Find everything in the Setouchi region of Japan


Images courtesy of Nobutada OMOTE

Do you yearn to escape to the distant worlds of Earth? Do you need to relax and renew your inner spirit? Are you looking for an authentic cultural experience in an area of ​​natural beauty?

The Japanese region of Setochi, which surrounds the Seto Inland Sea, offers all of this. There is a rich history and culture, a vibrant art scene, lively festivals, luxurious accommodations and sweet and exotic delicacies. It is the place to better appreciate the beauty of culture with its museums, temples, historical shrines, peaceful gardens and special events. You can even learn the ancient art of meditation right on the temple grounds.

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The Seto Inland Sea lies between three of the four main islands of the Japanese archipelago. This region is known as the Japanese Mediterranean and the “Land of Beautiful Weather” for its mild, sunny climate, pristine beaches, and warm waters.

Visit and you will understand better why the Japanese have one of the longest life expectancies in the world. This high-tech and productive nation is deeply rooted in the art of relaxation.

Vacationers are attracted not only to the calm and clear waters around the islands but also to the traditional baths known as onsens Where you can soothe body and soul with the blissful sounds of falling waters and the warmth of healing mineral-rich spring waters.

To complete your experience, learn the art of clarity and composure with monastery spiritual training through meditation with monks.

KOHTEI Art Pavilion, Shinshoji Zen Museum and Gardens, Fukuyama, Japan

Seeking Enlightenment: Shinshoji Zem Museum and Gardens

First, experience the Zen spirit of the Fukuyama Mountains through the art collection, unique landscapes, architecture, and installations in Shinshoji Zen Museum and Gardens. Immerse yourself in the serenity of Zen gardens as you wander from one area to the next. Relax when you are separated from the rest of the world, discover harmony with nature and focus on your mind and body.

Continue to experience meditation in the contemporary art pavilion known as KOHTEI. Its ship-shaped shape appears to float above the rocky landscape. Lights twinkling over the flowing water set the mood inside. It was chosen as a tribute to the temple’s founding by a shipbuilding company that sought to console the souls of those who died at sea or in industry.

For the best experience, book a one-day retreat with an English-speaking monk at Shinshoji International Training Monastery. Start with the traditional Rinzai Zen yoga-based deep breathing meditation known as Zazen. Worlds away from modern distractions, you can focus on correct sitting posture, focus on deeper and longer breaths, clear your mind and better understand your true self.

Next, you do not need to perform the three prostrations of monks before and after bathing, but you can improve your breathing, energy level and general health by following the protocols in the bath. Feel the serenity of immersing yourself in the silence of the moment and simply focus on surviving.

Follow this with a meal of udon noodles at Shinshoji Temple Restaurant, and eat as the monks do, with thick, long chopsticks and three bowls. The afternoon continues with another enlightening experience, the manual transcription of the Buddhist sutras. Drink in peace when you complete your day with a cup of tea in a coffee shop.

where to stay

Accommodation in the Setouchi area ranges from traditional tatami inns known as ryokans to chic and trendy hot springs and seaside resorts.

Or charter a private yacht for the ultimate in seclusion. Spend the night aboard the ship or book a charming cottage or luxury tent on a private island.

Steeped in history: the luxurious Ryokan Kurashiki

Small pleasure boats glide along a willow-lined canal and the former traditional kura storerooms and merchants’ mansions of Kurashiki’s Historic Preserved Bikan District. It’s also a good base from which to visit the area, but be sure to allow enough time here to explore the local art museums, shops, galleries, and restaurants and take a tour along the canal in an old wooden boat.

Ryokan Kurashiki

Sansai-ichi, a monthly morning market, is held in the shopping plaza in front of JR Kurashiki Station. Browse the range of local produce, seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, and local handicrafts. It dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868). The time is right and you may find yourself in the middle of a year festival.

In spring, for example, paper umbrellas and a group of lanterns illuminate the canal during the Kurashiki Spring Light Festival. Houses are covered in shadows. Local character is displayed. The Aceh Shrine, dating back more than 1,700 years, looms over the area. Blessings such as health and wisdom are said to come to those who receive a pat on the head from clowns dressed as elderly people during the Spring Festival.

More than 3,500 people join the spirits Deccan Byashi Odori Dance at the Kurashiki Tenryu Summer Festival. Playing drummers and orchestras.

In the fall, join the deities chant, traditional music, dance, and sing in a lively procession that passes right through downtown during the Autumn Festival at ACHI Shrine. The doors of the merchants’ homes open to the public in mid-October to display their prized artifacts at the Byobu (folding screen) festival.


Bella Vista Spa and Marina

Ryokan Kurashiki Founded in the heart of this centuries-old restored trading town by uniting the home of a wealthy sugar merchant with newer warehouses and structures. Its unique blend of luxurious modern amenities with traditional architecture and gracious service has attracted international celebrities.

Guests enjoy the visually pleasing Kaiseki Feast, an experience that incorporates the imperial court from the 9th and 12th centuries Buddhist and Samurai from the 14th century and the culinary traditions of 15th-century tea parties. Each course is expertly prepared with seasonal ingredients, beautifully plated, arranged and garnished to achieve a delicate balance of flavor, colour, texture and presentation.

He speaks English okami (The owner) can arrange unique and customized experiences in the community, including visits to traditional weaving, indigo dyeing, and Japanese paper craft studios.

Or you may want a customized itinerary for day trips. The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum is dedicated to the Japanese-American artist, sculptor, and landscape designer. The famous Japanese Ritsurin Garden was built in the Edo period by feudal lords. Shikoku Mura’s outdoor village features historical structures from all over Shikoku Island. adventurer? Cross the Vine Suspension Bridge or climb the 785 steps to the Kotohira Shrine, dedicated to sailors and navigators. Reaching the inner shrine requires another 583 steps.

Nobutada Omote

Surrounded by mountains and sea views Bella Vista Spa and Marina, luxury boutique hotel in an indoor sea resort for adults. Each of the 45 rooms overlooks the sea, but for a stunning panoramic view from the bathroom is the signature Maisonette Spa Suite.

Setichi km from Bella Vista: The Zero philosophy ensures that this is an experience in regional culture and cuisine. Locally produced products include Kasuri fabrics and furniture. Denim is used by the Kaihara of Hiroshima to make the teddy bears found on each bed.

Savor local flavors with any of the dining venues and options, from the vibrant open kitchen to the tranquility of the dining room facing the sea. The menus are based on seasonal and fresh ingredients sourced from the mountains and the inland sea. Spices are grown on site.

Rent a fishing trip or private cruise on a luxury yacht at Bella Vista Marina. Stargaze through telescopes by the pool. Relax with free yoga classes at the spa. It’s all about relaxation. There is even a free shuttle from the station or airport.

local foods

Cuban beef, Sanuki olive wagyu beef, seasonal game, local oysters, udon noodles, and the savory pancake known as Okonomiyaki Among the local specialties.

The fruits grow in abundance here and are celebrated with festivals throughout the year. orange and tangerine (Mechanism), white peaches, pioneer grapes and sudachi, Citrus Setouchi, is among those used to make local wines. Sake is made from local rice.

adventurer? Try tessa, lip-numbing sashimi made with poisonous fugu, or globe fish. It must be prepared by a certified chef trained in removing life-threatening poison – otherwise….

Yacht charter on the island in the Seto Inland Sea

There is an extensive ferry service to enjoy the beautiful seascape, but sightseeing is easier with an island cruise. There are lunch cruises and sunset cruises, but the most popular “Art Encounters” cruise explores the famous modern art of the “Art Triangle,” Naoshima, Chima, and Inujima.

For the best experience, visit during Setoshi Triennale Or the Setouchi Arts Festival, held every three years on twelve islands. Some islands have facilities left over from earlier festivals.

If you can only visit one island, rent a bike and browse the outdoor galleries and museums on Naoshima, the island of Japanese art and architecture. Easy to identify. One of Yayoi Kusama’s famous pumpkin statues is located in the port.

Seto Yachting Charter

Seto Yachting Charter

Seto Yachting Charter Offers a variety of options from popular 3- or 8-hour day charters to overnight private stays on the Chantier Catana’s 20-foot, 22-inch Bali Catamaran. Accommodates 10 passengers per day or 6 overnight guests in 3 cabins.

Rent a cabin or book the entire yacht. The English speaking conductor and host can help you select your course with family and friends. Visit the islands’ art sites, historic neighborhoods, and industrial heritage sites, or just relax with the view. Savor the freshest seafood, whether served on board or in restaurants along the way.

With charters, boarding and disembarking ports can be allocated, and tour guides and meals can be arranged. Follow a specific itinerary or create your own. Spend the day hiking, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, fishing or exploring natural wonders. Find out what the sunset is all about in Setoshi. Stargaze at night. A support team is there for your convenience and safety.

Small groups can stay overnight at the cozy Kujira Cottage, which has two twin rooms on Kujira-Jima, an uninhabited private island. Groups of five or more have another overnight option – luxury tents.

Spiritual and authentic

A getaway to the Setouchi region of Japan combines the modern with the traditional. It is a unique and innovative blend with ancient and authentic sights, sounds, smells, spices and sensations. Best of all, this tempting journey to the other side of the world may also lead you to discover your deepest self.

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