Chugoku region is the westernmost part of the main Japanese island Honshu. The region is characterized by irregular rolling hills and limited plain areas and is divided into two distinct parts by mountains running east and west through its center. The city of Hiroshima, the “capital” of the Chugoku region, was rebuilt after being destroyed by an atomic bomb in 1945, and is now an industrial metropolis of more than one million people. Aside from Hiroshima, you will find a side of Japan that’s completely unlike the better-known destinations in Kansai (Kinki) and Kanto.
Hiroshima, about 1.1 million of population, the world-renowned “City of Peace”, is the largest city in the Chugoku region. It is also a beautiful city, endowed with nature and an environment including the Seto Inland Sea, six rivers flowing through its mountains, and an urban area full of green.
Although it once became a burnt field because of the atomic bomb, in time, along with other Hiroshima residents, and with generous assistance from Japan and around the world, they managed to bring their city back to life. The city has been developed as a “Mono-zukuri” manufacturing town, mainly as a center of the auto industry.
Okayama is situated in the southeastern Chugoku region and faces the Seto Inland Sea. The mild climate and scant rainfall make Okayama ideal for growing grapes, peaches, and other fruit. The Chugoku Mountain Range extends in the north, the Kibi-kogen Highlands spread south of the mountains beyond the Tsuyama Basin, and the Okayama Plain faces the Seto Inland Sea in the south.
Shimane is situated on the western tip of Honshu Island (the main island of Japan), and faces the Korean Peninsula over the Sea of Japan. Trade with the continent and China thrived in olden times, and this region was once the leading edge of culture.
The Chugoku Mountain Range extends from east to west, and rivers flow down northwards from the mountains, carving out cool, pleasant valleys before running into the sea. The long coastline changes rhythmically, as cliffs and boulders give the coastline a rugged appearance, before giving way to gentle sand dunes. First-time visitors get a strange feeling of nostalgia from the atmosphere of little fishing villages by the inlets and small towns nestled in the valleys.
Matsue straddles the Ohashi-gawa River, which connects Lake Shinji-ko to Lake Nakanoumi-ko and then the sea. “The sun begins to set, and exquisite astonishments of tinting appear in water and sky.” This is how the author Lafcadio Hearn (Japanese name: Koizumi Yakumo) described the beauty of Matsue and Lake Shinji-ko. This beautiful town, surrounded by water and blessed with an abundance of beautiful natural scenery, is often referred to as the “Water City”.
Tottori Prefecture is situated in the northeastern part of the Chugoku region. This prefecture abounds with scenery that changes expressions from season to season. The area consists of a long coastline that stretches from east to west, narrow flatlands, and a mountainous area represented by Mt. Daisen. The fresh greenery in spring and tinted leaves in autumn at Mt. Daisen, in particular, are breathtakingly beautiful sights. You can enjoy this scenery from the windows of the train that runs on the San-in Line along the coastline
Yamaguchi is situated on the westernmost tip of Honshu. Because of its geographical location and ocean current, it has long had cultural exchanges with the Korean Peninsula.