‘Setonaikai’ National Park, which is one of the oldest national parks together with ‘Unzen’ and ‘Kirishima’ National Park designated in 1934, is Japan’s largest national park.
Setonaikai is an inland sea lying in between Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, and it faces 11 prefectures from Wakayama Prefecture in Honshu to Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu. These broad waters, 450 kilometers from east to west and 15-55 kilometers from north to south, are dotted with some 3,000 islands, large and small.
Thanks to the geographical condition, these waters are highly admired as one of the best scenic spots in Japan.
Setonaikai had long been prospered as an important sea route between the ‘Kinki’ district, the old center of Japan, and Kyushu, accordingly it is full of historical sightseeing spots such as ‘Itsukushima Shrine’ on the World Heritage List, ‘Usa Hachiman Shrine’, ‘Konpira Shrine’, ‘Yashima’ and ‘Dan-no-ura’ ancient battlefield and ‘Tomo-no-ura’ old port town.
Furthermore, this inland sea has many narrow straits, which cause violent tidal currents. ‘Naruto’ Strait at the eastern end is well known as the best tourist site to enjoy the strong currents and eddying tides.
The two pictures show the beautiful scenery of Setonaikai commanded from Naoshima Island.
[posted by Masahisa Takaki]
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