The Seto Inland Sea narrowly separates the main islands of Japan, stretching about 440 km from east to west, and 5 to 55 km from north to south. The calm waters, with pine-covered islands and islets, provide a range of very beautiful sights throughout the seasons.

The islands support various livelihoods, some serving as orchards or pastures, others as bases for fishing or shipping, and others are known for producing fishing nets and fishing boats. Some are predominantly of religious and cultural importance, others were port towns, while yet others have been known for the production of granite.

Today some are turning to aquaculture or tourism. Many of the 800 inhabited islands are offered as summer resorts along their previously unpolluted beaches.

Not a few of these are of great historical interest, still retaining legends, relics and monuments from the long past of the Inland Sea as an artery of Japan's cultural, political and economic development.

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