The white world reminiscent of Santorini Island in Greece is a popular recently in Japan.
This white marble garden covers an area of 5,000 square meters.
Each of the marble towers and paths created by sculptor Ittou Kuetani are filled with thoughtfulness, and there is plenty to see!
In addition, you can spend an elegant time in the marble cafe “Cafe Cuore” on the premises.
The admission fee to Mirai Shin Oka also includes admission to the Kozanji Temple precincts and the Kongo Museum, where you can see the Kozanji family’s art collection, so be sure to allow plenty of time for your visit.
Address: 553-2 Setoda, Setoda-cho, Onomichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Overview of Mirai Shin no Oka
Mirai Shin no Oka is located on Ikuchijima Island in Onomichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture.
Ikuchijima is an important island on the Shimanami Sea Route, and in the old days it developed as a base for the navy, which grew in power in the Seto Inland Sea.
Today, the island is known for its fishing industry and cultivation of lemons and navel oranges.
The Setoda Biennale, an art project that started in the late 1980s, has transformed the island into an “art museum for the whole island,” with the Kosanji Museum, the Hirayama Ikuo Museum of Art, which displays the works of Hirayama Ikuo, a painter from the island, and many other artworks scattered throughout the island.
The most famous of these is “The Hill Of Hope” (The Hill Of Hope).
The 5,000-square-meter garden is lined with marble sculptures created by the world-renowned sculptor, Ittou Kuetani.
At the age of just 20, Kazuto Kuetani was selected for the Nitten exhibition, and since then he has been selected eight times in a row.
He is currently active mainly in Italy, and is an international artist who once had an audience with the Pope at the Vatican Palace.
The Hill Of Hope is made of marble mined in Cuttura, Italy, where Kazuto Kaitani has his workshop, transported by container ship, and displayed as various monuments in the plaza.
At the “The Hill Of Hope” visitors can not only enjoy looking at the artworks, but can actually touch them with their hands and play with them in harmony with nature.
Of course, you can also enter the pure white sculptures and take photos of them.
History of “Hill of Future Hearts
Kozanji Temple is a temple of the Honganji sect of the Jodo Shinshu sect.
The founder of the temple is Kozo Kozanji, an engineer and businessman who used to run a large special steel pipe manufacturing company in Osaka.
Kozanji is also known as the “Nikko of the West,” a place where various arts, crafts, and cultural assets are gathered.
The temple’s precincts are lined with the Koyomon Gate, a replica of Nikko Toshogu’s Yomei-mon Gate, and the main hall, a replica of Byodoin’s Phoenix Hall.
15 buildings are registered as Tangible Cultural Properties, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Seto Inland Sea.
As part of its efforts to promote artistic activities on the island, the temple started construction of “Miraishin No Oka”, which is now a popular tourist spot visited by many people.
How to get to Miraishin no Oka
To get to Kozanji Temple, where Miraishin No Oka is located, drive from Onomichi Interchange or Fukuyama Nishi Interchange via Nishi-Seto Onomichi Interchange and Ikuchijima Kita Interchange.
It takes about 13 minutes from the Ikuchijima Kita Interchange.
If you use the Shimanami Kaido Highway, it is about 13 minutes from the Imabari Interchange via the Ikuchijima Minami Interchange.
It takes about 40 minutes from Onomichi Station, about 32 minutes from Shin-Onomichi Station, and about 50 minutes from Fukuyama Station.
You can also take a boat, which takes about 40 minutes by regular boat from Onomichi Port, about 25 minutes by rapid train from Mihara Port, and about 10 minutes by foot from Setoda Port.
From Mihara Sunami Port, it is about 28 minutes by ferry, and a 13-minute walk via Sawa Port.
Or, the island bus from Setoda BS is about 20 minutes away.
If you are coming from Imabari or Matsuyama, the bus is a convenient way to access the island.
“Miraishin no Oka” and Instagram
When you actually visit “Miraishin No Oka”, you will be amazed at the majestic white marble sculptures that cover the entire area.
It is sometimes compared to the Greek island of Santorini, which is also lined with white buildings, but while most of the buildings on Santorini are houses, the buildings on Miraishin no Oka are huge columns, stairs, and monuments.
It is rather majestic, reminiscent of the huge ruins of Greece.
In addition, the Seto Inland Sea where Miraishin No Oka is located has a blue sky, and the contrast between the white of the sculptures and the blue of the sky is so beautiful that it exploded in popularity on Instagram.
Even now, it is gaining popularity among many people in search of Instagrammable photos.
Photo spots at the Hill of Future Spirit
There are many monuments and objects with different themes in the Miraishin No Oka.
One of the most popular photo spots is the “Komei no Tou(Tower of Light),” which stands at the highest point of the hill.
The Tower of Light is a popular place for couples to stand under the tower and take pictures with the sky in the background.
The “Kaze no shiki(Four Seasons of Wind)” is also popular for those who want to take a different kind of photo.
These marble screens represent the winds of the four seasons, each with its own image to match the season.
This marble folding screen has a hole in it through which you can see the sea of the Seto Inland Sea.
This is a place where you can take a variety of Instagrammable photos depending on your ideas.
In addition to this, “Miraishin No Oka” is made of marble everywhere, so there is no shortage of photo spots to take pictures.
Popular cafes in Miraishin Hill
If you visit Miraishin No Oka, you should definitely go to the cafe, Cafe Cuore, which looks like a marble border.
Not only the exterior of the building, but also the inside of the cafe is made of pure white marble, and the view of the Seto Inland Sea from there is like the Mediterranean or Aegean Sea.
The furniture in the cafe is also an original design by Kazuto Kaitani.
The grapes carved into the marble and the figure of Venus, the goddess of beauty, make it look like a restaurant in a high-end European resort.
You can enjoy cappuccino, cafe au lait, and Italian beer, but what you must try is the menu using the island’s specialty citrus fruits.
In particular, the lemon squash here is a real treat with lemon pulp.
The lemon squash made with Setoda lemons, a specialty of the island, is a refreshing drink with a unique aroma and taste that you won’t find anywhere else.
The gelato here is also a popular menu item.
You can find the standard ones such as vanilla and green tea, but the citrus gelato and sorbet made from the famous summer tangerines are also exceptional.
When the weather is nice, the terrace is a great place to sit.
Spending time under a white parasol looking out at the marble garden is a great way to feel like you are at a resort.