|From Tokyo:||4-10 hr|
|From Okayama:||1.5 - 3 hr|
|From Hiroshima:||40 mins-1 hr|
How to Get to There
Setonaikai National Park is a noncontiguous park encompassing many highlights of the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. It includes around 3,000 islands and extends across 11 prefectures between Osaka, Fukuoka and Oita. The park has something for everyone, including Naoshima for art lovers, Miyajima for those interested in Japanese religion, Shimanami Kaido for cyclists, and Shodoshima for a laid-back Japanese island experience. Pick an area and explore it by train, bus, ferry or bike.
The Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen traverses Japan’s main island of Honshu to the large southern island of Kyushu, making stops close to major cities near Setonaikai National Park once you’ve passed Osaka (2 hours 30 minutes from Tokyo). If your destination is west of Okayama or Hiroshima (3 hours 30 minutes and 4 hours from Tokyo, respectively), it may be more convenient to take a plane. Flights depart from Haneda Airport and Narita Airport to cities near the park, including Takamatsu, Okayama, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Yamaguchi-Ube, Kitakyushu and Oita (60-90 minutes).
Okayama, a stop on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen, is a good starting point for exploring Shodoshima and the "art islands," including Naoshima. To reach Naoshima or Shodoshima, take the Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Okayama Station (3 hr 30 min), change to the Uno Line and take it to Uno Station (60 min) and walk to Uno Port (5 min). Then take a Shikoku Kisen ferry to Naoshima (20 min) or a ferry from Shodoshima Teshima Ferry to Shodoshima (60–90 min).
You can also access Shodoshima from Shin-Okayama Port or Hinase Port to Shodoshima's Toshino or Ohbe ports. Get to Shin-Okayama port from Okayama Station by bus (40 min) and take a ferry to Shodoshima's Toshino Port (70 min). To get to Hinase Port, take the JR Ako Line from Okayama Station (60 min) and walk 2 minutes to the port. Ferries to Shodoshima's Ohbe Port take 60 minutes.
Hiroshima is also a stop on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen and offers convenient access to Miyajima and its famous "floating" torii gate. From Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (30 min), walk a few minutes to the port, then take a JR or Matsudai ferry to Miyajima (10 min). Shin-Onomichi Station is the starting point of Shimanami Kaido, a scenic cycling route/road that crosses the Seto Inland Sea. Shin-Onomichi Station is located roughly halfway between Okayama and Hiroshima stations on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen. Once you’ve arrived, take a bus to Onomichi Station, where there are two bicycle-rental locations.
Setonaikai National Park is a testament to Japan’s excellent public transportation systems. You’ll find trains, buses, ferries, ropeways, and more, offered by the JR Group and many other private companies. The Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen traverses Japan’s main island of Honshu north of the Seto Inland Sea from Shin-Osaka to Kokura, while the Yosan Line runs parallel south of the Inland Sea along the coast of Shikoku.
You can cross the Seto Inland Sea to parts of the park on the island of Shikoku via the Seto Ohashi Bridge, or to parts of the park on Awaji Island via the Onarutokyo Bridge, using a private vehicle or bus (there is also a rail link between Okayama and Takamatsu).
Explore the beautiful islands of the park along the 70-kilometer Shimanami Kaido, with its series of six bridges, by bicycle, bus or private vehicle. An extensive network of ferries sail to the islands and most allow you to take bicycles on board.