Exploring the Art of Setouchi

  • Guided
  • Himeji / Hiroshima
  • 4 Days, 3 Nights
  • ★☆☆☆☆
  • ★☆☆☆☆

Exploring the Art of Setouchi

4 Days

A Pilgrimage to the Sacred Sites of Art from the Age of the Samurai to the Present


The Setouchi(The Seto Inland Sea) is more a road than just a sea. As people came and went along this Setouchi as the “Sea Road” (Setouchi Coastal Highway), Japanese culture and history were born.  Upon this stage on which the history of Japan was made, everything about the culture can be found, from the most ancient times to the present day.

This is the “Setouchi” the way of the sea.

The road is shaped by nature and the way people live. It is a road shared by horseshoe crabs, black finless porpoise(Neophocaena phocaena), wild birds and even people.

Since time immemorial, Japan has been shaped by these roads. And the road continues to evolve. Along this road the sanctuaries of ‘history’, ‘art’ and ‘nature’ can be found now.
This is the “Setouchi” a microcosm of Japan.

Today, Setouchi is the most popular destination in Japan for its gentle sea, warm climate, and slow pace of life of the islanders.

Setouchi is now a Mecca for the arts. Numerous contemporary art events are held here, attracting art lovers from all over the world. This tour will take you around Setouchi, the hottest area in Japan, with art as its theme.


  • This is a pilgrimage trip by Cruising to unknown sacred art sites in Setouchi.
  • We will visit Mimasaka city, the hometown of Musashi Miyamoto, who served as a swordsman and an excellent artist (ink painter).
  • Experience Bizen Pottery with Kazu Fujiwara, whose grandfather and father are Living National Treasures!
  • We will visit Inujima, which is attracting attention as an island of art, including the "Inujima Seirensho Museum," which is a reclaimed copper refinery.
  • We will visit a Shifu (paper cloth) factory which is one of only two paper cloth weaving factories left in Japan.


The versatile Musashi Miyamoto was a master swordsman as well as an accomplished artist (ink painter). We will tour the land of Musashi Miyamoto with Mr. Trevor Johns, an Englishman who is a martial arts (Budo) master and has a deeper samurai heart than the Japanese. We will learn about Iaido and Musashi Miyamoto through hands-on experience, and walk along the Inaba Highway and Kamasaka Pass, where Musashi Miyamoto passed through, to get to the root of his creativity. We will stay at the Kifu no Sato (Japanese inn; Ryokan), which has a collection of sophisticated Japanese artifacts.

Together with Mr. Kazu Fujiwara, whose grandfather and father are living national treasures, we will visit Bizen Pottery kilns, FAN Museum and Fujiwara Memorial Museum. With Mr. Fujiwara, a Bizen Pottery artist, we will have the opportunity to experience Bizen Pottery and joint cooking. He will use Bizen ware for serving dishes (some of them are works of Living National Treasures), and enjoy a relaxing day in the artful world of Mr. Fujiwara’s Bizen ware.

A day in which you will be able to enjoy visiting islands. Viewed from the river, the dynamic Okayama Castle is a masterpiece, even as an architectural artwork. From the historic Okayama Castle, we will kayak around the artwork of Korakuen Garden, known as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan and enjoy the artistic natural beauty of Japan in each season. Then we kayak down the Asahigawa River, heading off to Takashima, an uninhabited island known as the legendary island where Emperor Jimmu is said to have visited . After arriving on Takashima, we will enjoy some lunch, and stroll around the island. Boat is prepared to pick you up and to head to Inujima. Inujima is drawing attention as being “an island of art”. We will visit sites displaying modern art works, such as the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum which revived a former copper smelter, which is also listed as Heritage of Industrial Modernization, and the “Art House Project”, a project under way within the Inujima settlement. At the end of the tour , we will enjoy seeing the beauty of nature as they sail the calm Setouchi Sea on a catamaran yacht.

Shifu (paper cloth) is one of the traditional handicrafts in Japan. In Etajima, Hiroshima Prefecture, we will visit a Shifu factory which is one of only two paper cloth weaving factories left in Japan, and see the production process of this unique cloth and the art works created using Shifu. Our local tour guide will be the cheerful and service-minded Candy. Her warm hospitality and relaxed way of life, typical of the Seto Inland Sea, will make you feel relaxed and cozy.

This itinerary is subject to change

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From ¥264,000
/ Adult

  • Chubu
  • Chugoku
  • Kansai
  • Kanto
  • Kyushu
  • Tohoku
  • November, 2024
July 2024

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