Iwakuni mainly gets mentioned because of the large US marine base that is on the city outskirts, but thats not what I am here to tell you about today. It has some charming tourist spots that are kept secret from the general foreign tourist. But today I am going to spill the beans and tell you how you can have a great day sightseeing in Iwakuni City.
The overall ambience of Okayama City seems to have become decidedly more cosmopolitan since I lived there. And this is absolutely a positive step forward for the city. As one of the perceived “less interesting” prefectures in Japan for foreign tourists, there was plenty of evidence on show of a clear and concerted effort by the City of Okayama to engage with tourists and found out what attracts them to the area.
When visiting Tottori Prefecture, a visit to the Tottori Sakyu (Tottori Sand Dunes), part of Sanin Kaigan National Park, is mandatory! These sand dunes stretch along 16 kilometers of the Sea of Japan’s coastline. They, the biggest sand dunes in Japan, were formed when sediment carried from the nearby Chugoku Mountains by the Sendaigawa River was washed out to the Sea of Japan. The dunes themselves were formed as the sand was redeposited on shore.
If you’re looking for something completely different — something remote, wild, and unspoiled — look to the cluster of islands on Honshu’s west coast, the Oki Islands, and let Japan surprise you. There are four main islands — the biggest, called Dōgo (Okinoshima), and three Dōzen islands (Nishinoshima, Chiburijima, and Ama).
Rich merchants here in Onomichi built temple after temple around the hills facing the sea, and by doing so created a place that attracted artists and writers, as its picturesque beauty was beyond belief. Traces of and references to all artists and poets who have been inspired by the town can be found all around the city, in the form of carved rocks, statues, famous writers' feet moulds, museums, residences.
Shimane Prefecture sits on the southwestern portion of Japan's main island, and is the perfect spot to visit if you're looking for an off the beaten path travel experience. Often overlooked by visitors in favor of better known destinations, the region has culture, nature and history by the bucketload – just without the massive crowds to battle!
It was a place I knew nothing about and yet all the major Shinkansen lines stopped there on the way to Hiroshima, so I assumed it must be a place of some significance either historically or economically.