Shikoku

The smallest and least populous of Japan’s four main islands, Shikoku is known for its beautiful countryside and is home to some great festivals and local foods.

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Awa Odori Festival

The Awa Dance (Awa Odori) is Tokushima’s largest annual event and boasts a history of over 400 years. The festival is well established in various areas even outside the prefecture, and Awa Dance troupes are regularly invited to events outside of Japan, placing it alongside the Rio Carnivale as one of the largest dance events…

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Dogo Onsen

Dogo Onsen is one of Japan’s oldest and most famous hot springs and is a very popular tourist attraction in Matsuyama. Dogo Onsen has also been a frequent destination for Japan’s Imperial Family and is also thought to be the inspiration for the bath house in the Studio Ghibli movie Sprited Away. The main attraction…

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Dogo Onsen Dogokan

This is a perfect blend of modern building and traditional ryokan. This modern Japanese-style building was designed by the famous architect Kisho Kurokawa. It was designed to complement nature and includes a beautiful and generously-sized spa area. Service is outstanding and visitors from abroad are warmly welcomed. The hotel’s location is ideal for visiting the…

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Hotel Nikko Kochi Asahi Royal

Shikoku’s top western style hotel offers a prime location for exploring the southern part of the island. The hotel has 191 rooms and suites, a restaurant with great views, a tea room and fantastic service. The hotel has a waterfront location which commands a panoramic view of the central area of Kochi.

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Iya Valley

The Iya Valley is a remote, mountainous valley in western Tokushima Prefecture. Located deep in the heart of Shikoku Island, the secluded valley is characterized by steep mountain slopes and deep rocky gorges which were traditionally crossed by vine bridges. Three of the vine bridges, Iya Kazurabashi and the Oku-Iya Kazurabashi bridges, are maintained to…

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Kazurabashi

Historically, suspension bridges made of mountain vines (kazurabashi) were one of the only ways to transport people and goods across the rivers of the of the Iya Valley. Legend tells us that they were either first raised by Kobo Daishi, founder of the Shingon Sect of Japanese Buddhism, or made by Heike refugees hiding out…

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Kochi

Kochi is the capital of Kochi Prefecture on the southern coast of Shikoku and boasts several attractions of interest to travelers. A well preserved, original hilltop castle from the feudal period marks Kochi’s downtown and nearby on another mountain, Godaisan, pilgrims visit Chikurenji Temple, one of the 88 temples along the Shikoku Pilgrimage. The city…

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Kochi Castle

Kochi Castle is one of only twelve Japanese castles to have survived the fires, wars and other catastrophes of the post feudal age. It was first constructed between 1601 and 1611, but most of its main buildings date from 1748 when they were reconstructed after a fire. The castle used to be the seat of…

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Kompirasan Shrine

Kompirasan is the main shrine of multiple Kompira shrines found around Japan that are dedicated to sailors and seafaring. Located on the wooded slope of Mount Zozu in Kotohira, the approach to Kompirasan is an arduous series of 1,368 stone steps. Over many centuries, Kompirasan had been revered as a mixture between Shinto shrine and…

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Kotohira

A small town in northeastern Kagawa Prefecture, Shikoku, Kotohira is primarily famous for Kompirasan, Shikoku‘s most popular shrine. Kompirasan is dedicated to seafaring, and is said to have one of the most difficult shrine approaches in Japan. Nearby is the historical Kanamaruza kabuki theater, Japan’s oldest surviving, complete kabuki playhouse, which still stages kabuki performances…

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Kotosankaku Ryokan

Just a 5-minute walk from JR Kotohira Train Station, Kotosankaku provides Japanese rooms with traditional futon beds, a minibar and Konpira Mountain views. Hot-spring baths, traditional meals and massage services are featured. Tatami (woven-straw) floors and shoji paper screens create a zen atmosphere in the rooms, some of which include a private hot-spring bath.

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Matsuyama

Matsuyama is the largest city on Shikoku and the capital of Ehime Prefecture in the west of the island. Matsuyama Castle perches atop a hill in the centre of the city and from its lofty heights there are wonderful views of the city below and even – on a clear day – of the Inland…

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Matsuyama Castle

Constructed between 1602 and 1628, Matsuyama Castle is one of Japan’s twelve “original castles” which have survived the post-feudal era since 1868 intact. It is also one of the most interesting castles in Japan. Perched atop Mount Katsuyama, a steep hill in the city centre, the castle’s main circle of defense (Honmaru) is accessible through…

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Oboke & Koboke

Oboke (大歩危, Ōboke) and nearby Koboke (小歩危) are narrow, high sided gorges near the entrance to the Iya Valley and popular places to visit. Formed by the gushing white water of the Yoshino River, their names mean “big dangerous steps” and “small dangerous steps” as their jagged rock walls are not easy to traverse. The…

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Oborozukiyo Ryokan

Oborozukiyo ryokan is nestled in a quiet area not far from Dogo Onsen station. Its design combines both comfort, elegance and tradition. All its rooms have private outdoor baths in the traditional Japanese style. You can also enjoy beauty treatment s in the Aesthetic room, or simply relax in your own lounge area. The menu…

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Ritsurin

Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu is one of the largest in Japan, covering an impressive 75 acres. Built in the early Edo period and originally named for its chestnut trees, Ritsurin is now dominated by beautifully sculpted pines, which cover the tsukiyama, or artificial hills, and the banks of the many ponds, both large and small,…

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Shikoku

Shikoku is the smallest of Japan’s four main islands. It consists of 4 prefectures; Kagawa, Kochi, Tokushima and Ehime and is known for its beautiful nature and for its food, especially the much loved sanuki udon!

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Takamatsu

The capital of Kagawa Prefecture, Takamatsu has been the political and economic centre in the region since the Edo period. Situated on the northern border of Shikoku and facing the Inland sea, A must-see location is Ritsurin Park, which features pavilions and ponds against a background view of Mt Shiun. Built by local feudal lords…

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Tokushima

Tokushima Prefecture is situated on the eastern side of Shikoku and the prefectural capital is Tokushima City. Its is connected to mainland Japan by the Akashi-Kaikyo and Naruto Bridges, and can be reached from Osaka in two and a half hours. The prefecture is best known for the Awa Odori, a dance festival held in…

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Utoco Auberge & Spa

Located on the southeastern tip of Kochi Prefecture, in the city of Muroto. Utoco Auberge & Spa is the first residential facility of its kind. It combines deep seawater, naturally filtered over many years, with the beautiful nature and rich coastal environment of Muroto. Guests can experience various kinds of ocean therapy in this artistic…

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