Japan is a fantastic travel destination for culture, food and natural beauty. There’s also some spectacular adventures to soak in on your Japan trip, and where better to go than the seaside? Setouchi, the inland sea region of Japan, has a wealth of incredible natural occurrences, activities and sights to see on its waters:

Rafting adventure on Yoshino River, Tokushima Prefecture

Travel to the Yoshino River, known for having some of the best conditions for white water rafting in Japan. Not only is Yoshino River the second longest of Shikoku, it is also the only river which spreads over four prefectures on the island.

Adventure-seekers who raft down the Yoshino River are surrounded by incredible forestry and will have impressive views of the Ooboke-Koboke gorge. Experiencing rapid water flows and large dips, travel lovers can choose to take part in a full- or half-day course to enjoy the foaming waves.

Yoshino River whitewater rafting - 1024 x 687 japan

Yoshino River whitewater rafting

Camp on Tatebajima Island, Okayama Prefecture

If travel lovers are looking for a secluded spot whilst in the Seto Inland Sea region, staying on an uninhabited island for a night could be the answer. Available on a one night basis, groups between four and 80 people are now able to rent the whole island of Tatebajima, also known as Kujira-Jima. A private island for a Japan trip? Yes, please.

Once on the island, just 30 minutes from the mainland, you can do as you please, whether you want to host a party or a wedding or opt for a more laid back approach, such as paddle boarding around the island before heating up a barbecue. There are several private beaches to discover around the island, all of which can be explored on foot in 30 minutes.

kujira jima japan

Kujira Jima

Sea kayak to the iconic ‘floating gate’, Hiroshima Prefecture

Travel and adventure lovers can take a sea kayak up to the Itsukushima Shrine’s torii gate – the perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon of paddling. Paddle Park instructors take you on a guided tour of the area, starting at Miyajima Island before making your way to Enoshima Island, home to the Enospa Hot Springs and Iwaya Caves.

Whilst exploring the islands, travel lovers will be able to see the region from a new perspective, as well as being able to see the famous shrine up close on water.  

sea kayak Miyajima japan

Sea kayak Miyajima

Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival, Hiroshima Prefecture

On 25th August 2018, travel lovers gather by the waterside of Miyajima to watch the annual summer firework display light up the night sky. The Itsukushima Shrine’s “floating” torii gate provides the perfect backdrop for a special evening of fireworks, with around 200 of the festival’s 5,000 fireworks being launched from the water.

The event captures the attention of 40,000 people each year, with an additional 200,000 visitors gathering on the nearby shores of Hatsukaichi and Hiroshima to watch the fireworks from a distance.

miyajima torii japan

Miyajima torii

Naturo Natural Whirlpools, Tokushima Prefecture

Travel lovers can visit the world’s largest whirlpools in Tokushima and get a unique view of the natural phenomenon on a sightseeing cruise. Due to the large volumes of water moving between the narrow strait of the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean during high and low tide, the Naruto whirlpools can reach up to 20 metres in diameter.

Sightseeing boats can take inquisitive travellers right up to the whirlpools and if cruising into a whirlpool isn’t appealing, you can watch this natural occurrence from the Ohnaruto Bridge whilst also taking in the panoramic views.  

Naruto Whirlpool japan

Naruto Whirlpool

Take flight with Setouchi Seaplanes, Hiroshima Prefecture

Travel lovers can explore the Seto Inland Sea from above with Setouchi Seaplanes. During a 50 minute aerial adventure, passengers see a range of incredible sights, such as Ikuchijima Island, Tatara Bridge, Noshima Island and the Onomichi Channel – catching a glimpse of the world’s longest suspension bridge.

Flights also pass over the Geiyo Islands which are known for once being the home to Japan’s largest band of pirates. Before taking off in a Kodiak 100, you can make themselves at home in the Onomichi port lounge, enjoying champagne and locally made lemon cakes. A 50-minute Discovery Flight begins at ¥32,000 / £216 per adult.

sea plane setouchi japan

Sea plane. Photo: Setouchi Seaplanes

Walk the Angel Road at low tide, Kagawa Prefecture

Appearing twice a day at low tide, Angel Road is a small strip of sand that connects the mainland of Shodoshima Island to three small islands just off the shoreline.

According to legend, the relationship of couples that walk across Angel Road whilst holding hands is blessed, which has encouraged loved-up travellers from across the world to leave their love declarations around the island. With or without a partner, visitors should hike up to the lookout point, known as Hill of Promise, to admire the views of Angel Road.

ANGEL ROAD SHODOSHIMA KAGAWa japan

Angel Road

Find out more about Setouchi for your Japan trip on their official website

Also Read: 

Japan trip: Top spots for astonishing natural beauty

10 Things to Know Before Your Japan Trip