The Chūgoku region (中国, lit. “central country”) is basically the whole western part of the island of Honshū, west of Ōsaka and Kōbe. In turn, it is possible to divide it into the regions of the San’yō, the southern part, characterized by large cities, facing the Shikoku and the Inland Sea of Seto, and the San’in, the side exposed to the Sea of Japan, with winters with copious snowfalls and more rural and relaxed environments.
The prefectures that make up this region are, from west to east: Yamaguchi, Shimane, Hiroshima, Tottori and Okayama.
Undoubtedly, the most visited destination in this region is Hiroshima, a city witness to the sad epilogue of the Second World War. The nearby Miyajima, the island that hosts one of the “three landscapes of Japan”, is also a classic destination, with its torii on the sea and the deer that welcome visitors.
Yet, outside of these two goals, the Chūgoku is often left aside, almost forgotten, by those who visit Japan. A bit of fame has been achieved by the prefectures of Tottori, with its sand dunes, and Shimane, with the shrine of Izumo, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But the region has a lot more to offer, starting with the Shodo-jima islands, where windmills and olive groves are located, recalling somehow a Greek island sight, and Naoshima, an open-air museum of modern art. The Shimanami-Kaido, between Onomichi and Imabara, offers fantastic cycling excursions suspended between sea and sky.
To draw our attention are the castle of Bitchu-Takayama, one of the best preserved of Japan, the canals of the picturesque Kurashiki, the wonderful and elegant Kintai-kyō bridge of Iwakuni, the Akiyoshi-dō limestone caves in Yamaguchi, with the tropical island of Tsunoshima and much more!
These are just the first of many destinations: explore the Chūgoku region with us!