Publish-date: Mar 28 2019 Update-date: Apr 29 2023
Do you know the Setouchi area? It consists primarily of the prefectures of Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Kagawa, and Ehime, and is popular for its wonderful food made with fresh seafood and fantastic views of the Seto Inland Sea. It is also an area of interest globally, with it being the only place in Japan to be introduced by publications such as National Geographic Traveller (UK) and New York Times. This article introduces recommended travel spots and food in the Setouchi area.
What is the Setouchi Area?
Setouchi is a nature-rich area surrounding Japan's largest inland sea, the Seto Inland Sea, and is home to Japan's first national park. Numerous islands, large and small, lined up amidst a calm sea, and the large bridge connecting them create the area's unique landscape. Setouchi is blessed with many sunny days throughout the year and is a major producer of citrus fruit, such as mandarin oranges and lemons.
1. Setouchi Triennale
Setouchi Triennale is held on 12 islands and two ports once every three years. It is a festival that aims to revitalize the islands, which still retain strong traditions and beautiful scenery, and will be held for the fourth time starting on April 26, 2019. Visitors can go to the various sites on ferries from Takamatsu Port and enjoy artwork made with resources from the Setouchi area, as well as performances by artists from around the world.
Grill a Table (Kawaramachi / Teppanyaki)
Grill a Table is a restaurant where you can enjoy teppanyaki (ingredients grilled on an iron griddle) made out of unusual ingredients. It is a place with a calm and relaxing feel, with counter seating where you can see the food being grilled right in front of your eyes and comfortable table seating. Dishes made with rare ingredients - wild asparagus from France, cheese from Yoshida Farm - as well as 10 different types of meats ranging from Kuroge Wagyu beef to aged beef are served. The [Takami Beef Fillet Steak] consisting of high-quality Kuroge Wagyu beef flavored simply with salt is recommended.
Grill a Table
: [Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm) Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)Closed
: Monday, the 1st Tuesday of the monthAverage price
: [Dinner] 8,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPYAccess
: Go west from the corner with STARBUCKS on Takamatsu Marugame Shopping Street, then immediately on the left, on the 2nd floor of the buildingAddress
: 2F, Festa II Bldg., 4-1 Kajiya-machi, Takamatsu city, Kagawa
2. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was established to promote world peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons. The Main Building, which is designated as a valuable cultural property of Japan, houses exhibits of documents from the time of the atomic bombing and tells the story of the events that happened in Hiroshima. The East Building introduces scenes of Hiroshima before and after the bomb was dropped, as well as the efforts that are being undertaken to promote peace. The Main Building is scheduled to be reopened after renovations on April 25, 2019.
Teppanyaki NANIWA (Kenchomae / Teppanyaki)
Teppanyaki NANIWA is a teppanyaki restaurant that brings out the best in their ingredients. It is a place to savor quality wagyu steak and seafood at the counter, where you can smell and hear the food being grilled right in front of you. You can also savor this food at a table or in a private room. Kuroge Wagyu beef steaks, served with a simple salt seasoning, are available from 3,564 JPY for 100g. At lunchtime, there is a [Seasonal Flavors NANIWA Steak Lunch] (3,800 JPY) and even a dessert buffet with fruits and sweets.
Open: Lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm) / Dinner 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm (L.O. 9:00 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 8,000 JPY / [Lunch] 3,000 JPY
Access: 3 minutes walk from Kencho-mae Station on Astram Line / Or take a tram from JR Hiroshima Station for 15 minutes, and get off at Kamiyacho-higashi Stop
Address: 6-78, Moto-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima city, Hiroshima
Fujiya (Genbaku Dome-mae Station / Sushi)
Fujiya is a restaurant where one can enjoy the collaboration between Japanese and Western cuisines. Step through the large, pure white noren (short curtain hung at the entrance of a shop) to enter a calm Japanese-style space. The sushi made with fresh and carefully selected seafood from Hiroshima is popular. The [8-Piece Omakase Nigiri] (2,500 JPY), an assortment of seasonal nigiri zushi (hand-formed sushi) and gunkan maki (battleship roll sushi), is recommended. There is also a variety of a la carte dishes made with seasonal ingredients. There is a wide selection of sake, as well as about 30 choices of wines that go well with Japanese food.
: Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pmClosed
: IrregularAverage price
: [Dinner] 5,000 JPYAccess
: A 3-minute walk from Gembaku Dome-mae station, it is one road south of the main road.Address
: 1-4-24 Otemachi , Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Hiroshima
3. SETOUCHI SEAPLANES
SETOUCHI SEAPLANES is a wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful Setouchi scenery from the sky. The 50-minute sightseeing flight takes you above Onomichi Channel, Inoshima Island, Tatara Bridge, Noshima Island, and other beautiful spots. There is a dedicated lounge with drinks and light snacks to relax in before takeoff. You can also charter a flight to enjoy sights not covered in the scheduled flights.
Restaurant ONOMICHI LESPOIR du CAFE (Onomichi / French Cuisine)
Restaurant ONOMICHI LESPOIR du CAFE is an authentic French restaurant founded more than 30 years ago. It is a stylish and liberating place situated within a renovated red brick warehouse by the sea with high ceilings. The [Wagyu Hamburger Steak] has been its signature menu since the time it opened. It is served with vegetables and soy sauce, and goes great with the house sauce made with a dollop of yogurt!
Restaurant ONOMICHI LESPOIR du CAFE
: [Monday, Wednesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day Before National Holidays] Lunch: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (L.O. 3:00 pm) / Dinner 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:00 pm) Closed
: TuesdayAverage price
: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY / [Lunch] 2,000 JPYAccess
: Walk approximately 7 minutes along with the ocean from Onomichi Station, then you will see a brick buildingAddress
: 14-5, Nishigosho-cho, Onomichi, Hiroshima
4. Cycling on Shimanami Kaido
Shimanami Kaido, a 70km road that connects Onomichi and Imabari, has Japan's first cycling road that crosses over the sea. There are many rental bicycle services so that you can drop your bicycle off at different locations, such as terminals and hotels. There is also a "blue line" that shows the way, so no need to worry about getting lost. If you want to enjoy the sights, consider staying over at one of the islands. After arriving in Imabari, first go to the cycling terminal, Sunrise Itoyama.
Pizzeria Austro (Namikata / Italian Cuisine)
Pizzeria Austro is a pizzeria serving authentic Italian pizza. It is tucked away in a house on the shore of a pond. The authentic pizza, made in a wood stove imported directly from Naples in Italy, has fantastic flavors! The [Margherita] (1,200 JPY), with a dough made of domestic wheat flour and toppings of tomatoes and plenty of mozzarelle imported from Italy, as well as the pasta dishes made with chewy, handmade noodles, are recommended!
: [Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays, Holidays, Days before holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - 2:30 pm (last order) / Dinner 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm (last order)Closed
: MondaysAverage price
: [Dinner] 2,500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPYAccess
: Proceed northward on Prefectural Route 15 from the "Namikata Branch" intersection, and turn right at the main street. Keep going straight for 500m, then make another right.Address
: Namikata-cho Yoro-otsu 327-12 , Imabari, Ehime
)More Details Reservation
Ajisho (Kawanoe / Sushi)
Ajisho is a restaurant that serves sushi made with fresh, local seafood. It is situated within a house with white walls, and the interior is a Japanese-style space with counter seats and cushioned floor seating by low tables. The [Chef's Omakase Nigiri] (5,000 JPY - 6,000 JPY) that includes high-grade ingredients, such as fatty tuna and kuruma prawns, is the most popular menu item. The shari (sushi rice) made with red vinegar was perfected through a process of trial and error and enhances the umami (Japanese savory taste) of the toppings.
: Normal hours: 11:00am-10:30pmClosed from 2:00pm-4:30pm (Weekdays) and 3:00pm-4:00pm (Sundays & National Holidays) for preparation.Lunch: 11:00am-2:00pmOperating Hours on Sundays and National Holidays are: 11:00am-9:30pmClosed
: NoneAverage price
: [Dinner] 6,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,100 JPYAccess
: Located next to Hasegawa Hospital.Address
: 1245-2 Kinsei-cho Shimobun , Shikoku Chuo-shi, Ehime
)More Details Reservation
5. Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter is an area with a beautiful townscape that evokes old Japan. The city of Kurashiki flourished more than 350 years ago as a supply collection center. The areas near the banks of Kurashiki River retain vestiges of the town as it was then, with rows of willow trees and traditional buildings with white walls and latticed windows. Step inside the historic townhouses and you'll find cafes and restaurants, shops selling denim clothing and other stylish items, and souvenir stores.
Yakinikutei Katsura (Kurashiki / Yakiniku)
Yakinikutei Katsura is a yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) restaurant established 70 years ago that serves primarily wagyu beef. The Japanese-style space with a welcoming wood design has semi-private rooms with table seating so that guests can relax and enjoy themselves with friends and family. The restaurant purchases the cattle whole and carefully butchers them themselves so that they can offer great quality meat at reasonable prices. The [Family Set] (6,800 JPY / serves 3-4 people) that includes 10 different types of meat is a popular menu item that is hugely satisfying both in terms of flavor and volume.
: [Weekday/Saturday/Sunday/Public Holidays] Lunch: 11:30am - 2:30pm (last order 1:45pm)/Dinner: 5pm - 11pm (last order 10:30pm)Closed
: WednesdaysAverage price
: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPYAccess
: About 16 minutes by car from Kurashiki Station. From the station, head towards Route 22, turn right at Hachikenya intersection, and it will be next to Zenko Yakuhin Kurashiki Shinden Store.Address
: 3207-1 Shinden, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama
Imagawa (Kurashiki / Japanese Cuisine and Kaiseki)
Imagawa is a restaurant serving Japanese cuisine that's just 4 minutes on foot from Kurashiki Station. Step through the large wood door and you will enter a comfortable and sophisticated modern Japanese space. The restaurant serves a wide selection of dishes that maximize the flavors of carefully selected domestic ingredients. The restaurant's original chewy [Washin Tofu] (750 JPY) and [Sashimi Assortment] (market price), filled with fish caught that morning, are recommended.
Open: [Monday / Wednesday - Sunday / Holidays / Day before Holiday] Lunch: 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (last order at 1:30 p.m.) Dinner: 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. (last order at 9:30 p.m.)
Average price: [Dinner] 6,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,700 JPY
Access: A four minute walk after getting off the JR Sanyo Line at Kurashiki Station. A four minute walk after getting off the Mizushima Seaside Railway Line at Kurashiki Station.
Address: 2-22-17 Achi, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama
So, these were some of the tourist spots and wonderful foods of the Setouchi area! Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the region and take note of the history behind its foods and tourist spots!
Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.
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