The area in and around Japan’s Seto Inland Sea is famous for its natural beauty. The temperate climate, clear waters, and secluded islands have drawn visitors to the Setouchi region for hundreds of years. But the Seto Inland Sea has much more to offer tourists than merely picturesque views.

The cities of Onomichi, Fukuyama, Imabari, and Takamatsu in the Setouchi region are dotted with contemporary buildings designed by architects from Japan and around the world. Each is an impressive feat of architecture in its own right, but is also designed to showcase the local landscape. Along with shrines and temples, including one dating back to the Kamakura period (1185–1333), the architecture is part of the distinctive landscape of these coastal cities.

Since great buildings always take into account the lives of the local people they are designed for, architecture is the perfect way to learn about an area’s culture. You don’t need special training to learn about the history and culture of the Seto Inland Sea through its architecture. Like the landscape itself, anyone can appreciate Setouchi architecture. That is where the Setouchi Architourism project comes in. Here you will find key details on unique buildings, both old and new, to help better plan and enjoy a visit to the Seto Inland Sea.