Just a Hop from Hiroshima! Five Recommended Islands in the Seto Inland Sea
The Seto Inland Sea has many islands, large and small, each with a variety of interesting spots to visit. Here are five recommended islands that are particularly easy to get to from Hiroshima.
Miyajima has many World Heritage Sites. It is an extremely famous island that is regarded as one of the three most scenic spots in Japan.
Itsukushima Shrine, the World Heritage Site with a 1,400-year history, is the symbol of this Island. It is actually built in the sea, so that the vermilion shrines connected by corridors and the great torii gate, which is an important cultural property, appear to float in the water at high tide. This wondrous site is definitely worth seeing!
There is a lot more to visit, such as the numerous temples and shrines, mountains, and virgin forests, and there are also many gourmet food items to try, such as "anagomeshi," made by laying conger eel on white rice, and various dishes made with oysters.
Innoshima is an island on the Shimanami Expressway. The Shimanami Expressway is a 60km road with multiple bridges connecting Onomichi in Honshu, and Imabari in Shikoku. There are six major islands along the road, and Innoshima is one of them.
Innoshima has many sites to see, such as Japan's only naval castle, and is also popular in the summer for its beaches and pools. It is known as the birthplace of a citrus fruit called "hassaku," so there are many hassaku-flavored items, including sweets, available there.
Omishima is also on the Shimanami Expressway. It is located beyond the fourth bridge going from Onomichi, at the boundary between Hiroshima and Ehime.
Oyamazumi Shrine, which has long been revered as the protector of Japan's oceans and seas, is the island's symbol, so the island is also known as the island of kami (deities). It is also worshiped as the guardian deity of warfare, so there are many valuable battle gear, such as armor and swords, worn by famous warriors on display in the shrine's treasure house. The shrine is one of Japan's top proprietors of national treasures and important cultural properties.
Mukaishima is also on the Shimanami Expressway, on the opposite shore from Onomichi in Honshu. It has many fruit orchards and flower farms thanks to the warm climate. It is a major producer of orchids, and at the Mukaishima Orchid Center, orchids cultivated at the center are available for purchase. It is also famous as a location for a movie by the renowned director, Nobuhiko Obayashi, and has attracted many Obayashi fans. There is an observatory at the top of the mountain, which is worth visiting for the magnificent view of the surrounding islands and the mountains of Shikoku.
Ikinajima sits at the border of Onomichi. Known for the beauty of the surrounding waters, It attracts many bathers in the summer.
An area with large boulders thought to be ancient ruins and amusement facilities such as Ikina Sporecu Park, which has a campsite, observatory, and heated pool, are also popular. There is a limited number of restaurants and inns, so if you want to stay in the area, you may want to find lodgings in Innajima, which is easily accessible by ferry.
It will be a relaxing experience to yield yourself to the slow passage of time on the islands. Please refer to this article and take a trip to the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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