Traveling the Seto Inland Sea

Stretching some 450 km east to west, the Seto Inland Sea is busy with the comings and goings of vessels ranging from large freighters to small ferries and fishing boats.


About Setouchi

The Seto Inland Sea is Japan’s largest inland sea, surrounded by “seto,” or strong currents caused by the ebb and flow of the tides, The name Setouchi refers to the Seto Inland Sea as well as to its coastal areas, which include:

Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Wakayama, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Oita prefectures. More than 700 islands with circumferences of 0.1 km or over, dot the calm Setouchi waters.

Traveling the waterways

Setouchi has a highly developed marine passenger transport system that links the islands to the mainland and to the larger island of Shikoku. The system also links the islands to each other. Many islands offer easy access for a day trip or an overnight stay. Enjoy the islands in any way you wish, on a rented bicycle or by climbing up a hill to enjoy the vista of the ocean, the nearby islands, and the ships passing by.

A ferry for you and your bicycle

Board the Cycleship Lazuli without having to disassemble your bicycle. The Lazuli operates between Onomichi and Setoda (on Ikuchijima Island) mainly on Saturdays and Sundays.

Cycleship Lazuli

Cycleship Lazuli

Cycleship Lazuli

Main Setouchi Routes

Route / Estimated Time / Ferry Line

-Akashi Port – Iwaya Port (Awaji Island) / 13 min / Awaji Jenova Line

-Hiroshima Port (Ujina) – Kirikushi Port (Etajima Island) / 30 min / Kamimura Kisen

-Takamatsu Port – Tonosho Port (Shodoshima Island) / 35 min to 1 hr / Shodoshima Ferry

-Takamatsu Port – Uno Port / 1 hr 5 min / Shikoku Ferry

-Hiroshima Port (Ujina) – Kure Port – Matsuyama Kanko Port / 1 hr 20 min to 2 hr 40 min / Ishizaki Kisen/Setonaikai Kisen

-Wakayama Port – Tokushima Port / 2 hr / Nankai Ferry

Ikuchijima Island, a lemon haven

Ikuchijima Island boasts a circumference of no more than 23 km, which can be bicycled in give or take three hours. Yet this small island is Japan’s leading producer of citrus fruits, especially lemon. Taste it in “lemon nabe,” a hot pot bounding with oysters, red sea bream, and octopus. For dessert, a lemon gelato is recommended. 30 minutes by high-speed boat from Mihara (Hiroshima Prefecture

Ikuchijima Island, a lemon nabe

Ikuchijima Island, a lemon haven

The cats of Sanagijima Island

More cats than humans are said to call this 6.9 km island their home. Although Aoshima and Ogijima are islands in the Setouchi that sharethe Cat Island nickname, it’s Sanagijima’s “flying cats” that have been garnering social media fame. 50 minutes by ferry from Tadotsu Port (Kagawa Prefecture).

The cats of Sanagijima Island


Meet the rabbits of Okunoshima Island

An estimated 700 wild rabbits populate this 4 km island. The fluffy creatures are everywhere, but as adorable as they seem, we ask you not to chase them or hold them in your arms because of their fragile nature. Please let them be and watch from afar. 15 minutes by ferry from Tadanoumi Port (Hiroshima Prefecture) or from Omishima (Ehime Prefecture).

Meet the rabbits of Okunoshima Island

Meet the rabbits of Okunoshima Island

Head for the ORIZURU TOWER

SOUVENIR SELECT “Hito to Ki” on the 1st floor of Orizuru Tower in Hiroshima carries a range of Setouchi lemon products as well as cans of oysters packed in olive oil. Take the elevator to the rooftop and view the city from RF Observatory.





ekie North Side Area

Souvenir shops abound in ekie North Side Area, located on the 2nd floor of the north exit of Hiroshima Station. A huge selection of popular local products, including Setouchi lemon-infused sweets, jams and dressings, fill the shelves.

Visiting DOs and DON’Ts

● Not all islands operate cafes, restaurants, or vending machines. You may be wise to bring your own food and drink. All islands are Carry In, Carry Out, so don’t forget to take your trash with you.

● Some islands are served by a limited number of ferry systems. Be sure to reserve a seat for your return.

● Stay out of private property.

● Avoid overfeeding the animals. Dole out portions that can be eaten completely.

● Do not feed snacks, bread, or vegetables such as negi leeks to animals. Feed only animal food.

The information herein is as of August 2019
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