Quiet Retreat at the Seaside in Setouchi
Setonaikai is the Japanese Inland Sea and Setouchi City in Okayama Prefecture faces this beautiful part of the coast in West Japan. When you visit Hiroshima or Himeji Castle, extend your trip and spend some quiet time here.
The part of Setouchi called Ushimado is an old seaside town that is the opposite of busy, noisy, and crowded Tokyo. This small city is quiet and has many old places still left to experience.
Ushimado’s old main street with wooden houses still exists without tall new buildings. It is best explored during a walk. You can see the old wooden lighthouse at one end of the main traders’ street and come back along the water. If you want to walk some more, go up to one of the temples and shrines on the hill off the main street.
To see another aspect of old Japan in the area, visit the Bizen Osafune Sword Museum in Setouchi. You can see old swords and knives made for samurai and watch artisan sword makers work in the craft village. http://www.deepjapan.org/a/899
There are many viewpoints to look out at sea. For a view of the city, the coast line, and some of the many islands in the Setonaikai Sea visit the Ushimado Olive Garden. There is an orchard full of olive trees growing here and you can buy some of the local produce directly. http://www.deepjapan.org/a/3790
But maybe the best to enjoy with the quiet and beautiful scenery is Japanese food. Relax in a local cafe or have sushi at one of the small restaurants. Seafood and fish from the Seto Inland Sea is famous in Japan for its especially good taste. If you order a traditional Japanese breakfast at your hotel it should also include some nice grilled fish or seafood used in the miso soup.
Setouchi is one quiet place that has not yet been discovered by too many visitors.
How to get to Setouchi - From Okayama station take the local train Ako line to Oku to visit Ushimado. You can take a taxi into town from the station and there is also a bus. This train continues through the country side to Himeji. Both Okayama and Himeji are stops for the fast Shinkansen train.