Setouchi, Japan

Setouchi, Japan

Views across the Seto Inland Sea, samurai traditions and rolling hillside farms make the young Japanese city of Setouchi a must-visit for lovers of art and culture.

in 2004, when the towns of Oku, Osafune and Ushimado
were merged, Setouchi brings together small-town optimism with a
big-city modernism. Located in the southern Okayama Prefecture, the
city is split into districts that echo its former neighbourhoods.
Immerse yourself in Setouchi’s diverse landscapes by strolling
along the shore of the Seto Inland Sea in Ushimado or visiting
Osafune to trek across rolling hills and alongside meandering
streams. Head to Oku to peruse the mushroom and oyster farms that
make up much of the city’s industry, before popping into the
boutique shops that line the district’s main street.

Don’t miss…

… delving into samurai culture. Despite its seemingly peaceful
green fields and verdant landscape, Osafune is a district known
throughout Japan for its long history of traditional sword founding
– it’s estimated that more than half of the country’s national
swords have been forged here. Visit the Bizen Osafune Japanese
Sword Museum where master swordsmiths demonstrate how the area
earned its title as the “Home of the Japanese Sword”.

Who to take with you

Someone keen on Japanese art. Taisho era painter Yumeji Takehisa
lived in Oku, and his home now exists as a museum for those to
learn more about his life and artwork.

When to go

Visit in March
for sakura season, when cherry blossom trees bloom brilliant pink
flowers that cover the fields and line city streets.

Where to stay

Bed down at The Hotel Limani & Spa in Ushimado and wake
to views across the Seto Inland Sea.

Most likely to bump into…

A master bladesmith searching for inspiration for his next

Essentials to bring with you

This We11Done faux-leather jacket
provides an effortless sling-over-shoulder look on warm afternoons
and the perfect extra layer for chilly evenings.

How to get there

Fly into
, from where a transfer by car to Setouchi takes just over
two hours.

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