The Chugoku Area is the western part of Honshu, the main island, and is made up of five prefectures: Yamaguchi, Shimane, Hiroshima, Tottori and Okayama. It is connected by bridges with both Shikoku to the south and Kyushu to the west. It is divided by the Chugoku Mountains, which run east to west, into the San-in region facing the Sea of Japan and the San-yo region facing the Inland Sea. Tourists in the San-in region visit its National Parks and onsen (hot springs). The San-yo region is largely industrial but has a mild climate and several areas of interest to the visitor.
The major cities in the area are Hiroshima, Okayama and Kurashiki. Though frequently hit and damaged by typhoons, Miyajima Island near Hiroshima is one of the most famous and visited spots in Japan.
The area also boasts one of Japan's finest gardens, towns famous for their pottery, huge sand dunes, castles, many regional delicacies and much more.
- See our page on the government's official websites for each prefecture and major city: Guide to Japan's Regions and Cities