The Setouchi Region - Japanese Encyclopedia

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    • 2021-04-06

The Setouchi Region - Japanese Encyclopedia

Located in western Japan, the Setouchi region is surrounded by the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. Historically, the area has prospered for its shipping industry. There are plenty of sites to visit, including the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Itsukushima Shrine, and the Setouchi Triennale.

【Setouchi Region - Basic Information】

Prefectures comprising the Setouchi region.
Setouchi refers to the region in western Japan that surrounds the Seto Inland Sea. It is composed of seven prefectures: Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, Kagawa, and Ehime.
With 700 islands dotting the sea, Setouchi is famous for its stunning scenery. In 1860, the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen remarked that the scenery was unmatched anywhere else in the world.
The Setouchi has plenty of historical and cultural sites, including the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Itsukushima Shrine. However, it's also home to the Setouchi Triennale, the largest contemporary art festival in Japan, held every three years.

【The History of Setouchi】

Miyajima Island, home to Itsukushima Shrine

The Seto Inland Sea has long been the center of Japan's shipping industry.
During the late Heian Period (794 - 1185), Tairo no Kiyomori—a powerful military leader—established a port to trade with the Song Dynasty in China. Then during the Edo Period (1603 - 1868), several ports were built for cargo ships connecting Osaka with northern Japan.
Since the Meiji Era (1868 - 1912), the region has flourished as a center for shipbuilding. The town of Kure is also the backdrop of the hit anime movie "In This Corner of the World."
With its rich history and culture, Setouchi has a variety of unique places that are worth visiting.

【Sightseeing Spots in Setouchi】
Hiroshima: The Peace Memorial Museum and A-Bomb Dome

he Peace Memorial Museum and Atomic Bomb Dome are located in Hiroshima. The city continues to testify about the horrors of war and the importance of peace.

Hiroshima: Itsukushima Shrine and Miyajima Island
A scenic view in Japan, Itsukushima Shrine is known for its iconic torii gate standing in the water. Founded in 593, the shrine was built to its current scale during the rule of Taira no Kiyomori.

Kagawa, Okayama: The Setouchi Triennale and Contemporary Art

Picture from Explore Megijima - Art And Cafes On A Unique Island Destination In Japan
Known as the mecca of modern art, the islands of Kagawa and Okayama are venues for the Setouchi Triennale. This tri-annual festival is popular for its unique blend of modern aesthetics and local culture.

Okayama: Visit Unique Sites in Kurashiki

Once a prosperous commercial town, Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture has several notable sites. The traditional buildings in the Bikan Historical Quarter have a distinct appearance with their white walls. Meanwhile, the Ivy Square is a shopping center renovated from a cotton mill. The Ohara Museum of Art displays works by renown artists such as El Greco, Picasso, and Monet.

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