Hiroshima, the largest city in the Chūgoku region, is home to notable attractions such as the Hiroshima Peace Institute and the Peace Memorial Park, both commemorating a turning point in history during World War II. The city is also renowned for its reconstructed heritage sites such as the Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden as well as a popular flower festival held during Golden Week from 3 May to 5 May every year since 1977.
Okayama is the second largest city in Chugoku and also the second largest producer of oysters in the country. The city is considered as a transport hub of western Japan with Tokyo and Osaka just one hour away by bullet train. From here, travelers can easily get to Shikoku and the San-in region. Apart from majestic castles and serene gardens, Okayama's mild coastal climate makes it a perfect place for visitors throughout the year.
Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands of Japan, is characterized by its laidback atmosphere and warm, friendly locals. One of the country's 12 "original castles" that has been intact since 1868, Matsuyama Castle, can be found on the island at Mount Katsuyama. Around 200 cherry trees are sprinkled across the castle grounds, making it an ideal destination during the annual cherry blossom festival from late March to early April.