The less-traveled Chugoku region is full of rural beauty, rewarding hikes and great historical significance
With its well-known history and famed floating shrine, it is hard to overlook Hiroshima, but this popular destination is merely the entry point of Japan's less-explored western frontier. Continue west following the Sanyo Shinkansen and you'll discover idyllic seaside towns and island-hopping opportunities on the Seto Inland Sea, with onward paths to Kyushu and Shikoku. Venture inland on the road less traveled, and your efforts will be rewarded with hikes on breathtaking peaks like Mt. Daisen divine natural landscapes, and the excitement of discovery in Shimane and Tottori.
- Hiroshima's famous floating shrine, and Okunoshima, an island ruled by rabbits
- The Iwami Kagura dance—a performance of a lifetime
- The well-preserved castle town of Hagi and its local pottery style
- Cycle the Shimanami Kaido over the sparkling Seto Inland Sea