Setouchi region with the Inland Sea islands and coastal areas in western Japan have been ranked seventh in The New York Times' list of "52 Places to Go in 2019."
The US newspaper upped the list on Wednesday in its online edition. The annual list is compiled by information from journalists and others across the world.
The US Caribbean island territory of Puerto Rico tops the list, followed by southern India's ancient capital Hampi, and Santa Barbara in California.
The list describes Japan's Setouchi region, ranked seventh, as a place where "art and nature harmonize," highlighted by the opening this April of the Setouchi Trienniale 2019, a major triennial art fair to be held on islands and other sites.
The list also recommends visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which will reopen in April after an eight-year refurbishment. The museum documents the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima in August, 1945.
The list also says "Setouchi is also looking to draw a fresh crop of cyclists, with new trails winding through local citrus and olive groves, and a dedicated Shimanami bike ferry that opened last October."