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The guides and drivers were very knowledgable about the areas and took care of us well
A couple from San Francisco

Peace, Art & History: Chugoku & Hiroshima

Chugoku, Japan’s region of mountains, is an excellent place to get a taste of the best of Japan. The area makes up the western part of Japan's main island Honshu and features a lot of great tourist attractions which you’ll enjoy. Hiroshima is the capital of the region and it’s here you’ll no doubt love the most. Visit the Peace Memorial Park dedicated to victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. On this tour you’ll also visit Miyajima island, Okayama, Matsue, Kurashiki and Naoshima. If you’ve only got six days to spare, you’ll want to spend them in delightful Chugoku.

Highlights
  • Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and learn about the devastating atomic bomb changed Japan, and the world, forever
  • Savor Japan’s most famous drink, sake, at a local brewery
  • Explore the Bikan Historical Quarter in Kurashiki, where you’ll see local life at its best
Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

Wake up in Hiroshima and begin the tour with a visit to Miyajima Island. Visit the World Heritage site of Itsukushima Shrine and enjoy a walk around the Mt Misen area. Get your first taste of Japanese food with a tasty lunch of “Hiroshima-yaki”. Next head to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, where you’ll find out about the atomic bomb disaster. Speaking to an A-bomb survivor can be arranged by request. After an informative afternoon, head back to your Hiroshima hotel.

Day 2
Okayama

Wake up and get ready for another busy day. Depart Hiroshima and head to Saijo, where you’ll have an exciting day visiting sake breweries and sampling this iconic drink of Japan. Next, you’ll go to Okayama where you’ll see the Korakuen Garden, one of Japan’s three most beautiful garden areas and also a cultural heritage site. Enjoy a restful night’s sleep at your hotel in Okayama.

Day 3

Depart Okayama to Matsue - this journey takes around two hours and 30 minutes. Here, you’ll get to explore the Matsue Castle and have a look around this castle town. There’s also a chance to take a 30 minute boat ride along the moat. It’s lunchtime, so taste the delicious local dish of Izumo soba buckwheat noodles. Then it’s time to check into your accommodation for the night, where you can relax for the evening.

Day 4
Kurashiki

Leave early in the morning for Yasugi, where you’ll visit the Adachi Museum, known for its amazing Japanese garden. Then head to Kurashiki where you’ll visit the Ohara Art Museum, which was the first collection of Western art to be permanently exhibited in Japan. Do some local sightseeing in the Bikan Historical Quarter, where there’s many historical wooden warehouses just waiting to be explored. There’s a beautiful canal framed with weeping willow trees and the whole area is interesting to visit.

Day 5

Depart Kurashiki and take the ferry to Naoshima Island. Here, explore the local delights that are the Chichu Art Museum and the Art House Project. Opened in 2004, the museum is built directly on the side of the island, and is buried mostly underground. In the evening, check in at the Hotel Benesse House, which is located inside the brilliant Benesse Art Museum. A guided tour of the museum can be arranged by request.

Day 6

Today’s the final day of your six day tour of Chugoku, Japan. Depart from Naoshima and head for Okayama or Takamatsu before catching your international flight.

 

Suggested Accommodations

Location
Accommodation
HIROSHIMA
Sekitei Hiroshima

Sekitei Hiroshima


Designed according to the classic Japanese principle of understated elegance, the Sekitei Hiroshima is a ryokan, or traditional hot-springs inn, located on the island of Miyajima. It boasts twelve, traditionally-designed Japanese rooms overlooking a large, well-manicured garden, and several recently renovated public baths. Each of the rooms possess a private, en-suite bathroom, views of either the garden or the Seto Inland Sea, and tasteful, wooden furniture. The Sekitei’s in-house restaurant serves a variety of delicious Japanese dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients. The Sekitei is located approximately 15 minutes from Miyajima’s pier.


 
 
KURASHIKI
Hotel Nikko Kurashiki , Ryokan Kurashiki

Hotel Nikko Kurashiki


The highest standard Western-style hotel in Kurashiki, Hotel Nikko warmly welcomes guests via its marble lobby, its simple and comfortable rooms, and its modern decor, a contrast to its location in Kurashiki’s old town. Guests may choose from 71 rooms, the best of which are found on the J floor (which we highly recommend). Free WiFi and air-conditioning come standard with every room. Meals are served at the hotel’s three restaurants: Ravenna Cafe, Hachikengura, and Kurashiki, while Heisabar bar serves up frothy Japanese beers  and tempting cocktails. Three different styles of meeting and banquet rooms are available for events, with the capacity to hold up to 120 people in one room. The airport is a 45-minute drive, while it’s possible to walk to the nearest JR Station in just over 10 minutes. 


 

Ryokan Kurashiki


This authentic ryokan is located in the heart of Kurashiki’s historical area, allowing for a true window into Japanese culture. The ryokan has been decorated to cater to traditional Japanese sensitivities, with tatami mat floors and clean, crisp lines, as well as elegant Japanese artwork adorning the walls. A charming Japanese garden greets guests as they enter the hotel. The entire abode has only six rooms, making it feel cozy and private. There is one restaurant, which serves up dishes in traditional kaiseki style, which may also be enjoyed in the hotel’s various private dining rooms. The hotel also has available banquet facilities for meetings and other such events. The airport is 45 minutes away, and the hotel is a 15-minute walk from JR Kurashiki station. 


 
 
NAOSHIMA
Benesse House

Benesse House


Comprised of five elements - sculpture park and museum, hotel, boutique, restaurants and a spa - Benesse House is one of the most unique properties in Japan. Every room has its own individual design and artwork, with 65 guest rooms and suites across four buildings: Museum, Oval, Park and Beach, all designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. In addition to housing the property's modern art museum, Museum has a lecture room that guest speakers are often invited to. Oval is set on a hill and connected to Museum by monorail; Park is where the bulk of Benesse House's facilities, such as its French restaurant, Terrace, its spa and shop are housed; and Beach is one of Ando's few buildings constructed chiefly of wood and is generally reserved for long-term guests. Inside Museum, there are two restaurants, Issen for Japanese and a separate cafe where guests and patrons can relax between viewings. The spa has a wide array of treatment options and is open from 11:00-22:00 with last appointments taken at 20:00.


 
 
Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald loves Japan's beautiful gardens, especially when covered in winter snow. Her favourite? Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa.
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