural toy museum.
Iwakuni is a city in the eastern part of Yamaguchi Prefecture. It was a castle town of Iwakuni han during the Edo period. The Kintai Bridge is most the famous sightseeing spot, because it is a beautiful wooden arch bridge spanning the Nishiki river. Kikko park and Iwakuni castle are good places to experience the influences of the Edo era of this castle town.
Tsuwano is a town in Kanoashi District, Shimane Prefecture, and called the Little Kyoto of San-In. Tsuwano is small castle town with old street Tono-machi , there is old buildings and waterway swiming many carp.It is the local country which comes out in tales of old Japan, surrounded by hills. Taikodani Inari Shrine with a tunnel of small red shrine gates. And Otome Toge is telling a sad story of Japanese Catholics who perished for religious belief.Novelist Mori Ōgai was born in Tsuwano.
Izumo Taisha Shrine
Izumo Taisha Shrine enshrines Okuninushi-no-mikoto who is called to have created a country of Japan. It has a solemn and mysterious atmosphere. Izumo Province is the country of gods in Japanese myths and it is said that gods throughout the country get together and stay at Izumo to conduct religious services from October 11 thru 17 (according to the lunar calendar).
Adachi Museum of Art is located one minute walk from Saginoyu-onsen. It has earned a reputation as the best garden in Japan from an American journal of Japanese gardens for over ten years and also received the highest rating in the Michelin Guide. So it has come under the global spotlight. It has a large collection such as the works of masters of traditional Japanese painting including Yokoyama Taikan, ceramic works of Rosanjin and Kawai Kanjiro, so you can enjoy both appreciating art works and the garden.
A complex that includes a museum of art and hot-spring area is rare in western Japan. It would be one of your choice as an accommodation in Izumo because there are many sightseeing spots such as Matsue, Mt. Daisen and Izumo Taisha around there.
Mt. Daisen, the highest peak in Chugoku district and called as “Hokifuji”, is the famous mountain which represents Japan. It has been respected as a sacred mountain through the ages, and there is a pilgrim's lodging at the starting point for a climb. The path of this mountain with sacred atmosphere is straight and easy to understand for beginners. There are many sightseeing spots like the forest of beech. Mt. Daisen is a single peak mountain, so you can get a very good and beautiful view from the top of the mountain. You can relieve your tiredness from mountain climbing in the hot spring located along the approach of Daisen-ji at the base of the mountain.
Nara became the Japanese capital called Heijyo-kyo in 710. As it was the terminal of Silk Road, Nara was the international city from back then where the rich culture flourished. The capital was relocated from Nara in about 70 years’ time, but the culture of that era can be seen now in a lot of temples and Buddha statues such as Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji. This is the key factor why Nara was registered on the World Heritage List. In addition, there are many attractions in Nara as age-old convention, festivals and streetscape.
From old times, Mt. Yoshino is known for the most beautiful cherry blossoms in Japan. In 2004, `Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range' including Mt. Yoshino was registered as a world heritage site. The sacred tree of Zaogongen, the principal image of the main hall of Kinpusen-ji Temple which is the center and symbol of Mt. Yoshino was the cherry blossoms. So they have been planted for more than 1,000 years. They are called 'Shimosenbon', 'Nakasenbon' and 'Kamisenbon' depend on where they were planted. In spring, it is alive with a lot of people viewing the cherry blossoms. The unspoiled landscape and color of Mt. Yoshino in spring are perfect. You should visit there once in your life.