A deeply historical shrine and Buddhist temple adorned by cherry blossoms

Marvel at the World Heritage Itsukushima Shrine floating on the sea, while enjoying the cherry blossoms and scenery of Miyajima Island (Hiroshima)

The World Cultural Heritage Itsukushima Shrine is rare in the world for its wooden structure that seems to float on the sea as the tides shift. The shrine was built with funds from Taira no Kiyomori, a prosperous warlord in the Heian Era. Its majestic and splendid main building (shaden) incorporates features of the palatial style of architecture favored by aristocrats in the Heian Era. At full tide, the shaden magically looks as if it is floating on the sea. Miyajima Island also has around 1,900 cherry blossom trees, and when standing near the Tahoto (two-storied pagoda) on the west side of the shrine, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the large Torii gate that appears to be floating on the sea framed by cherry blossoms. You can also enjoy the elegant scenery of the island’s five-storied pagoda accented by cherry blossoms.

Miyajima
Address
Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima [Map]
Open
6:30 to 18:00 *Time varies at different periods
Closed
None
Price
None *An entrance fee is required to enter Itsukushima Shrine
Cherry blossoms
Approx. 1,900 trees
Full bloom
From late March to early April
Light up
None
Parking
Parking is only available around the Miyajima-guchi Sanbashi area.
Access
From JR Miyajima-Guchi Station, walk for around 5 minutes to Miyajima-Guchi Sanbashi, and take the JR West Miyajima Ferry (connecting ferry) or Miyajma Matsudai Kisen ferry for 10 minutes to Miyajima Sanbashi, then walk for around 10 minutes.
Contact
Miyajima Tourist Association
TEL
+81-829-44-2011
URL
Website

MAP

Kumadani-ji Temple impresses with its rare Hachisuka-Zakura cherry blossoms accenting its grand temple gate (Tokushima)

The Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage is popular even among foreign tourists these days. It was started by the Japanese Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi (Kukai), who founded the Shingon school of Buddhism, as a journey to visit the sacred grounds of the island. As the eighth temple on the pilgrimage, Kumadani-ji strikes a splendid view with its vermilion tahoto (two-storied pagoda) accented by soft pink cherry blossoms. It also has the grandest temple gate of all the temples on Shikoku’s pilgrimage route. During cherry blossom season, the gate is adorned by the light red petals of the rare Hachisuka-Zakura blossoms. It is a truly elegant scenery that enthrals all who see it.

Kumadani-ji Temple
Address
185 Maeda Donari, Awa City, Tokushima [Map]
Open
7:00-17:00
Closed
None
Price
None
Credit card
None
Cherry blossom
300 trees
Full bloom
Mid-to-late March
Light up
None
Parking
50 cars (temple donation system)
Access
Approx. 20-minute taxi ride from JR Kamojima Station
Contact
Kumadani-ji Temple
TEL
+81-88-695-2065
URL
Website

MAP

(This information is as of March 2018)

Features

Onomichi is a quaint town located along the Seto Inland Sea in eastern Hiroshima Prefecture. Onomichi was certified as as Japanese Heritage on 2017. The town extends from the mainland across some of the neighboring islands.Small ferries operate between the downtown area and the nearby islands, adding to Onomichi's nostalgic port town atmosphere. RELATED ARTICLES
ONOMICHI
Onomichi is a quaint town located along the Seto Inland Sea in eastern Hiroshima Prefecture. Onomichi was certified as as Japanese Heritage on 2017. The town extends from the mainland across some of the neighboring islands.Small ferries operate between the downtown area and the nearby islands, adding to Onomichi's nostalgic port town atmosphere.
We present to you a collection of short movies filled with stunning western Japan locations that you have almost certainly never seen before. The scenes of Seto Inland Sea islands, beautiful towns and the daily lives of the locals will make you want to book a trip as soon as possible. RELATED ARTICLES
MOVIES
We present to you a collection of short movies filled with stunning western Japan locations that you have almost certainly never seen before. The scenes of Seto Inland Sea islands, beautiful towns and the daily lives of the locals will make you want to book a trip as soon as possible.

Themes

The exquisite beauty of the blooming cherry blossoms, and also their transient beauty as the petals fall, has been revered in the literature and aesthetic concepts of Japan since ancient times. Spring in Japan is the perfect time to immerse yourself in its hanami (flower viewing) culture, when friends and family gather under the cherry blossom trees and appreciate the beauty of the flowers while drinking and eating merrily. RELATED ARTICLES
SAKURA
The exquisite beauty of the blooming cherry blossoms, and also their transient beauty as the petals fall, has been revered in the literature and aesthetic concepts of Japan since ancient times. Spring in Japan is the perfect time to immerse yourself in its hanami (flower viewing) culture, when friends and family gather under the cherry blossom trees and appreciate the beauty of the flowers while drinking and eating merrily.
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Japan's one and only enclosed sea, the Seto Inland Sea. It contains over 700 islands, each with a culture and cuisine blessed by mountains and sea. It's so beautiful that some call it "the Aegean Sea of the East." RELATED ARTICLES
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AMAZING VIEWS
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UDON
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DENIM
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There are many places for art in west Japan, where outstanding natural beauty and traditional aesthetic are protected. In particular, Okayama, Hiroshima, and Kagawa are attracting attention as great destinations that drive artistic culture in west Japan. RELATED ARTICLES
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The culture of therapeutic bathing and mind by relaxing in a hot bath amid beautiful ever-changing scenery is a fixture of Japanese culture. The Setouchi region boasts scenic outdoor baths set above sprawling islands. RELATED ARTICLES
ONSEN
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PREMIUM FRUITS
With its warm climate, West Japan has many fruit-producing regions, including Okayama, "the fruit kingdom," famous as the top producer of white peaches and Muscat grapes. You can savor sumptuous sweet treats using lavish portions of seasonal fruit such as parfaits and shaved ice.

Destinations

Okayama, the Land of Sunshine, abounds with the blessings of lush mountains and a bountiful sea, the beauty of nature and the crossroads of prominent Japanese historic heritage. Always a key transport hub in the Setouchi region, in recent years it has also become the gateway to the art of the Seto Inland Sea. RELATED ARTICLES
OKAYAMA
Okayama, the Land of Sunshine, abounds with the blessings of lush mountains and a bountiful sea, the beauty of nature and the crossroads of prominent Japanese historic heritage. Always a key transport hub in the Setouchi region, in recent years it has also become the gateway to the art of the Seto Inland Sea.
Hiroshima, the International City of Peace, is known throughout the world for its two World Heritage sites and for being the setting of superb literary works. This is a compulsory stop for connoisseurs from around Japan looking for unique food culture, not least of which are okonomiyaki, said to be Japan's national dish, and oysters. RELATED ARTICLES
HIROSHIMA
Hiroshima, the International City of Peace, is known throughout the world for its two World Heritage sites and for being the setting of superb literary works. This is a compulsory stop for connoisseurs from around Japan looking for unique food culture, not least of which are okonomiyaki, said to be Japan's national dish, and oysters.
Shimane Prefecture is redolent of tradition, boasting a large number of nationally-recognized historical and cultural treasures such as the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine and Matsue Castle. Its large number of hot springs means it attracts a large number of people seeking healing in body and soul. It is also popular among visitors who can enjoy the fresh seafood from its Japan Sea coast and traditional foods such as soba noodle and Japanese sweets. RELATED ARTICLES
SHIMANE
Shimane Prefecture is redolent of tradition, boasting a large number of nationally-recognized historical and cultural treasures such as the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine and Matsue Castle. Its large number of hot springs means it attracts a large number of people seeking healing in body and soul. It is also popular among visitors who can enjoy the fresh seafood from its Japan Sea coast and traditional foods such as soba noodle and Japanese sweets.
In the northern part of the prefecture facing the Sea of Japan, there is a beautiful stretch of coastline of the Tottori Sand Dunes and white sand and pine trees while the south is a majestic mountain range including Mt. Daisen, the tallest peak of the Chugoku region. Tottori is therefore an area of natural beauty changing by the season, where delicacies from the sea and the mountains await. RELATED ARTICLES
TOTTORI
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Kagawa is the smallest prefecture in Japan. It is famous in Japan and abroad for being home to Sanuki udon, one of the “big three” udon noodle varieties, to the point that Kagawa is also known as “Udon Prefecture.” Kagawa is also gaining ground as a leader of Japan’s art culture by serving as the stage for the Setouchi Trienniale, a renowned contemporary arts festival. RELATED ARTICLES
KAGAWA
Kagawa is the smallest prefecture in Japan. It is famous in Japan and abroad for being home to Sanuki udon, one of the “big three” udon noodle varieties, to the point that Kagawa is also known as “Udon Prefecture.” Kagawa is also gaining ground as a leader of Japan’s art culture by serving as the stage for the Setouchi Trienniale, a renowned contemporary arts festival.
Kochi Prefecture is a premier destination for natural beauty, with its dynamic, warm Kuroshio current-bathed coastline, crystal-clear rivers such as the Niyodogawa famous for its “miracle blue” waters, and ample scenic hotspots. It is also popular as a foodie destination, a variety of seafood including skipjack tuna and its delicious sake rice wine. RELATED ARTICLES
KOCHI
Kochi Prefecture is a premier destination for natural beauty, with its dynamic, warm Kuroshio current-bathed coastline, crystal-clear rivers such as the Niyodogawa famous for its “miracle blue” waters, and ample scenic hotspots. It is also popular as a foodie destination, a variety of seafood including skipjack tuna and its delicious sake rice wine.
Many people flock to Ehime prefecture to soothe their mind and body with the healing waters of Japan's oldest hot springs resort Dogo Onsen, and the breathtaking Tashimabi scenery of numerous islands scattered throughout the Seto Inland Sea, as seen from the Shimanami Kaido bridge route connecting six of the larger islands. In addition to these and other attractions, Ehime is also blessed with a warm climate and locally grown citrus fruits, as well as an abundance of seafood sourced from the three coastal waters that surround it. RELATED ARTICLES
EHIME
Many people flock to Ehime prefecture to soothe their mind and body with the healing waters of Japan's oldest hot springs resort Dogo Onsen, and the breathtaking Tashimabi scenery of numerous islands scattered throughout the Seto Inland Sea, as seen from the Shimanami Kaido bridge route connecting six of the larger islands. In addition to these and other attractions, Ehime is also blessed with a warm climate and locally grown citrus fruits, as well as an abundance of seafood sourced from the three coastal waters that surround it.
Tokushima prefecture magnificently captures the beautiful nature and traditional culture of Japan in its many attractions including the Kazura Bashi Vine Bridge, one of the country's three uniquely structured bridges, and the Iya Valley region with its preserved nostalgic rural scenery. A trip to Tokushima will surely be unforgettable as you marvel at the Naruto whirlpool, one of Japan's top three tidal streams, and experience the excitement of the country's hallmark Tokushima Awa Odori Dance Festival. RELATED ARTICLES
TOKUSHIMA
Tokushima prefecture magnificently captures the beautiful nature and traditional culture of Japan in its many attractions including the Kazura Bashi Vine Bridge, one of the country's three uniquely structured bridges, and the Iya Valley region with its preserved nostalgic rural scenery. A trip to Tokushima will surely be unforgettable as you marvel at the Naruto whirlpool, one of Japan's top three tidal streams, and experience the excitement of the country's hallmark Tokushima Awa Odori Dance Festival.