The Seto Inland Sea, aka the Mediterranean of Japan, is populated by scenic islands chock full of culture, from beaches, through temples to mind-boggling art displays
How to get there
British Airways will fly direct into Osaka’s Kansai International Airport from Spring 2019, providing new ways to access Western Japan. To access the diverse array of islands in the Inland Sea, you can use the Japan Rail Pass from the airport and catch ferries from Kobe, Himeji and Shin-Okayama which all sit along the bullet train line on the Japanese mainland of Honshu.
Where to stay
Uno, just 1hr along the JR train line from Okayama station, is the name of the best-connected port and the nearest port to the luxurious island-for-hire – Kujira-jima. Here, you can have the island all to yourself during the day and/or glamp under the stars by night with friends or a loved one. Or spend a night aboard a yacht, with Seto Yacht Charter. With a total of 727 islands to visit in the Inland Sea, there’s no better way to see as many as you can.
What to do
The Inland Sea is an all-year round destinations but is probably at its most dynamic during the Setouchi Art Triennale, which happens in spring, summer and autumn, every three years – 2019 is one of those years. InsideJapan Tours offer the self-guided itineraries to show you around Naoshima and it’s signature polka dot pumpkins, but hop a ferry to explore the lesser known islands of Teshima, Inujima and Shodoshima.
While Teshima and Inujima dazzle with their mind-boggling mix of traditional Japan, industrial Japan, scenic Japan and arty Japan, Shodoshima is home to its own unique experiences. Enjoy the sunset on one of Japan’s most iconic beach spots at Angel Road, make your own delicious somen noodles, tumble onto a retro Japanese film set, visit an authentic soy sauce factory or climb to sky-high temples amongst valleys and chasms on the 88-temple pilgrimage.