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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

YAMAGUCHI Iwakuni

A peaceful town famous for cherry blossoms and home to one of Japan's greatest bridges

An easy day trip from Hiroshima , the castle town of Iwakuni has some distinctive features. The serene flower gardens of Kikko Park , the soaring arches of Kintaikyo Bridge , impressive views from Iwakuni Castle and the unique sacred white snakes of Iwakuni make it a rewarding destination to spend a morning or afternoon.

Don't Miss

  • The striking five-arched Kintai Bridge
  • Iwakuni Castle and views from Mt. Shiroyama
  • Eating Iwakunizushi, local pressed sushi

How to Get There

Reach Iwakuni via local train or shinkansen.

The Sanyo Shinkansen stops at Shin-Iwakuni Station, and the trip from Shin-Yamaguchi Station takes under half an hour. Alternatively, hop on a local train on the Sanyo Main Line to Iwakuni Station. Travel time from Hiroshima is 50 minutes. The two stations are located at opposite sides of the city, so be sure to check your final destination before you travel.

Unmistakable arches of Kintaikyo Bridge

A marvel of engineering

Kintaikyo Bridge , with its unique five-arched design, spans the Nishiki River. An enchanting sight in any season, the bridge is particularly stunning in early April when over 3,000 cherry blossoms bloom along the banks of the river and in nearby Kikko Park .

The bridge was created without nails

The main keep of Iwakuni Castle

A commanding castle view

Hike or ride the convenient Iwakunijo Ropeway up to the impressive Iwakuni Castle . Visit the castle museum with samurai armor and artifacts and admire the views across the city from the top floor.

Built in homage to the original castle constructed here in 1608, this 1962 reconstruction captures the essence of the original. See the ruins of the former Iwakuni Castle at this site.

When you head back down, make sure to stop off at Iwakuni Art Museum, where you'll find interesting exhibitions concerning the lives of local samurai, and the armor they wore. The authenticity of the museum's take on samurai history is underscored by their title for this part of their exhibits: Life and Death Culture.

View from the castle keep

History and beauty at Kikko Park

A popular site for cherry blossom viewing in spring, Kikko Park is the former site of Kikkawa Hiroyoshi, the third lord of Iwakuni. This calm garden offers not only tranquility but also provides a fascinating insight into local history.

There's much to keep visitors entertained, including three museums, and two former samurai dwellings which can be viewed from outside.

Kikko Park, glorious during cherry blossom season

The mystical white snakes of Iwakuni

Iwakuni is home to a rare type of white snake, known as shirohebi. Designated as a Natural Monument of Japan, the snakes have an unusually high, naturally occurring rate of albinism. The snakes were revered as gods, and it was believed that households where a shirohebi settled would prosper. Find out more at the White Snake Museum, near Kintai Bridge .

The special sushi of Iwakuni

Iwakunizushi is a particular type of pressed sushi made in a distinctive square shape. Layered like a cake, the sushi is filled with colorful ingredients such as cut fish, chrysanthemum leaves, lotus root, sliced egg and shiitake mushrooms.

Iwakuni has also recently become a famous spot for ice cream, with several shops around Kintai Bridge selling an unbelievable variety of flavors, including sakura, green tea, and limited-edition seasonal flavors. It's the perfect way to finish off your trip to the area.

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