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  3. Recommended route for sightseeing

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Recommended route for sightseeing

 Shodoshima is located in Kagawa Prefecture well known for Chichu Art Museum at Naoshima designed by Architecture Tadao Ando, as well as "Kotohiragu" designated as a nationally important cultural property, where many unique culture and art can be found.
 Okayama Prefecture and Hyogo Prefecture are located on the opposite shore where there are many historical and cultural spaces such as "Himeji Castle", once introduced in Michelin Green Guide Japon and Japanese garden, Koraku-en, as well as the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Area (Kurashiki Bikan chiku), a very popular historic town.
 The area around Setouchi is a place suitable for not only art lovers, but also any type of tourist.
 Here is a recommended sightseeing route for popular places among tourists, mainly the area of Setouchi where the Setouchi International Art Festival will be held in 2010.

map of setouchi

Recommended route (A → G)

  • A. Kansai International Airport → [JR Express:approx.50mins] → JR Shin-Osaka Sta. → [Bullet Train:approx.30mins] → JR Himeji Sta. « Himeji area »
  • B. JR Himeji Sta. →[Bullet Train:approx.20mins]→ JR Okayama Sta. « Okayama area »
  • C. JR Okayama Sta. →[JR:17mins]→ JR Kurashiki Sta. «Kurashiki area » [Stay] Kurahiki or Okayama
  • D. (JR Kurashiki Sta.→[JR:17mins]→)JR Okayama Sta. →[JR Express:approx.60mins](Seto-Ohashi Bridge crossing) → Takamatsu Sta. « Takamatsu area »
  • E. (JR Takamatsu Sta. →[10mins on foot]→) Takamatsu Port → [Ferry:60mins or Hight speed power boat:30mins] → Tonosho Port→ [shuttle bus or Taxi:approx.15mins] → Resort Hotel Olivean Shodoshima[Stay]
    « Shodoshima area »
  • F. Resort Hotel Olivean Shodoshima →Tonosho Port → Takamatsu Port → Takamatsu chikkou Sta.[Kotoden:60mins]→Kotohira Sta. [15mins on foot] « Kotohiragu »
  • G. Kotoshira Sta. → Takamatsu chikkou Sta. → Takamatsu Sta. →[Footbus 160mins] (Akashi-Ohashi Bridge crossing)→Kobe Sannomiya BT « Kobe Area » Sannomiya Sta. → [Airport Coach:apprex.65mins] → Kansai International Airport

a Himeji area

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle

 Himeji Castle is said to be the most internationally-respected castle in Japan which is registered as the first Japanese National Cultural Treasure by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, along with Horyuji. Some of the reasons are an enormous amount of inventions as a fortress, its unique building structure, the exterior kept beautifully after 400 years of history and the castle's well preserved condition. Each day, many tourists get a view of the beautiful castle and enjoy this unique architecture.

  • [Access] 15mins walk from JR Himeji Station
  • [Hours] 9:00-16:00 (Apr.25-Aug.31 / 9:00-17:00)
  • [Michlein] Michelin 3 star

b Okayama area



Koraku-en is a Japanese garden located in Okayama Prefecture. It is a "daimyo garden" selected as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. This garden is said to be the only garden that almost maintains its original beauty. Seasonal events and plants attract many tourists. There is a tea house where you could enjoy a relaxing hot cup of green tea and Japanese sweets while watching beautiful views of garden.

  • [Access] 25mins walk from JR Okayama Station
  • [Hours] 7:30-18:00 (Oct.1-Mar.31 / 8:00-17:00)
  • [Michlein] Michelin 3 star
Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle

 Okayama Castle was built in 1597. A part of the castle was destroyed during Meiji Era and its dignified attitude gradually went away. Okayama Castle was completely destroyed after being destroyed in a fire in World War II. It was reconstructed in 1964 and reproduction of the exterior was completed in 1966. Currently, it is a major sightseeing spot in Okayama where visited by many tourists.

  • [Access] 25mins walk from JR Okayama Station
  • [Hours] 9:00-17:00
    Regular Holiday : Dec.29-31
  • [Michlein] Michelin 1 star

c Kurahiki area

The Kurashiki Bikan Historical Area

The Kurashiki Bikan Historical Area

 The Kurashiki Bikan Historical Area (Kurashiki Bikan chiku) is a popular sightseeing spot in Okayama. This area is surrounded by unique examples of Edo Era wooden warehouses called kura, along Kurashiki River. The tranquil atmosphere gives tourists the peace of mind and constantly visited by tourists in any season. There are stores and galleries using traditional buildings attracting tourists.

  • [Access] 10mins walk from JR Kurashiki Station
  • [Michlein] Michelin 2 star
Ohara Museum of Art

Ohara Museum of Art

 Ohara Museum of Art is the first museum introduced Western art modern art founded by a businessman, Magosaburo Ohara, for promoting culture. A wide variety of art, from Western modern art to modern art/ craftwork, is introduced in the museum. The store carries many products which cannot be found in this museum and they are very popular among tourists.
 During the Setouchi International Art Festival, tourists can experience the modern art and then touch upon the art of 100 years ago in Kurashiki.

  • [Access] 15mins walk form JR Kurashiki Station
  • [Hours] 9:00-17:00
    Regular holiday : Mondays
  • [Michlein] Michelin 2 star

d Takamatsu area

Ritsurin Garden

Ritsurin Garden

 This Japanese garden was built in the beginning of Edo Era and has 6 ponds and 13 miniature hills. It is said that it took over a hundred years to complete the garden. Different types of blooming flowers color the garden and tourists can enjoy the garden all year around. After viewing new and fresh artworks in the Setouchi International Art Festival, the oldness of the traditional garden might look more attractive to your eyes.

  • [Access] [From JR Ritsurin Koen Station]3mins on foot
    [From Kotoden Ritsurin Koen Station]10mins on foot
  • [Hours] 7:00-17:00(depending on the season)
  • [Michlein] Michelin 3 star

e Shodoshima Island area

Shodoshima Island

Shodoshima Island

 It is an island where you can enjoy the wonderful nature of Japan throughout the year. Enjoy the sea and the Olivean Shodoshima swimming pool in summer and discover the riches of nature in the colorful maple leaves in Kankakei in autumn.

f Kotohira area


Kotohira-gu Shrine

 During Edo Era, Kotohiragu was a place for the common men to visit along with Isejingu. As a protectorate god of the sea, it is visited by many locals and tourists. Many souvenir shops line up in the temple town and crowded with many tourists.
 Japan's oldest playhouse and sitting area with beautiful wall art are a popular attraction for tourists.

  • [Access] [From Takamatsu Chikko] 70mins tram ride by special express
  • [Hours] At any time
  • [Michlein] Michelin 2 star

g Kobe area

Kobe(Port Island)

Kobe Area

 This is a popular harbor town known for its beautiful night scenery. There are many high-end stores and restaurants using high-quality ingredients and it is a place for adults who are fond of high qualities.
 There are districts lined with Western style buildings and China Town providing a feel of abroad.
 Traveling to a modern city Kobe after visiting rustic Islands of Setouchi during the Setouchi International Art Festival is a recommended route because you can enjoy both Japanese villages and the big city at the same time.

  • [Access] [Kobe Port Tower]15mins walk from Motomachi Station
    [China Town]5mins walk from Motomachi Station
    [Kobe city Museum]10mins walk from Sannomiya Station
  • [Michlein] Michelin 2 star

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