Nagato, Japan

Located at the southern tip of Honshu Island, Nagato possesses physical beauty that has only been enhanced by manmade activities. The Motonosumi Inari Shrine is set on a picturesque point of land over the Sea of Japan. It is approached by a pathway of 123 red-lacquered traditional torii gates, snaking across the wild hillside. It was built in 1987 to honor the white fox spirit, believed to bring good fortune. Ōmishima Island is attached to Nagato by a bridge, and rewards visitors with pleasant pebble beaches and dramatic sea stacks of rugged rock along its scenic coastline. Nearby, the Yuya Terraced Rice Fields form a stairway of rice paddies with panoramic views of the sea below.