I recently decided to sit down and think about how I would best describe West Japan. I guess the obvious thing to do would be to talk about it geographically. The region includes that western edge of Honshu and the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. It is a mountainous region that is also blessed with sea and sunshine.
I usually try to avoid comparisons with other regions of the world but I will do it here for the sake of building as clear of an image I can of what West Japan is like for those who have never been here.
West Japan has a Mediterranean climate and is on the same line of latitude as North Africa. The environment is akin to what you might expect in southern France or Spain. So, what you get are lush valleys, rolling hills, ample forests, as well as a vibrant farming community.
There is a lot of room to move here and if you enjoy being in the countryside but also require easy access to larger metropolitan areas then West Japan is for you. This even goes for international travellers or people considering making Japan a frequent travel destination.
There are plenty of hotels, pensions and guest houses but there are also long and shortterm houses and apartments for rent. This might be particularly appealing to families who are travelling or those who just need a bit more space and want to get a closer look at everyday life in Japan.
I just remember that back in the 1980s and 90s, one of the trends or you might even call it a dream, was to have your own vacation retreat in the south of France or Spain when it came to Europe or a villa in Bali or Thailand on the Asian side.
I’ve been saying for years that West Japan should be added to that list and one of the main reasons is that it is affordable. This might go against the perception that people have of Japan but it is completely accurate.