Kojima District (児島郡) in Kurashiki City Okayama Prefecture is Japan’s denim mecca. As soon as you step out of the JR train, you will be surprised by the amount of jeans-related decoration throughout the district.
But Kojima is more than just the Kojima Jeans Street. The sunset from Mt. Washu (鷲羽山) was chosen to be the 100 Best Sunsets In Japan. The 6.3 km promenade with a starting point close to JR Kojima Station is another attraction that cyclists and hikers come to Kojima for. And if you love Japanese student uniforms, have a free cosplay session at the Kojima Student Uniform Museum!
If you enjoy walking along a beach, don’t miss out on the Kuroshima Venus Road (黒島ヴィーナスロード) that connects the Kuroshima Island (黒島) with the Nakanoko Island (中ノ小島) and the Hashinokojima Island (端ノ小島). When the tide is low, a romantic sandy road will appear that connects the three islands located in the Ushimadoseto Strait (牛窓瀬戸). And if you ask what is romantic about this road, it is because of the heart-shaped stones that are lying along this road!
Akō (赤穂) is a rural city that isn’t too far away from the most elegant castle in Japan – Himeji Castle. Whilst it is certainly not a top must-see destination in Japan, it does have its own charm. One of the top 100 Castles in Japan is located not too far away from the major train station in the city. In spring, it is the place that you want to be there for its beautiful cherry blossom in the coastal area with moderate crowds.
If you enjoy strolling along the beach as the sun slowly disappears from the horizon, be sure to stop by Setouchi City (瀬戸内市) in Okayama Prefecture. The sunset you will be seeing was chosen to be one of the top 100 sunsets in Japan! If you decide to book a “sunset kayaking course”, you can even paddle your way in between the small islands scattered along the Seto Inland Sea to search for your perfect sunset viewing spot (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
There are plenty of “joyful trains” in Japan but have you ever boarded one that features live performance? Resort Shirakami (リゾート白神) is the only joyful train in Japan with live performances that includes shamisen (Japanese guitar), puppet play and Japanese folk tales told in Tsugaru dialect (津軽弁)!
The beautifully designed joyful train will bring you from the vast Tsugaru Plain (津軽平野) to Mt. Shirakami – the home to the world’s greatest beech virgin forest. Before reaching the shore of the Sea of Japan, you will be able to find one of the world’s most fascinating sunsets (*’▽’).
Have you heard of the Seto Ōhashi Bridge (瀬戸大橋)? It is currently the world’s longest 2-tiered bridge system!
With a total length of 13.1 km, it takes approximately 20 minutes to cross that bridge by car or train. If you want to see this world record-breaking bridge that crosses 5 small islands in the Seto Inland Sea, read on!