Enjoy the Inland
Sea of Japan: Setonaikai
|Himeji is internationally
famous for its stunning castle. The private Sanyo Dentetsu railway
network connects Himeji station to the coastal areas, and acting
as a bridge between Kobe and Himeji, offers many coastal lines.
Most of the stations are within walking distance of the beach.
Himeji Port, which is located in the southern part of the central
area (Take a bus from the JR Himeji Station), has various ferries
to the east end islands in the Seto Inland Sea, to Ieshima that
floats on the Harima open sea and to Shodoshima, a very popular
tourist spot. Therefore, you can say that this area is a main
gate to all the sightseeing spots in the Seto Inland Sea to
the guests who are staying around Osaka and Kyoto.
The southeast part of Himeji has the only natural coastline
in this area, beaches, a cliff, hiking course, yacht harbour,
camping spots, golf courses and there is an impressive festival,
Kenka Matsuri, in the fall season.
2: Ieshima Islands
This is a convenient spot that takes you to the beach with beautiful
water with reasonable fare from the Kansai area.
This is the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea. You
can enjoy onsen (hot spring), hiking and kayaking as well as
swimming in the ocean.
Yacht Harbour (closed on Tuesdays) is a base for various types
of marine leisure:
・ Boat experience (Marine picnic): Cruising by motorboat (30min/1000yen/person)
・ Rental: small-size dinghy 1000yen/hour; sea kayak 1000yen/h;
pedal boat 1000yen/hour
・ Others: Showers and restrooms, Yacht harbour, clubhouse 2
The red wall coast adjacent to the yacht harbour: this is a
coast where steep and strangely shaped rocks located from altitude
50m to 60m run for about 900m. As it resembles the "Red wall"
of the Yangtze River, in China, it is named "Small red wall".
It's selected as one of the 100 beautiful sights in the Seto
Inland Sea Area. There's also a hiking course and the observatory
on the top has a great view of Harima open sea. When the cherry
blossom season comes in mid April, this area becomes a great
spot to enjoy watching the flowers. Recently we often see a
lot of rock-climbers. An old tomb still remains here, which
visitors are able to enter.
If you follow the path over the top of the cliff further to
the east, there is a beach and camping site, called Fukudomari
so you can visit these places while you are hiking from the
There are a lot of business hotels in Himeji City.
Food: There aren't many restaurants around the Kiba area, so
prepare a picnic!
Kiba Yacht Harbour: here, you can receive information about
the Kiba Area, and also about sailing in the Seto Inland Sea
(Engl. mail ok)
There are two bus centers in front of the central
exit of JR Himeji station. The one to the right is the Himeji
City Bus. Take a 37 bus to Himeji Port
and get off at the last stop (25 min.). Two types of high-speed
boats go to the main island Ieshima: Kosoku Ieshima (11
boats/day, about 20 min.) to Maura Port
and Takafuku Liner
(9 boats/day, about 20 min.) to Maura Port or Miya Port .
Take the Bouze Kisen Line
boats/ day, about 30min）
Schedule to Ieshima Islands:
Islands are located in the east of the Seto Inland Sea and
also in the center of the Harima Open Sea, consisting of 40
islands of different sizes. Fishing, the shipping industry,
quarrying and the ship building industry are the main industries.
The main island Ieshima has a large population and a lot of
houses surround the port. Even though it's an isolated island,
Ieshima has a great port and enjoys easy access to the city,
so it's been prospering with lively atmosphere in many fields.
You can enjoy your day experiencing the island's lifestyle
and various history and culture by looking at the streets
running up a steep slope coming from the lively port or walking
around narrow alleys or steps. Since the fishery is flourishing
here, it would be also fun looking for some fresh seafood.
island of Tanga-jima has greatly changed shape due to the
quarrying. It would be very interesting to see the situation
from both the environmental and industrial aspects. Also this
island has facilities for fishing and summer activities. There
are some minshuku on Tanga-jima and you can enjoy swimming,
fresh and delicious seafood dishes there. Also, you can experience
fishery (reservation required) and you can take in various
experiences such as drawing a fishing net from a boat or going
and see the offshore fixed net.
is a minshuku that also offers a restaurant, fishery experience,
and trips on fishing boats:
(Engl. mail ok)
From Himeji: Take the bus to Himeji Port as described
for Ieshima. Take the Shikoku Ferry to Fukuda
Port on Shodoshima.
Shikoku Ferry Group（8
boats per day, 1320Yen,
From Osaka/Kobe: Sunflower Ferry from Osaka - Shodoshima
(Sakate) (3h30min., only during holiday season)
Shodoshima, which is the second largest island
in the Seto Inland Sea
has a rias coastline,
so a lot of deeply indented
parts of the
southern coast offer beautiful
shape looks like a puppy
facing towards west.
Also there are small islands
here and there
around the island. Shodoshima
has 7 ports
and these are connected
to Kansai (Osaka,
Kobe, Himeji) and Shikoku
you can imagine from the
number of sea-lanes,
Shodoshima is a very attractive
many tourists visit there
every year. In
the summer time, all the
beaches are full
of people, creating a great
Most of the main roads of the island are facing the coastline,
so you can enjoy the great view of the ocean wherever you
are driving. When you get off a ship, the first thing you
will probably notice is the 'smell'. The smell of the ocean
is also one of the great features of being on an island. Also,
you will see a lot of olive trees here and there. It was 1908
when the olive trees were brought on the island for the first
time. 3 prefectures were selected to experiment cultivating
olive oil and they started out the trial plantation with a
scale of 1.2 hectares of land. The trees planted on Shodoshima
were the only ones growing relatively well and it's said that
507 trees took root out of the 519 trees planted. The success
of the olive plantation on Shodoshima must come from the farmers'
steady effort and the island's mild climate which reminds
us of the wind from the Mediterranean sea.
Cycling: After getting off the ship at Fukuda Port,
you should go take a bous round the South coast (Minami mawari,
to Kusakabe Port
and rent bicycles to enjoy some tour spots around the Naikai
Since most roads are flat, you'll be able to enjoy cycling
on nice days. There are a lot of must-see spots such as a
movie village, olive park ,
Furusato mura (;
you can experience making "somen" and "udon"noodles, fishing,
sea kayaking, swimming pool, camp sites, etc.)
Hiking: Take a bus from Kusakabe Port to Kouuntei .
The nearby Kankakei gorge is one of the must-see spots. On
sunny days, if you take the ropeway up to the top of the mountain,
you can see clearly the ships going through the Seto Inland
Sea, Shikoku mountain range and Naruto bridge in the distance.
There are some hiking courses too.
After getting off the ship at Fukuda Port, you can also circle
the Island to the North. You will find Seatiger Island Inn
(Hotel/restaurant) in the Yoshida area (about 5 min by bus,
20 min on foot). They have a private pier and they also run
a restaurant there. There are camp sites and Onsen around
there, so you can enjoy walking along the coast, nice dinner,
the great view of the Seto Inland Sea from the Yoshida Dam
and visiting Yoshida Onsen. If you have enough time to explore,
you should try walking around on the mountain paths called
Henro-michi (pilgrim's path, )
starting from Yoshida Dam. After that, you should visit the
Quarry Park (michinoeki zanseki kinen koen, ).
This is the quarry were stones were taken from to built Osaka
castle and you can also learn about the way of carrying the
stones in those days.
Kayak: Shodoshima is an ideal base for sea-kayak. Sea
links for kayak operators.
Dutch Pancake Camping:
Shodoshima Cycling Terminal Inn:
Rental cycles, cheap accommodation. Located conveniently close
to Sakate Port, were boats from Osaka-Kobe arrive.
Shodoshima Olive Youth Hostel:
not only accommodation, but also cycle rental.
Seatiger Island Inn: you can enjoy local seafood, barbecue
on the terrace or stay in cottage-type rooms.
(Engl. mail ok)
Kayak: HORIZON (Contact: Mr. Ozaki)
(Engl. mail ok)
Shodoshima Marine House Shimakaji (Contact: Naomi Hochi)
(Engl. mail ok)
NPO Dream Island Shodoshima
This NPO provides ecotours and guides on