Part two of my travels across the Shimanami Kaido Expressway, a popular cycling route connecting Japan's main islands of Honshu and Shikoku. I ended my travels on the small islands of Ehime prefecture, where I’d visit modern art museums, samurai shrines and take in breathtaking island and ocean views from an observatory.
Part One of my travels across the Shimanami Kaido Expressway, a popular cycling route connecting Japan's main islands of Honshu and Shikoku. I started my travels in Hiroshima, where I stopped at Kosanji Temple and Hirayama Museum.
An overnight stay in Shikoku's Ozu Castle Town, home to Japan's first-ever overnight castle accommodations, Nipponia Hotel, and the charming thatched-house villa of Garyu Sanso.
A day on a secluded island getaway and modern art destination of Hiroshima's Momoshima Island.
Pufferfish, one of Japan’s most celebrated delicacies, and where to eat it in Shimonoseki, Japan.
A light hiking expedition with stunning island and ocean views, and including prestigious Buddhist structures of deep religious and historical significance. In that case, Mount Misen (弥山) of Hiroshima prefecture checks all the boxes. Here's a guide to Mt. Misen Trekking and Miyajima, the best two-hour hiking trail to take in Japan.
A visit to Motonosumi Shrine, crowned as one of “31 Most Beautiful Places in Japan,” and Yamaguchi's oldest onsen hotsprings.
A day hiking and cave exploration through Japan's largest concentrations of karst formations at Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park in Yamaguchi prefecture.
From pictorial villages of traditional thatched-roof houses to one of Japan’s beloved onsen hot spring towns, a visit to Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県) is ripe with opportunities to discover an older way of life in Japan.
Over 5.8 million LEDs transform the 26,000 square meter park of Nabana no Sato into Japan’s largest illumination festivals, transforming a chilly winter night into dreamy images of mountains, rivers, oceans, and flower fields in every colour you could imagine.
A flurry of steam filled the forge as katana swordsmith Matsunaga Genrokuro scooped clay water onto the amber-red iron of a Japanese samurai sword. Only a moment ago, he’d pulled the blazing-hot metal from under the massive hammer that sent sizzling flares out like an erupting volcano, before cooling it into the muddy concoction. Isn’t that steam hot? I thought as it swirled up to mask Matsunaga’s face.