Hiruzen Highlands and the Wonders of the Sea of Japan

Everyone knows I have a soft spot for Okayama Prefecture. Its clear calm waters bear a striking resemblance to the Aegean Sea, which warms the cockles of my heart. This is also where I’ve enjoyed the most nostalgic sunsets in all of Japan. I remember visiting Ushimado, a fisherman’s village, back in 2020 and falling in love with the evenings there. As I watched the sun quietly leave this side of the Earth, I found myself gasping at its gracious beauty. 

At that time I was so focused on its coastlines that I didn’t realize Okayama was also heaven for hikers, with excellent trails for both amateurs and professionals. I found the Hiruzen Highlands trail to be one of beautiful Okayama’s most scenic spots. Unfortunately, my husband and I happened to go on one of the week’s hottest days, so we didn’t hike as planned. But even the scorching heat didn’t prevent us from taking in the incredible scenery.

There are plenty of restaurants and ice cream shops along the Hiruzen Highlands trail, but most of them close at 5:00 p.m. So, if you decide to visit Hiruzen Highlands, make sure that you bring enough food to last into the evening hours, or find a restaurant well before closing time. Vending machines with cold beverages are available, so there is no need to carry a cooler filled with drinks. If you arrive early enough, you can enjoy a meal of yakisoba (fried noodles) with lamb. It is highly unusual for a Japanese restaurant to serve lamb, but to our delight, some of the restaurants here do list lamb on their menu. 

We arrived at Hiruzen Highlands a bit late, and since it was unbearably hot, we chose not to walk or even ride bikes. However, if the weather had been milder we would have rented bikes or gone hiking. Bike trails are about 30 kilometers long, which most riders can complete in a day. There are quite a few shops that rent out bikes, plus you can even reserve one online, which we are planning to do in the fall! By the way, when we were there we were unable to see the famous Jersey cows. Their pens were nowhere near the visitors’ facilities, and the roads were even blocked. 

Life is a medley of wonderful discoveries for me; the kind that makes you feel rather than think. Looking up and seeing a serene sky is a good reason to be happy as long as one’s happiness does not depend on material things. The sunset we saw in Tottori was different than those we’d witnessed in Okayama and Hyogo, but it was no less enchanting. Nonetheless, it was relatively simple like the enthusiastic laughter of local children playing on the beach. 

Is there one special place that makes you feel?

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  1. kagould17

    Looks like a beautiful part of the world to explore Bahanur. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bahanur

      Thank you for visiting my blog, Allan. Indeed, it’s a beautiful part of the world, and I hope you get to see it in person one day.


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