There are few more pleasant ways to spend half a day or more in Japan than exploring the enchanting fishing port of TOMONOURA (鞆の浦), at the tip of the Numakuma Peninsula, 14km south of Fukuyama, and the inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki’s 2008 film Ponyo. The town has one of the most beautiful locations on the Inland Sea, and its narrow, twisting streets and surrounding hills are easily explored on foot or by bicycle. Boats unload their catch daily beside the horseshoe-shaped harbour, which has hardly changed since the town’s Edo-era heyday, when trading vessels waited here for the tides to change direction or rested en route to mainland Asia. Today, you’re just as likely to see locals dreaming the day away on the sea walls, rod in hand, waiting for the fish to bite, or selling catches of prawns, squirming crabs and other seafood on the streets.

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