Information and Tourism
Those tourists who do make it into the Chugoku region usually head straight for the Tottori Sand Dunes, rated as Japan's only large dune. These unique dunes have been in existence for over 100,000 years, although recently, attempts have been made to halt their shrinkage.
Chugoku is home to a few more sightseeing gems, including a fine example of 'old Japan'. The Bikan Historic Area in Kurashiki is regarded as one of the oldest merchant towns in Japan. Beautifully conserved for future generations to explore and enjoy, the town has been left pretty much untouched by 20th-century conflict.
The region is also home to two of Japan's 12 remaining original castles. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is the highest in the country, built on top of Mount Gagyu, whilst Matsue Castle is deemed to be one of the country's few surviving wooden castles.
Hiroshima is widely regarded as the 'capital' city of the Chugoku region. Today, the city is a large, bustling industrial metropolis, awash with concrete high rises and office blocks. For most of the world, though, the city's name will be forever linked with the brief moment in which an atomic bomb known as 'Little Boy' was dropped on the city back in 1945. A remnant of life in pre-bomb Hiroshima has been preserved in the form of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, known locally as the A-Bomb Dome.
The city of Shimonoseki is a very different sort of capital. Known as the 'Fugu Capital', it is famed for its pufferfish, the meat of which is used in the Japanese dish of 'fugu'. Fugu can be lethally toxic if not prepared in the correct way. Thankfully, strict laws control restaurant preparation of this marine delicacy.
Chugoku Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Japan
- Location: Honshu
- Biggest city: Hiroshima
- Population: approximately 7.8 million
- Language: Japanese
- Area: 12,330 square miles / 31,935 square kilometres
WORLD GUIDES TO CHUGOKU
World Guide to Hiroshima, Japan
A prosperous city situated within southern Japan, Hiroshima is to be found within the western region of Honshu island. Hiroshima is home to a rather poignant Peace Memorial Park and a very popular tram, which links the Miyajima port.
Map of Japan