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Hiruzen Kogen Highlands

Hiruzen Kogen Highlands
Hiruzen Kogen Highlands

A quintessential venue of Western Japan offering top-class highland resorts Located on a gently sloping plateau, Hiruzen Kogen Highlands is Japan’s leading resort area. The area is famous as the largest breeding zone for Jersey cows in Japan. Whether to take in the fresh greenery of spring or the fall foliage in autumn, the Hiruzen Kogen Highlands Cycling Path is a popular cycling destination, and with hiking and camping in summer and playing in the snow in winter, the area offers visitors the chance to experience the richness of nature in any season. Visitors are also encouraged to try local gourmet offerings such as “Hiruzen Yakisoba” (noodles stir-fried in a miso-based sauce), “Genghis Khan” (a grilled mutton dish), and soft-serve ice cream and cheese made from the milk of the area’s Jersey cows.

Ushimado(Enjoy Japan's Aegean-like sea and islands)

Ushimado
Ushimado

The seaside resort town of Ushimado overlooks the numerous beautiful islands dotting the Setonaikai (The Inland Sea). Visitors are treated to a magnificent landscape filled with the blue of the sea and the green of olive groves. At low tide, the Kuroshima Venus Road, a sandbar stretching to link three separate islands including Kuroshima Island, rises from the sea. A walk along this mysterious road floating on the sea is a recommended spot for couples. Along with the hotels and yacht harbors in the surrounding area, Ushimado also offers visitors sunset cruises where visitors can watch the sun set and enjoy a romantic evening on the town.

Ohaganishi no Tanada (Rice Terraces)

Ohaganishi no Tanada
Ohaganishi no Tanada

The unspoiled Japanese landscape of the Ohaganishi no Tanada (rice terraces), featuring some 850 mortar-shaped rice terraces, covers an entire mountain valley at an altitude of 400 m. The curved landscape blends nicely with the growing rice plants, offering a wonderfully multifaceted view. The lush rice fields dotting the landscape in early summer, the sea of rice shining in the golden autumn sun, and the snowy winter scenery make this a popular destination for beautiful landscape photography in all four seasons. In addition, the sunset seen from the rice terraces is a sight to behold. Visitors to the area are welcome to follow a specially developed tour path.

Okutsukei Valley(A varied valley landscape full of the beauty of all four seasons)

Okutsukei Valley
Okutsukei Valley

Okutsukei Valley is located 3 km downstream from Okutsu Onsen. This valley, formed over many long years, is the most famous pothole in the East, also known as ouketsu, carved into the rocks by the water flow as it swirls along the riverbed. Visitors can enjoy a stroll on about 800 m long promenade created along the valley. The valley is particularly beautiful every year in early to mid November as the color of leaves changes to red and orange in autumn while the reflection on the water paints the entire valley in a majestic scene. With the blooming flowers such as wild cherry trees and the fresh greenery of spring and summer, and the rime and snowy landscape of winter, the valley offers visitors a spectacular view all year round.

Shiraishijima Island(A soothing spot where visitors can enjoy the calm pace of island life)

Shiraishijima Island
Shiraishijima Island

One of the Kasaoka Islands, Shiraishijima Island is a Place of Scenic Beauty in the Setonaikai National Park. In the summer, visitors can enjoy swimming and sea kayaking. Shiraishi-odori Dance, an Intangible Cultural Property of Japan, also boasts a popular “experience tour” for the dance. Guests at SHIRAISHI ISLAND International Villa are also offered a chance to interact with local residents. Visitors to the island are also invited to try fish cuisine made with fresh fish from the Setonaikai and to spend a leisurely time watching a beautiful sunset overlooking the calm Setonaikai.

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