Shikoku itinerary | leisure style 9 Days
Shikoku – Fun, Comfortable, Delicious Food & Beautiful Landscapes
Most first-time visitors to Japan stick to a predictable course on the main island of Honshu, which takes them to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. But for people who have visited Japan already, there’s much more to be discovered, and Shikoku represents a whole new field of exploration.
Shikoku lies in the southwestern part of Japan, south of the main island of Honshu. While Shikoku is the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, small is relative. The island has an area of 18,800 km², and due to its mountainous interior, charmingly odd shape and basic infrastructure, Shikoku packs a big natural and cultural punch. It boasts picturesque coastline on the glittering Seto Inland Sea, legendary udon noodles, movie-inspiring onsen, the first step on the 88 Temple Pilgrimage and a summer stage for Japan to dance.
If you’re looking to delve into a more traditional Japan, it’s time to let Japan Holidays help you explore vibrant Shikoku.
Shikoku Leisure Itinerary | 9 Days / 8 Nights
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After leaving your luggage at your hotel, take a Highspeed Ferry from Takamatsu Port to Miyonura Port
-Day Tour Naoshima Art Island
Naoshima is known as an art island, art is blended into island life. Popular attractions include “Chichu Art Museum” and “Benesse House Museum”. This beautiful island is rich in nature and delights visitors all year round.
Return back to Takamatsu Port (by High Speed Ferry 30 mins)
Accommodation: JR Hotel Clement Takamatsu (2 nights)
Today you will start by visiting Ritsurin park and the sights.
-Ritsurin Park (30 mins by walk)
Ritsurin Garden is the largest Cultural Property Garden in all of Japan, and is an important cultural asset that has been maintained for nearly 400 years.
Enjoy breakfast at Tea Ceremony room with the view of Japanese Garden & Strolling around the garden (approx. 2 hours) After that walk from Ritsurin Park to Traditional Sweets Making shop (approx. 20 mins)
-Traditional Sweets making experience ‘Wasanbon’ (1 hour)
Wasanbon is a traditional accompaniment to green tea. You can make it by yourself at sweet-making workshops.
Afterwards make your way back to Takamatsu station for Sanuki Udon – the Udon noodle famous in Kagawa prefecture. Depart Takamatsu Station to Kotohira Station (approx. 50 mins). From Kotohira Japan Holidays recommends visit Kotohira-gu Shrine and the Kanamaru Kabuki Play Hall.
Kotohira-gu Shrine is the head shrine of “Kotohira” There is an extremely long staircase, consisting of 1,368 steps. You can rent a walking stick and go for a stroll or take a ride in a “kago” palanquin and enjoy the sights as you are carried around.
-Kanamaruza (Kabuki Play Hall) (combined 2-3hrs)
Kanamaru-za is Kabuki Play Hall which is built in the year of 1835. This Kabuki Play hall is the oldest in Japan and designated as National Important Cultural Property. Kabuki show is still held here.
Return to your accommodation by train from Kotohira Station (approx. 50 mins)
Train from Takamatsu Station to Oboke Station (approx. 2 hrs), followed by a local bus to Iya Kuzura Vine Bridge (approx. 30mins)
-Iya Kuzura Vine Bridge
Iya Kuzura Vine Bridge is made of Actinidia auguta (a kind of kiwi vine) and is 45 meters long, 2 meters wide. It weighs approx. 6 tones and is suspended 14 meters above streams. The bridge is changed every three years. (Designated as a National and Prefectural significant folk cultural asset)
-Oboke Ravine Cruise
The Oboke Ravine Pleasure Boat travels down and then back the Yoshino River in about 30 minutes, offering the passengers scenic vistas of the grandeur of nature’s handiwork. You will enjoy the changing season through fresh green in summer, coloured leaves in autumn and even snow in winter.
After the ravine cruise make your way to Oboke station to return to Kochi Station, where you will be spending the evening.
Accommodation at Tosa Gyoen (2 nights)
Today visit the sights that Kochi has to offer!
-Sunday Market – Only on Sunday
Sunday Market Kochi’s Sunday market has been running for more than 300 years. Stretching for about 1km from the front gate of Kochi Castle and there are about 400 stalls offering specialty products like local vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants, wares, sweets and street food.
Kochi Castle Constructed at the beginning of the 17th century, Kochi Castle is the only castle in Japan where the original tenshu and honmaru (castle tower and main keep) are still standing. 15 of the structures in the castle grounds have been designated as Important National Cultural Properties
Chikurin-ji Temple is one of the 88 pilgrimage, Henro, temple in Shikoku Island. Strolling the peaceful and beautiful temple with a monk. The monk will guide you and explain about whole premises, and guide you to the next temple on the Henro trail, Sekkei-ji Temple.
-Makino Botanical Garden
Makino Botanical Garden boasts about 3000 kinds of plant species throughout the year, and is one of the prominent botanical gardens in Japan
Return to Kochi Station from Chikurin-ji Temple (approx. 20 mins by public transport) & Enjoy dinner at one of the local spots, Hirome Market.
60 stalls are inside the market, offering Kochi’s specialty food, beer, Sake and even souvenir shops with unique local products.
Have your luggage transferred to your next accommodation, and Leave your hotel to Koichi station, onto Susaki station (approx. 1 hour by train) & to Yusuhara town by bus (approx. 1 hour 10 minutes)
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Yusuhara Town, and in the afternoon trying your hand at traditional Japanese paper “Tosa-washi Making” Afterwards enjoy the sights of Yusuhara Town.
-Yusuhara Town Kengo Kuma Building
There are five unique buildings designed by the architect, Kengo Kuma, who designed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
Accommodation Marche Yusuhara
You will depart Yusuhara Town to Susaki Station by bus then to Tosa-Kure Station by train (Approx 1 hour 10 minutes)
Stroll through Kure Taisho Town & see the Kure Taisho Market, enjoy lunch at the ‘”Fisherman’s Town”
Kure Taisho Town Market has been popular with locals for well over 100 years. The fish caught that morning by the local fishermen are displayed out the front of each store by 11:00am.
-Nishoka Sake Brewery
Nishioka Sake Brewery was started in the year of 1781. As Tosa Kure Town is famous for Bonito fish, this brewery makes the sake with flavour that matches with bonito fish. Tasting is also available in this brewery.
Other places recommended to visit – Kure Shrine & the Road Station “Nakatosa”
After visiting the town, you will walk to your accommodation and enjoy an authentic open air onsen ryokan for the evening.
Accommodation Kuroshio Honjin Ryokan
After sending your luggage to your Hotel in Dogo, travel from Kuroshio Honjin to Tosa-kure Station, then onto Nakamure Station (combined travel approx. 1 hour)
-Blacksmith Experience at “KUROGANE”
Between the riverbanks of the Shimanto River, try your hand at a true authentic blacksmithing experience. Make your own knife or blade, forged using traditional blacksmithing techniques.
Blacksmithing experience is including lunch at one of the local farmers restaurant.
Accommodation: Hotel Seira Shimanto
Travel from Ekawasaki Station. to Matsuyama Station. (approx. 2 hours by train)
Have lunch in Matsuyama city, sightsee the town and visit Matsuyama Castle. The rest of the day is to enjoy the nature and refreshing onsen hotsprings at Dogo Onsen
Accommodation: Ryokan in Dogo
After checking out of your hotel continue through with your trip, be it returning home or to another area of Japan.