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!
At Shōshūhō (鐘秀峰), the summit of Mt. Washu or Washuzan (鷲羽山) in the Seto Island Inland Sea National Park, you will get a panoramic view of 50 islands of different sizes together with the famous Seto Ohashi Bridge!
Referring to the photo on the left, if it is a sunny day, that will be the view you’ll be able to enjoy (we, unfortunately, got there on a rainy day, but that just makes our photos special as they look more like one of the Chinese Ink Paint master piece!).
Whilst the top of the mountain is at 133m above sea level, you don’t need to hike all the way up! Convenient as always, there are bus services running from the closest train station – JR Kojima (児島駅). From the bus stop at Washuzan Observation Deck no. 2, it is just a simple 10 minutes walk to the Summit Observation Deck!
One of the greatest things about this place is that you won’t encounter a large crowd of tourists, giving you all the time you need for the beautiful photos and memories!
The staircases leading to the Summit →→→→→
Washuzan and Seto Ohashi Sunset Viewing Bus Tour
The sunset from Washizan was chosen by the Japanese Sunset Selection Committee to be one of the 100 Best Sunsets In Japan!
Isn’t that enough reason to pay Washuzan a visit the next time you visit Okayama Prefecture??
The Shimoden Bus (下電バス) has a sunset viewing bus tour running every Friday, Saturday and the night before all Japanese public holidays.
With just 520 yen, you will be able to add this spectacular view to your scenic photo collections!
With only a few pick-ups stops from the local hotels (Washuzan Shimoden Hotel (鷲羽山下電ホテル), Washu Highland Hotel (鷲羽山ハイランドホテル), and Kurashiki Setouchi Kojima Hotel (倉敷せとうち児島ホテル)), the entire tour has two scenic viewing stops including at Mt. Sanhyaku (三百山) and the at Washuzan Observation Deck (鷲羽山展望台). At each stop, you will have approximately 15 minutes to enjoy the breathtaking sceneries.
Please find below timetable for the bus departing time at JR Kojima Station (児島駅)’s bus stop no. 5. The whole tour takes around 2 hours and 10 minutes.
|JR Kojima Station||17:30||18:00||17:30||17:00||16:00||15:30||16:00||16:20||17:00|
Autumn Foliage Season at Mt. Washu
If you love the extra colour in autumn, drop by Mt. Washu from mid to late November when the mountain is coloured vividly by the autumn foliage!
How to Access Shōshūhō??
- Hop on the JR train from your closest JR train station heading towards JR Kojima Station
- From JR Kojima Station, take the Shimoden Bus’s Shimotsui Junkansen Line (下津井循環線) from bus stop no. 4 in front of JR Kojima Station
- Get off at Washuzan Observation Deck no. 2 (this is where you board the bus to return to JR Kojima Station)
- Walk/trek for 10 mins and you will be at 133 m above sea level!
Tips: There are 3 observation decks on the way to Shōshūhō for your eyes and camera(s)
Click HERE for the bus timetable departing JR Kojima and Washuzan Observation Deck no. 2 in Japanese. As there is currently no English version on the official website, please CONTACT US if you require assistance to read the timetable (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ
Return Travel Cost from JR Kojima Station
- One way ticket from JR Kojima Station to Washuzan Observation Deck no. 2: is 220 yen
- If you plan to hop on and off the Shimotsui Loop Bus, then a 1-day pass can be purchased on the bus you board for 520 yen
Click HERE for the bus fare table of the Shimotsui Loop Bus in Japanese. As there is currently no English version on the official website, please CONTACT US if you require assistance to read the timetable (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ
Travel with JR West Japan’s Setowa Application
With the JR West Japan Setowa application from your phone, there are quite a few discounted passes that you can buy to travel around the area.
Note you’ll need to create an account on JR West Japan’s website. There is currently no English version.
Click HERE for more information in Japanese.
Visit Kurashiki Historical Bikan Quarter Before You Come To Mt. Washu for The Beautiful Sunset
Before you head to Shōshūhō for the stunning scenery, how about paying the little Venice of Japan a visit?
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter (倉敷美観地区Kurashiki Bikan Chiku) is a historic area consisting of classical Japanese architecture mainly with few exceptions.
With a variety of shops, eateries, and galleries in the area, you can easily spend a whole day here without getting bored!
Find out more about this gorgeous part of Japan with our Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter article!