【Setouchi Round Trip Plan】Takes you to eight towns filled with individuality and charm, allowing you to experience the true delights of Hiroshima, including its deep and maniacal aspects, backstage affairs, and hidden realities.
If you go a little farther from the city center, you can experience the best part of Hiroshima travel in eight charming cities and towns. Kure City, associated with the former navy; Higashi-Hiroshima City, one of the best breweries in Japan; Takehara City, the "Little Kyoto of Aki"; Etajima City, an island of many blessings; Kaita-Cho, with its rich history and nature; Kumano-Cho, famous for its Kumano brush; Saka-Cho, close to the sea and mountains; and Osakikamijima-Cho, charming cities, and towns. The intensity of your trip will be further enhanced by taking a tour plan that includes the sightseeing boats Sea Spica and Sea Paseo and the sightseeing train etSETOra. The Claire Line, a highway bus line connecting Hiroshima and Kure, makes your trip even more convenient and comfortable.
1. Kure City
A trip to Kure to experience the history and culture associated with the former navy and enjoy local gourmet food
Kure City is located in the southwestern part of Hiroshima Prefecture. It flourished as a military port where naval bases and factories were located after the Meiji Period (1868-1912). It is now a port town on the Seto Inland Sea with a Maritime Self-Defense Force base and other facilities. With easy access from Hiroshima Station, the town of Kure, crowded with people from the past to the present, is dotted with sights unique to this area. Facilities related to the former Navy and Maritime Self-Defense Force are well represented, including the "Yamato Museum," which introduces the battleship "Yamato," the largest battleship in the world at the time of World War II, and the "Iron Whale Museum (JMSDF Kure Museum)" a rare facility in the world that allows visitors to go inside a submarine that was actually on duty.
There is also a wide variety of culinary attractions, from Kure Navy gourmet foods such as omelet rice, whale cutlet, and Nikujaga-stew(meat & potato) to local delicacies such as Kure Kaiji Curry, Kure Cold Noodle, Miso-Daki (chicken skin stewed in miso), thin udon noodles, Bikkuri Manju bun, and Melon-Pan bread. Kuramoto Street in the urban area is lined with food stalls offering ramen, oden, and other creative dishes in the evenings.
There is a wide variety of accommodations, including hotels overlooking the ocean, cottages, and glamping facilities, so you can find your favorite.
- From Hiroshima Airport : Approx. 1 hour by Hiroshima Airport Limousine Bus, Kure Hiroshima Airport Line
- From Hiroshima Station : Approx. 35 min. by JR Kure Line Rapid Train
- From Hiroshima Bus Center : approx. 46 min. by Clair Line
- From Hiroshima Port : Approx. 45 min. by ferry
2. Takehara City
Takehara's "Little Kyoto in Aki" retains the atmosphere and atmosphere of the Edo period
Located adjacent to Higashi-Hiroshima City, Takehara is a "little Kyoto in Aki," where historical buildings from the mid-Edo to Meiji periods line the streets, creating a unique atmosphere. The merchant town (an urban residential area with stores where the merchants of the time lived) near the city center has been carefully preserved as a townscape preservation district. It has been selected as a national Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.
Strolling through such a townscape is a unique and extraordinary experience. You can enjoy the townscape as if you were back in time to the Edo period, including "Taketsuru Sake Brewery," the birthplace of Nikka Whiskey founder Masataka Taketsuru, "Saihoji Temple Fumeikaku," which was built in the image of Kyoto's Kiyomizu Temple, and "Okakae Jizo," a guardian deity jizo statue that may make your wishes come true.
Also, Okunoshima, a small island in the Seto Inland Sea, is home to many rabbits. Introduced as a "Rabbit Island" on video websites, the island has attracted attention from around the world.
Takehara is also famous as a gourmet town. The local specialty, bamboo shoots, creative dishes such as "Junmai Ginjo Takehara-yaki," and a local dish called "Gyohan(fish over the rice)" are served at several restaurants in the city, offering local delicacies.
For lodging, we recommend "NIPPONIA HOTEL Takehara Saltworks Town," where you can stay in a historical building in the townscape preservation district, or "Kyukamura Ohkunoshima," the only lodging facility on Okunoshima.
- From Hiroshima Station : it takes approximately 2 hours on the JR Kure Line. Approx. 70 minutes by highway bus. 12 minutes on the JR Sanyo Main Line, approx. 30 minutes by bus from Higashi-Hiroshima Station.
- From Hiroshima Station to Takehara Station: Roughly 70 minutes by express bus, or roughly 120 minutes via the JR Kure Line.
- From Hiroshima Station to Tadanoumi Station: Roughly 90 minutes by express bus, or 130 minutes via the JR Kure Line.
- From Kure Station to Takehara Station: Roughly 60 minutes via the JR Kure Line.
- From Kure Station to Tadanoumi Station: Roughly 70 minutes via the JR Kure Line.
- From Takehara Station to Okunoshima: Roughly 20 minutes via the JR Kure Line to Tadanoumi Station, roughly 5 minutes by foot to Tadanoumi Harbor, and roughly 15 minutes by ferry.
- From Hiroshima Airport to Takehara Station: Roughly 25 minutes by jumbo taxi.
- From Hiroshima Airport to Tadanoumi Station: Roughly 30 minutes by jumbo taxi.
3. Higashi-Hiroshima City
Adult field trip to Higashi-Hiroshima, one of the best sake breweries in Japan and a rich natural bounty
Higashi-Hiroshima City, located east of Hiroshima City and facing the Seto Inland Sea to the southeast, has long flourished as the center of Aki- no-Kuni Province. Saijo's sake brewing culture, one of Japan's best-known brewing regions and the birthplace of ginjoshu, is well known throughout the country. 7 sake breweries line the "Saijo Sakagura-Dori Street" on the south side of JR Saijo Station, carrying on the tradition and innovation of sake brewing. Some of the breweries have direct sales outlets, and others offer tours of their breweries and open their archives to the public so you can experience the charm of sake with all your senses.
Don't miss the "Bishu Nabe," a gourmet specialty unique to this sake brewery. This simple one-pot dish, consisting of meat, vegetables, and other ingredients seasoned with sake, salt, and pepper, used to be a meal for the brewers. The ingredients and flavors vary from restaurant to restaurant, so comparing them is a good idea.
If you go to the suburbs, you will find abundant nature, and you can enjoy seasonal fruit picking at tourist farms. In addition, the direct sales shop at "Michi-no-Eki Saijo Nonta no Sakagura'', which opened in 2022, offers local seasonal foods, processed products, and sake from 10 sake breweries in Higashihiroshima City. Children can play freely in the indoor playground "Kodomo Hiroba.
The Saijo Station area is convenient for staying overnight, with a wide variety of hotels. There are also camping facilities, including "Michi-no-Eki Kohan no Sato Fukutomi," adjacent to Fukutomi Dam in the suburbs.
- From Hiroshima Station : approx. 12 min. on the JR Shinkansen Kodama (Higashihiroshima Station), approx. 35 min. On the JR Sanyo Main Line (Saijo Station)
- From Kure Station : approximately 1 hour on the JR Kure Line and Sanyo Main Line (Saijo Station), approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes on the JR Kure Line (Akitsu Station)
- From Hiroshima Airport to Saijo Station: Roughly 25 minutes by limousine bus
４. Etajima City
Etajima, the fourth largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, is blessed with various activities and gourmet cuisine.
Etajima City consists of nine islands of various sizes, including Etajima and Nomi Island, the fourth largest in the Seto Inland Sea. Blessed with abundant nature, including the beauty of the many islands of the Seto Inland Sea with their gentle waves, the islands are also known for their sunsets. It is easily accessible from Hiroshima City and Kure City and can be easily visited by car or boat.
Etajima offers a wide variety of experiences, including sightseeing farms where visitors can pick mandarin oranges and strawberries, beaches where marine activities can be enjoyed, and campgrounds with a full lineup of cottages and tent sites. In addition, Edajima City has the "Kakishima Kaido" cycling road extending from Kure City, which is popular among cyclists for its diverse courses ranging from parallel to hill-climbing.
Gourmet food that makes the most of the island's bounty is also attractive. As the island is famous for oysters, dishes and processed products using oysters are abundant. The island's mild climate also makes olive cultivation flourish, and its olive oil, "Aki no Shimano mi Edajima Shibori," was highly acclaimed at an international competition in Italy.
For lodging, a wide variety of facilities are available, from hot spring bath houses to hotels, inns, and minshuku, allowing you to choose according to the purpose of your trip.
- From Hiroshima Station : approx. 35 min. by streetcar from Hiroshima Port and Ujina, approx. 20-40 min. by ferry or high-speed boat (depending on arrival port)
- From Kure : 12 minutes by ferry from Ten'o (Kure Portopia), 20 minutes by ferry or 10 minutes by high-speed boat from Kure Port (Koyo Port), 13 minutes by passenger boat from Kure Port (Akizuki Port)
- Access within Etajima City (local buses)
Kaita-Cho is a conveniently accessible tourist base with the historical atmosphere of an old post town and a rich natural environment.
Located adjacent to the east side of Hiroshima City, Kaita-Cho is a town steeped in history and nature. In the Edo period (1603-1867), the town flourished as a post town on the Sanyo Road (Saigoku Kaido). Along the old highway in the town, historical buildings such as the "Former Chiba Family Residence," the former home of the Chiba family, who once held important positions, line the streets, and the townscape is full of emotion.
A short distance away from the center of town, the area is rich. "Kaita Sogo Koen Park" in the northeastern part of the town has various facilities, including a plaza with one of the largest playground equipment in the prefecture. Mt. Hiura in the northern part of the town is an easy hiking spot, and the view from the top of the 345.4-meter-high mountain is spectacular.
Another gourmet food of Kaita is "Kaita Satsuma." The local dish combines grilled and ground seasonal fish, bone broth, and grilled miso and is popular as an accompaniment to rice. 2021, local high school students and the manufacturer developed a joint product, "Kaita Satsuma-no-moto," which makes a great souvenir.
For lodging, city hotels near Kaita City Station are recommended. Hiroshima and Kure's stations are easily accessible, making them a convenient base for sightseeing.
From Hiroshima Station : Approx. 10 min. on the JR Sanyo Main Line and Kure Line
From Kure Station : approx. 40 min. On JR Kure Line
Kumano-Cho is home to the world-famous "Kumano-Fude Brush." Kumano Town is also home to nature, famous sake, and B-class gourmet food.
Kumano-Cho is located in western Hiroshima Prefecture and is surrounded by mountains on all sides. The town is attractive for its abundant nature and convenient access to the cities of Hiroshima, Kure and Higashihiroshima.
Kumano is widely known for its specialty product, the "Kumano-Fude brush," which is highly popular in Japan and abroad. The town has a wide variety of brush-related attractions, such as the "Fudenosato kobo" workshop, a museum dedicated to the brush, and the "Sakakiyama Shrine," which houses a mound of brushes.
The area is also dotted with spots that make the most of its rich natural environment. "TomoBioPark," a play park with a satoyama play theme, and "Fukahara Area Park," where carp streamers swim over the grassy plaza in May, are popular spots where adults can enjoy themselves as children.
Of course, there are also local delicacies unique to Kumano: at the 100-year-old" Bajo shuzo" Brewery, you can buy two famous brands of sake as souvenirs: "Kasami no Tsuyu" and "Dai-Go-Rei." The "Fluffy Natto Yaki" and "Torikoro Yakisoba," B-class gourmet dishes developed by restaurants in the town, are must-try specialties.
For accommodations, we recommend the "TomoBioPark," where camping is also possible, or the peaceful guest house.
- From Hiroshima Station : approx. 45 min. by Hiroshima Dentetsu Bus
- From Kure Station : approx. 40 min. by Hiroshima Dentetsu Bus
Enjoy ocean, mountain, and village activities in Sakamachi, within a day trip from Hiroshima and Kure
Located between Hiroshima City and Kure City, Saka-Cho is close to the sea and mountains, where you can enjoy an active lifestyle while getting close to nature.
The "Bayside Beach Saka," a 1.2 km-long stretch of sandy beach on the coast, offers a wide variety of ocean activities such as swimming, beach sports, and marine sports. A new facility is currently under construction in collaboration with "mont-bell," which will further expand the range of enjoyment.
Another attraction is the variety of walking trails developed for the sea, villages, and mountains. From "Kirari Saka Nagisa Park," where one of the trails is located, visitors can view the Kaita Bridge, which appeared in the movie "Drive My Car."
The Spa is conveniently located only 16 minutes from Hiroshima Station and 25 minutes from Kure Station, making it an ideal location for day trips based in Hiroshima or Kure. Staying overnight at the Asian Resort Spa Seare, a 24-hour spa facility, is also good idea. Try the local delicacies, such as "Geishu Saka Udon noodles" made from Saka-machi's Murasaki wheat and Ume-no-Kaori, an authentic brewed wine named after the town's tree of plum blossoms.
- From Hiroshima Station : Approx. 16 min. on the JR Kure Line
- From Kure Station : approx. 25 min. On the JR Kure Line
Osakikamijima is the second largest non-bridged remote island in the Seto Inland Sea. Immerse yourself in the unique travel experience of a remote island
Located in the middle of the Geyo Islands, Osakigamijima is the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea that is not connected by a bridge. With its unique lifestyle and culture, this beautiful island has been used as a filming location for movies such as "Tokyo Kazoku" and "Kazoku wa Tsuraiyo."
A wide variety of activities can be experienced on the islands, including sea kayaking, SUP, cycling, fruit picking, and dyeing. Hiking on "Mt. Kannomine," which is said to offer a panoramic view of all 115 islands if you visit all of the observatories, is also popular. The ultra-compact BEV "C+pod" sharing as a new means of transportation within the islands is also scheduled to start in 2021.
The island is also rich in the bounty of mountains and the sea. The "Fisherman's Morning Market," established by local fishermen and held every Thursday morning, offers fresh fish from the waters around the island at reasonable prices. The "Minami-no-Sato Morning Market," featuring local vegetables, local fish, and freshly prepared dishes, is held every Saturday morning from 9:00 am.
The best part of island travel is lodging. A wide variety of facilities are available, including "Kinoe Onsen Hotel Seifukan," the island's best hot spring hotel, ryokan, minshuku, minpaku, and guesthouses.
- From Kure Station = Take San-yo Bus Tobishima Liner for about 1 hour and 25 minutes and get off at Ocho Port. From Ocho Port, take a 15-minute ferry ride (Akashi Port).
- From Hiroshima Station = Take the JR Kure Line to Takehara Station (approx. 2 hours). From Takehara Station, take a 10-minute bus ride to Takehara Port. From Takehara Port, take a 30-minute ferry ride (Tarumi Port).