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Suggested Itineraries

Spend time sightseeing in Hiroshima, and then head to Onomichi on rental bicycles.

Shimanami Kaido Cycling

9:00amShimanami Kaido Cycling

Have fun cycling on the bridge while enjoying the fantastic view of the islands!

The 70-kilometer-long "Shimanami Kaido Highway" spans the Inland Sea and consists of 9 bridges which connect 6 islands scattered between Imabari-city in Shikoku and Onomichi-city in Honshu.
The world's first three suspension bridges, the Kurushima Kaikyo-Ohashi, are highly valued structures and provide one of the best views of the floating islands, especially at sunset! Unlike many highways of this size, you can cross it on bike or on foot. You can drop by some of the islands to enjoy fresh tastes such as citrus fruit grown in the mild climate or savory seafood caught in the Inland Sea. Time almost slows down as you look out onto the quiet sea and inhale the fresh air. Along the Shimanami Kaido highway you can easily enjoy the harmony of the peaceful sea and as well as contemporary art.
There are 15 rental bicycle stations in total, including both starting points (Onomichi and Imabari).

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Name
Shimanami Kaido Cycling | しまなみ海道サイクリング
Address
Onomichi Port: Higashi Gosho-cho Onomichi-city, Hiroshima | Map
JR Imabari Station: 1-6-23 Nakahiyoshi-cho, Imabari-city, Ehime | Map
Phone Number
Onomichi Port: 0848-22-5332
JR Imabari Station: 0898-34-1200
Website
Visit Website
Business Hours
Onomichi Port: 7:00am~6:00pm
JR Imabari Station: 8:30am~5:00pm
Price
Adult: 500 yen/day
Deposit: 1000 yen (refunded if bicycle is returned to same station)
Bridge Tolls: 50 yen – 200 yen (varies by bridge)

Head for Omishima Island via Mukaishima Island, Innoshima Island, and Ikuchijima Island on rental bicycles.

1:00pmOmishima Island

Enjoy art and hot spring in Omishima Island

Omishima, one of the islands along the Shimanami Kaido Highway, is dotted with highlights of contemporary art. At the Tokoro Museum you can find works of prominent artists such as Mexican artist Noe Katz, American artist Marisol, and master pop artists Tom Wesselmann and Giacomo Manzù. There is also the museum of Toyo Ito, a prominent architect who explores the relationship between architecture and nature, and Ken Iwata's Mother and Child Museum which is filled with numerous superb sculptures all with the theme of "Mother and Child".
Both the peaceful sea and contemporary art will work together to relax your mind before you make your way to Mare Grassia Omishima where Thalasso's therapy will refresh your tired body.

Stay one night in Omishima Island

Continue to Imabari via Hakatashima and Oshima and return your bike at Imabari Station.

Towel Museum ICHIHIRO

columnHave fun finding high quality souvenirs!

It is said that the best hotels have the fluffiest towels, and many of the best towels are made in Imabari. You can't help but spend a long time at Towel Museum ICHIHIRO where many high quality towels are on exhibition in a variety of styles and impressive designs. While you are there, you can pick up some Swiss rolls or soft stuffed animals, all made from towels! Make sure to visit their outlet where high quality towels are sold at reduced prices. A lot of cute and interesting surprises await!
The garden of the museum has a variety of beautiful array of seasonal flowers in bloom. The museum also contains a restaurant, so feel free to take your time exploring and relaxing at your leisure.

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Name
Towel Museum ICHIHIRO | タオル美術館ICHIHIRO
Address
2930 Asakurakami Imabari-city, Ehime | Map
Phone Number
0898-56-1515
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
Apr. 1 to Oct. 31: 9:30am to 6:00pm
Nov. 1 to Mar. 31: 9:30am to 5:30pm
Please call ahead. Museum may be closed for maintenance
Price
Adult: 800 yen
Direction
25-minute taxi ride from Imabari station

GIANT STORE

columnCycling from Imabari? Here's the best place to start!

The specialty shop offers everything related to cycling, and also provides a bicycle rental service. Try out some new models! It's fun to choose from their large range of road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrids. Lockers and shower rooms are provided for comfortable cycling. It's a must visit shop for those who want to enjoy a higher level of cycling.

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Name
GIANT STORE | ジャイアントストア
Address
1-729-8 Kita Horai-cho Imabari-city, Ehime | Map
Phone Number
0898-25-1175
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
9:00am to 7:00pm
Closed Tuesdays
Price
Mountain/Hybrid bike: 2000 yen/5 hours
Directions
Located in Imabari Station. 25 minutes by bicycle to the walkway entrance of Shimanami Kaido Highway.


35-minute express train ride from Imabari station to Matsuyama station.

10-minute ride by tram bound for Dogo Onsen from Matsuyama Station

5-minute walk from Okaido.

Matsuyama Castle

3:00pmMatsuyama Castle

Feel like one of the leaders of old gazing out from a castle in the clouds onto the amazing panorama of Matsuyama-city!

If the weather is clear, make your way up to the 8th station on Shiroyama, a mountain at a height of 132 meters above sea level, by lift and enjoy walking in the sky and the beautiful landscape! Matsuyama Castle is one of the 12 remaining castles with intact keeps in Japan. The panoramic view of Matsuyama-city from the keep makes you experience the same feeling that a lord would have felt hundreds of years ago. In addition to the impressive keep, there is also a stone wall that exceeds the 14-meter high palace, and with an attractive curve, you will see that it not only served a purpose militarily, but also is a work of art in itself.
At the castle, you can try on Japanese armor for free! The experience will make your trip unforgettable. In spring, the cherry blossoms bloom, which creates a beautiful contrast against the castle.

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Name
Matsuyama Castle | 松山城
Address
1 Marunouchi Matsuyama-city, Ehime | Map
Phone Number
089-921-4873
Website
Visit Website
Business Hours
Castle Keep: 9:00am to 4:30pm (vary from season to season)
Dec. 29 (Only Castle Keep is closed.)
Price
Castle admission fee: 500 yen

Iyo Railway "Botchan Train"

5:30pmIyo Railway "Botchan Train"

Enjoy your trip on the Botchan Train!

The Botchan Train captures the look and feel of the steam train known from "Botchan", one of the most popular novels of the prominent Japanese writer Soseki Natusme.
Steam locomotives used to be a familiar sight, but were eventually replaced by electric trains. However, the locals' strong desire for the train's restoration led to service resuming in 2001. They offer services between Okaido, the closest station to Matsuyama Castle, and Dogo Onsen hourly, so hop on board! It will be an unforgettable experience as you take in the nostalgic landscape of old Japan.

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Name
Iyo Railway "Botchan Train" | 伊予鉄道株式会社「坊ちゃん列車」
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Price
300 yen/ one ride

10-minute ride by tram (including the Botchan Train) bound for Dogo Onsen Iki from Okaido

Dogo Hot Spring

6:00pmDogo Hot Spring

Over 3000 years of history! The oldest hot spring in Japan, visited by famous historical figures, literary greats, and even the imperial family!

Among the public baths, Dogo Hot Spring alone is designated as an important national cultural asset and the structure at the hot spring is highly valued as well. The structure features artistic, decorative tiles on its roof, and the film Spirited Away is said to be based on Dogo Hot Spring. It has been awarded a three-star rating by the Michelin Green Guide Japan in 2009.
It opens with the sound of a drum at 6 o'clock in the morning, which draws a number of people for morning bathing. The water is slightly alkaline and is very gentle on the skin, making it popular among locals and tourists alike.
Surrounded by many inns and shops, it is convenient for sightseeing in Matsuyama. You can get around by rickshaw, which can be easily found in front of the Dogo Onsen entrance. Have fun sightseeing among the shop-lined streets while thinking of old Japan.

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Name
Dogo Hot Spring | 道後温泉
Address
5-6 Dogoyuno-machi Matsuyama-city, Ehime | Map
Phone Number
089-921-5141
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
6:00am to 10:00pm (or 8:40pm varies by tickets)
Price
Access to Kamino-yu bath only: 400 yen
Access to Kamino-yu bath and 2nd floor: 800 yen
Access to Tamano-yu and 2nd floor: 1200 yen
Access to Tanano-yu and a private room on the 3rd floor: 1500yen

Stay one night at Dogo Hot Spring

15-minute tram ride from Dogo Onsen to Matsuyama-city station

50-minute bus ride bound for Dansoguchi Iki or Oiwabashi Iki

5-minute walk from Tobeyaki Kanko Center Guchi.

Tobeyaki Porcelain Kanko Center En no Sato

10:00amTobeyaki Porcelain Kanko Center En no Sato

Discover the traditional porcelain of Tobeyaki town and try your hand at making your own!

Tobeyaki uses thick, white porcelain which is decorated with light indigo lines which are applied freehand. It's attractiveness comes from the simple forms and durability of the works. They preserve the tradition of keeping almost all the production processes performed by hand.
Tobeyaki production can be viewed at no cost at the Tobeyaki Kanko Center En no Sato. The center, characterized by it's towering chimney, sells the works created at its over 70 kilns. For a small fee, the center also provides hands-on activities that allow the visitors the chance to try designing and shaping various dishes and ornaments.
A 20-minute walk southwest will lead you to a walkway with over 580 ceramic boards on display, and makes for a truly enjoyable stroll.

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Name
Tobeyaki Porcelain Kanko Center En no Sato | 砥部焼観光センター炎の里
Address
359 Tobe-cho Senzoku Iyo-gun, Ehime | Map
Phone Number
089-962-2070
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
8:30am to 6:00pm
Price
Painting experience
450 to 4200 yen (Please come before 4pm)
30-40 minutes
Finished about 3 weeks later

Pottery and hand forming experience
1575 to 3150 yen (Please come before 3pm)
40-120 minutes.
Finished about a month later

15-minute ride by taxi to Kitaiyo station

30-minute train ride to Uchiko station

10-minute walk to Uchikoza

Uchiko-za Kabuki Theater

2:00pmUchiko-za Kabuki Theater

Get a backstage look into the world of Kabuki theater!

Uchiko Town prospered thanks to their world famous Japanese wax, which made the area an economic powerhouse and led to the locals building the Kabuki theater in 1916.
The theater as it stands today is a restoration, but houses the same traditional Japanese entertainment that it did nearly a century ago. Visitors are able to see Kabuki plays which incorporate acting, dancing and music, or Bunraku – a Japanese play performed with sophisticated puppets. When there are no performances, visitors can view the area under the stage and see facilities such as the elevated runway, trap doors, and the revolving stage.

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Name
Uchiko-za Kabuki Theater | 内子座
Address
2102 Uchiko-cho uchiko Kita-gun, Ehime | Map
Phone Number
0893-44-2840
Business Hours
9:00am to 4:30pm
Closed from the end of the year to New Year holidays
No backstage tours available when shows are performed.
Price
400 yen

20-minute walk to Yokaichi Gokoku area

Streets of Yokaichi Gokoku

3:00pmStreets of Yokaichi Gokoku

Experience the atmosphere of old Japan as you stroll around the streets of Yokaichi Gokoku

About 150 years ago, this area prospered as a post town (a key junction of highways) and still retains the atmosphere of the old streets where the white-walled storehouses and traditional wooden houses span about 600 meters. While there, make sure not to miss the stuccowork on the walls, known as "kote'e". Through the use of a single tool with a similar name, the "kote", artisans are able to make sweeping forms and waves which are said to resemble those of a dragon.
Among other notable features is the Omori Candle Shop, which has been creating Japan wax for more than 200 years. They preserve tradition the candle gentle flame is attracting many people. The candles of this shop have been on exhibition as Japanese souvenir since 2001 in British Museum.

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Information
Name
Streets of Yokaichi Gokoku | 八日市・護国の町並み
Address
3023 Uchiko-cho uchiko Kita-gun, Ehime (Machiya Museum) | Map
Phone Number
0893-44-5212 (Machiya Museum)
Website
Visit Website

Uchiko Fresh Park Karari

columnEnjoy some food made from fresh local vegetables while at the roadside station!

Many restaurants are lined up, allowing you to enjoy local gourmet foods including ice cream and sorbet flavored with the local seasonal vegetables and fruits, and Uchiko pork burgers. The restaurant Karari boasts over 50 kinds of food in its popular buffet. The highlight of the roadside station is a stand built around the concept of local production for local consumption. All products sold at the stand are made by the local people. Each product is traceable, so you will be happy to buy fresh and safe vegetables grown by the locals, and they will be happy you enjoy them.

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Name
Uchiko Fresh Park Karari | 内子フレッシュパークからり
Address
2452 Uchiko-cho Uchiko Kita-gun, Ehime | Map
Phone Number
0893-43-1122
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
8:00am to 5:00pm (karari stand)
Direction
5-minute taxi ride from Uchiko station

20-minute taxi ride to the Ishidatami district from Uchiko station

5:00pmIshidatami no Yado

Stay in a traditional Japanese house and take in the countryside atmosphere.


Towel Museum ICHIHIRO

columnFeel the warmth of Japan, and savor the delicious tastes of the Inland Sea in a French-style inn and restaurant

Auberge Uchiko is nestled in some quiet woods. It has open and peaceful dining area which is decorated with a wood and glass motif.
Eating dinner in the light of Japanese wax candles brings a degree of relaxation and thoughts of nature that have been forgotten in modern city life. In the early morning, look out the window to see the natural beauty of the forest that surrounds the inn. In some seasons, the sound of birds and other wildlife can be heard. The building contains examples of Uchiko's specialty craft of Japanese paper on display.
Enjoy the beautiful fusion of Japanese and Western culture. It is also a good idea to stay one night here instead of heading from Yokaichi Gokoku streets to the Ishidatami district.

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Name
Auberge Uchiko | オーベルジュ内子
Address
485-2 Ikazakiotsu Uchiko-cho Kita-gun, Ehime | Map
Phone Number
0893-44-6565
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
Closed Thursdays
Directions
5-minute taxi ride from Uchiko station

Stay one night in the Ishidatami district or in Uchiko

20-minute taxi ride to Uchiko station

55-minute train ride to Uwajima station

60-minute drive to Nametoko Canyon by rental car

Nametoko Canyon

12:00amNametoko Canyon

Get wild! Go trekking and canyoning!

Waterfalls, uniquely shaped rocks, and cliffs create distinctive landscape of Nametoko Canyon. It is surrounded by many forests and filled with negative ions which are believed to help you relax and soothe your body. It is highly recommended to enjoy trekking during autumn when all of the leaves are turning beautiful shades of red.
A must see is Yukiwanotaki, a waterfall that cascades down a massive stone slab and creates designs in its waves. It takes about 40 minutes to reach on foot from Morinokuni Hotel, a travel hub located within the canyon.

Nametoko Canyon is ranked as the No.1 outdoor location for canyoning in Japan. In addtion to the thrilling canyoning, you can also try sliding down its natural 40-meter long water slide or try jumping into the waterfall's basin!

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Name
Forest Canyon | 滑床渓谷
Address
Nogawanametoko Uwajima-shi, Ehime | Map
Phone Number
0895-42-0063
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
Early April to late November (may close earlier in the season depending on weather)
Morning: 9:30am to 12:30pm
Afternoon: 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Full day: 9:30am to 3:30pm
Price
Half day: 8,500yen
Full day: 10,500yen
(Additional charge of 500yen on weekends, holidays, and during the Obon period (mid-August))

60-minute drive by rental car to Shimanto

5:00pmShimanto Gakusha (School)

Stay the night in an elementary school!

Stay one night in Shimanto-city

Kawarakko (canoeing and float rafting)

9:00amShimanto River

Enjoy the slow, blue flow of the Shimanto River

With a clean, blue stream, the slow river meanders between green trees, the white sandbank, and Chinkabashi bridges. These are the characteristic views of the Shimanto River.
Chinkabashi bridges are bridges built without parapets, designed not to be washed away but to be sunk at high tide. Among them, Iwama Chinkabashi Bridge is the best place to take photos, because its simple form is in the harmony with nature.
Most of the rivers in Japan have straight and rapid streams, but aside from some of the upper parts, the Shimanto River is a slow and winding river. This may be one of the reasons for gentle flow of time in Shimanto.
The river is very rare in that there are still people who earn their living as river fishermen, which gives you a chance to see the traditional fishing of sweet fish, river shrimp, eels, and even seaweed.
Enjoy the wild nature and the local culture of Shimanto, while riding Japanese traditional "yakatabune" house boats, sailboats, canoes, or rafts.

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Name
Kawarakko (canoeing and float rafting) | かわらっこ(カヌー・フロートラスト)
Address
24 Tadenokawa Shimanto-city Kochi | Map
Phone Number
0880-31-8400
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
Closed Mondays
9:00am to 12:00pm / 1:00pm to 3:50pm
Please come 30 minutes before leaving.
Price
Kayak (single seater): Adult 5000 yen
Tandem kayak (twin seater): 6600 to 8000 yen
Canadian canoe (twin or triple seater): 7300 to 9600 yen
Rafting float (7 seater at least 2 people): Adult 3500 yen
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Information
Name
Nattoku | なっとく(屋形船)
Address
67-1 Tadenokawa Shimanto-city,Kochi | Map
Phone Number
0880-38-2918
Business Hours
Yakatabune(Japanese style house bpat)
Departs Hourly between 8:00am and 4:00pm (April to September)
Departs Hourly between 9:00am and 4:00pm (October to March)
Price
Yakatabune: Adult 2000 yen (Excluding tax)
Child 1000 yen (Excluding tax)

T-shirt art exhibition

columnSee a T-shirt art exhibition at a seaside gallery

T-shirts are the canvases! This is a fun event that anyone can join. All designs sent by March are printed on the T-shirts, which are put on exhibition at the beach. The shirts are hung on ropes tied to the piles that are driven into the beach, and ends up looking like someone is hanging their laundry!
It's a truly unique art which doesn't just come from the shirts' designs, but also the movement of the shirts as they flap in the sea breeze against a background of a blue sky, lapping waves, and white sand. The exhibition is held around May 1st to May 7th every year.

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Name
T-shirt art exhibition | Tシャツアート展(砂浜美術館)
Address
3573-5 KuroshiochoUkibuchi Hata-gun, Kochi | Map
Phone Number
0880-43-4915
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Dates
Around May 1st to May 7th (dates vary from year to year)

2 hour 20 minute drive to Yusuhara drive by rental car


4:00pmKumo no Ue Hotel Annex Marche Yusuhara

A Marché on the 1st floor? A thatched-roof wall? This is one unique hotel!

Stay one night in Yusuhara

60-minute drive by rental car to Shikoku Karst

Shikoku Karst

10:00amShikoku Karst

Go for an invigorating drive to the plateau in the sky!

The erosion of a limestone mountain eventually resulting in the Shikoku Karst, which is one of the largest karsts in Japan. You can enjoy the landscape's sprawling fields, pastoral scenery with grazing sheep and cattle, and a unique view of limestone sticking out of the earth. The limestone rock can often be mistaken as sheep. From June to July beautiful flowers can be seen on the plateau.
The view from the observatory deck is one points of the area. From a height of 1400 meters above sea level, the view is absolutely breathtaking.
Stop by Kogen Hureai no Ie Tenguso to enjoy a meal at the restaurant or their outdoor barbeque.

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Name
Shikoku Karst | 四国カルスト
Address
Yoshiunotsu Tsunocho Takaoka-gun, Kochi | Map
Phone Number
0889-62-3188(Kogen Hureai no ie Tenguso)

120-minute drive by rental car to Kochi-city

Hirome market

5:00pmHirome market

Navigate a maze of food stands and find your favorite dinner at Hirome Market!

Hirome Market is a maze of over 40 Japanese, Western, and Chinese food stalls, and over 20 souvenir and clothing shops, all under one roof.
Find your seats, grab some food, and take some time to enjoy the local cuisine.
Kochi's specialty of lightly roasted bonitos are highly recommended! It's so fresh that the only seasoning you need is salt!
The market attracts tourists and locals alike, so strike up a conversation with some of the locals and have fun!

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Name
Hirome market | ひろめ市場
Address
2-3-1 Obiyamachi Kochi-city, Kochi | Map
Phone Number
088-822-5287
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
Weekdays, Saturdays and Holidays: 8:00am to 11:00pm
Sundays: 7:00am to 11:00pm
(store hours vary)

Sunday Market

columnExplore a Sunday market

As one the largest morning markets in Japan, the market has been held every Sunday for nearly 300 years! The center is around Outesuji, near Kochi castle. You can try some fast food such as "Imoten" (sweet potatoes in a tempura style) and "Inakazushi" (sushi made with Japanese citrus juice, topped with processed Japanese ginger and mushrooms).
About 500 stores are set up with everything from fresh local vegetables, to antiques and superior-quality kitchen knives.
This is an open-air market that draws crowds of tourists and locals alike!

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Name
Sunday Market | 日曜市
Address
Outesuji Kochi-city, Kochi | Map
Dates&Time
5:00am to 6:00pm Sundays April to September
5:30am to 5:00pm Sundays October to March
Closed on Jan. 1 and 2, and During the Yosakoi festival period
Directions
1-minute walk from Hasuikemachidori tram station

Yosakoi Festival

columnEnjoy the mid-summer festival, Yosakoi Matsuri!

A lively and freewheeling atmosphere describes the personalities of Kochi people as well as this festival. In the Yosakoi Festival, dancers dressed in brilliant colored Japanese styles dance powerfully, and the locals bring all their passion to the festival. Dressed in their own costumes which differ from team to team, about 20 thousand people in more than 200 teams walk on the streets, each performing their team's choreographed dance and playing Japanese castanet called a "naruko". One of the characteristics is the loud background music, which warms up to turn the entire town into a concert venue.
The festival is held from August 9th to the 12th every year. Many of the dancers go on to participate in the festivals held overseas including Honolulu Festival in Hawaii.

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Name
Yosakoi Festival | よさこい祭り
Venue
Stages for performances and competitions are dotted about Kochi castle.

Stay one night in Kochi

Kochi Castle

9:00amKochi Castle

A stunning wooden keep will transport you back to 17th century!

Located in the center of the town stands Kochi Castle and its well-preserved keep. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the keep from the entrance by walking up the stone steps.
The area in front of the gate is surrounded by moats to allowed those inside the castle to defend by firing arrows from three directions. It is interesting to think about how battles played out. It is only in Kochi Castle that you can capture the gate and keep in a single picture.
In the castle you can enjoy beautiful cherry blossom viewing around from the end of March. In Autumn, red-colored leaves make for a wonderful landscape.

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Information
Name
Kochi Castle | 高知城
Address
1-2-1 Marunouchi Kochi-city, Kochi | Map
Phone Number
088-824-5701
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
5:00am to 6:00pm Sundays April to September
5:30am to 5:00pm Sundays October to March
Closed on Jan. 1 and 2, and During the Yosakoi festival period
Price
Admission fee: 400 yen
Directions
10-minute ride by bus or 25 minute walk from Kochi station

20-minute drive by rental car

The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum / Katsurahama Beach

10:30amThe Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum / Katsurahama Beach

Trace the footsteps of Sakamoto Ryoma, a hero of Japanese modernization

Sakamoto Ryoma was born in Kochi in 1835, and played a vital role in the rapid modernization of Japan.
In light of increased military subjugation, Ryoma aimed for a bloodless revolution, and successfully put an end to the shogunate government. He was one of the most famous great figures who set the foundation of present-day Japan.
The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum and Katsurahama Beach where Ryoma's statue was built are the popular tourist spots in Kochi. Katsurahama is a famous spot where the white waves the lap against the bow-shaped shore and green pine trees create a beautiful contrast.
In the season called "Chushu no Meigetsu" (August 15th in the lunar calendar), people enjoy the Kangetsusai Festival by looking up to the full moon and think of the local literary figures while drinking.
It takes about 5 minutes by foot to reach Katsurahama beach from the museum.

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Information
Name
The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum | 坂本竜馬記念館
Address
830 Uradoshiroyama Kochi-city, Kochi | Map
Phone Number
088-841-0001
Website
Visit Website
Business Hours
9:00am to 5:00pm
Price
500 yen
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Information
Name
Katsurahama Beach | 桂浜
Address
Uradokatsurahama Kochi-city, Kochi | Map

10-minute drive by rental car

Tosa Tataki Dojo

12:30pmTosa Tataki Dojo

Cook yourself some delicious bonito fish!

Kochi's local delicasy is a bonito, wrapped in straw and lightly roasted to soften the hard skin while locking the delicious flavors inside.
Tosa Tataki Dojo in the "Katsuosen" roadside station will cook the bonito for you, or let you do it yourself! Try your hand at cooking up some delicious bonito, and eat it while it is still piping hot, fresh out of the fire. The smell of straw and fresh, flavorful bonito go together to make the perfect taste! Once the fish is roasted, it is sliced up and ready to eat.
Try the Kochi style with garlic and Japanese mint!

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Information
Name
Tosa Tataki Dojo | 土佐タタキ道場(かつお船)
Address
Niida Kochi-city, Kochi | Map
Phone Number
088-847-3255 ‎
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
11:00am to 3:00pm
Bonitos are sold until stocks are exhausted
Price
Lightly roasted bonito (fish only): 1000 yen
Lightly roasted bonito meal: 1200 yen

10-minute ride by rental car

Makino Botanical Garden

2:00pmMakino Botanical Garden

Check out a botanical garden that includes part of a mountain!

About 3000 plant species studied by Dr. Tomitaro Makino are on exhibition in the Makino Botanical garden, where various events are held from season to season, so no matter when you visit, you'll be treated to a variety of interesting plants.

The number of plant species isn't the only thing that draws tourists. Many people go to walk a pilgrimage road that leads through the mountains to an old approach to the Chikurinji Temple, which is the 31st sacred point along the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Mt. Godai has a moving atmosphere, and you will be delighted by the number of plants that can be seen in the area.

The area also is home to a museum that features the documents of Dr. Makino's lifetime of research.

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Information
Name
Makino Botanical Garden | 牧野植物園
Address
4200-6 Godaisan Kochi-city, Kochi | Map
Phone Number
088-882-2601
Website
Visit Website
Business Hours
9:00am to 5:00pm
Closed from Dec 27th to Jan 1st
Price
700 yen

2-hour drive by rental car to Oboke

Iya Hot Spring, Oboke Hot Spring

6:00pmIya Hot Spring, Oboke Hot Spring

A bath secluded by nature

Iya Hot Spring is ranked as one the three best secluded hot springs in Japan, having the atmosphere of hidden place. Neighboring Oboke Hot Spring is called the "Skin-Rejuvenating Hot Spring"
Find your favorite hot spring and refresh yourself!

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Information
Name
Iya Hot Spring, Oboke Hot Spring | 祖谷温泉・大歩危温泉
Website
Visit Website

Stay one night in Oboke and Iya

Obokekyo Canyon Pleasure Boat

9:00amObokekyo Canyon Pleasure Boat

Have a view of a splendid and beautiful canyon!

A sightseeing boat will take you to famous spots designated as natural monuments. 30-minute boat ride provides the views of uniquely-shaped rocks, which makes you feel like you are looking up from the bottom of the river. In early summer, all of the plants and foliage are a vibrant shade of green, and in autumn the green leaves gives way to rich reds which cover the entire mountains are covered with red-leaves. Red leaves and the emerald green river create picturesque, serene landscape.
The reception desk is next to the Obokekyo Mannnaka Restaurant. The minimum passenger count is 1.
The traditional trolley trains without windows are also highly recommended to enjoy the feeling of wind in your hair as you take in the view of Oboke.

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Information
Name
Obokekyo Canyon Pleasure Boat | 大歩危峡観光遊覧船
Address
1520 Yamashirochonishiu Miyoshi-city, Tokushima | Map
Phone Number
0883-84-1211
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
9:00am to 5:00pm
Not in service during flooding or storms
Price
Adult: 1050 yen

30-minute drive by rental car

Iya Valley and the statue of the Peeing Boy

10:20amIya Valley and the statue of the Peeing Boy

Escape the hectic daily life and spend some time relaxing in Iya Valley, one of the best hidden scenic spots in Japan!

Counted as one of the three best hidden scenic spots in Japan, Iya valley gives you a wonderful and magnificent view when looking down the steep, V-shaped valley which is surrounded by forest on both sides. Especially in autumn, the red-tinted leaves and emerald green river create a beautiful contrast. In winter you can see a sea of clouds which covers the valley, feeling like you have been whisked away to a mythical world. This spot will let you get away from the busy daily life.
In the area, there is the statue of the Peeing Boy standing on the rock which overlooks the valley. The statues rests atop a large boulder that was left during the construction of the Iya Highway.
It is a 200 meter drop from the statue to the bottom of the valley, which creates a beautiful yet frightening view. It is said that the statue was created based on a story that the local kids would test their courage by standing on the rock.

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Name
Iya Valley and the statue of the Peeing Boy | 祖谷渓・小便小僧
Address
Ikedachomatsuo matsumoto Miyoshi-city, Tokushima | Map

20-minute drive by rental car

Iya-no-Kazura Bashi (Vine Bridge)

11:00amIya-no-Kazura Bashi (Vine Bridge)

Feel weak at the knees! Cross a suspension bridge made of vines for the ultimate thrill!

Designated as national important tangible cultural asset, Kazura Bridge was made of vines so that it could be easily cut to prevent pursuers from crossing. It was built by samurai who escaped into this area around 800 years ago. Every step on the bridge is met by shaking and rocking. If you look down at your feet, you will see the river far below from between the bridge's logs. If you want a thrilling experience, visiting this bridge is a must!

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Name
Iya-no-Kazura Bashi (Vine Bridge) | 祖谷のかずら橋
Address
Nishiiyayamamuraimazentoku Miyoshi-city, Tokushima | Map
Business Hours
From sunrise to sunset
Closed during the winter once every three years to be rebuilt
Price
500 yen

30-minute drive by rental car

Chiiori Trust

1:00pmChiiori Trust

A 300-year-old house will make you forget what century you are in!

Iya is an example of perfection in the eyes of Mr. Alex Kerr, a prominent researcher of Asian culture. It is said that the mythical land Iya, located at a high altitude with canyon, used to be the place where a group of samurai called "Heike" escaped to and resided. Nowadays, you can still see the thatched-roof houses that were ubiquitous to old Japan.
Mr. Kerr renovated the 300-year-old thatched roof houses into facilities that can be stayed at, as a symbol of revival for Japanese cultural values. Many overseas tourists visit here because they can lose their sense of time and forget about their obligations back in the city.
You can see the inside of the building and stay at the traditionally-styled house. (Day visit and overnight stay must be booked in advance.)

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Information
Name
Chiiori Trust | 篪庵トラスト
Address
96-3 Higashiiyawada Miyoshi-city, Tokushima | Map
Phone Number
0883-88-5290
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
Please call between 9:00am and 6:00pm
Price
Visit: 500 yen
Stay: 14000 yen/night (when used by two people)

10-minute drive by rental car

Ochiai Village

4:30pmOchiai Village

Traditional Japanese houses and unspoiled scenery

The village is located within the steep valley, where the residents have cleared the mountainside, compiled stone walls to terrace the area, built houses, and broadened the fields since old times. With a difference in height of up to 390 meters from the highest and lowest points, community paths called "rido" weave between houses. It shares the characteristics of typical Japanese traditional villages in that it is built around a shrine which would function as a guardian god of the area.
The landscape viewed from opposite hillside is a splendid sight!
The 100-to-300-year-old houses are re-thatched and preserved as important traditional buildings.

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Name
Ochiai Village | 落合集落
Address
Higashiiyaochiaihi Miyoshi-city, Tokushima | Map

Togenkyo Iya

5:30pmTogenkyo Iya

Spend some time living in a traditional Japanese house

In Togenkyo Iya, there are four types of accommodation available. Among the accomodations, there are three thatched-roof houses named "Fusho" "Seiko", "Udoku", and a fourth named "Chiiori" owned by Mr. Alex Kerr who is a researcher of Asian culture. You can stay there, and reflect on the traditional lifestyles within Japan. All of the houses were renovated by Mr. Kerr to help to retain beautiful and traditional aesthetics while allowing for modern people to stay comfortably.
It is possible to reserve an entire house. It's fun to cook in the kitchen thanks to the electronic stove, a full set of kitchen appliances, and a number of Japanese spices. Spend your time however you would like!

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Information
Name
Togenkyo Iya | 桃源郷祖谷の山里
Address
96-3 Higashiiyawada Miyoshi-city, Tokushima | Map
Phone Number
0883-88-5120 (Fusho, Seiko, Udoku)
0883-88-5290 (Chiiori)
Website
Visit Website
Business Hours
Please call between 9:00am to 6:00pm
Price
Stay in "Fusho" "Seiko", or Udoku": Adult 10000 yen/night (When used by 2 people)

Stay one night in Okuiya

50-minute drive by rental car to Oboke

Happy Raft

9:30amHappy Raft

A rafting adventure on one of the world's best rapids!

Located in the mild climate of Shikoku, The Yoshino River is surrounded by untouched nature and blessed with crystal clear water, which makes a prime location for water activities such as rafting and canyoning. The river is counted as one of the best 10 rafting spots since the amount of water is relatively abundant throughout the season. You can join half-day or full-day rafting tours provided by experts.
Also, you can enjoy BBQing!
After an excitement-filled rafting experience, take your time relaxing in Oboke or Iya Hot Springs.

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Information
Name
Happy Raft | ハッピーラフト
Address
221-1 Ikadagi Nagaokagun Otoyocho, Kochi | Map
Phone Number
0887-75-0500
Website
Visit Website
Business Hours
One day tour: 9:00am to 4:30pm
Morning tour: 10:00am to 1:00pm
Afternoon tour: 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Price
5000 yen/half-day 10000 yen/full-day

120-minute drive to Tokushima-city by rental car, and return the car here.

Tokushima Ramen

6:30pmTokushima Ramen

Try local ramen!

Tokushima has a unique style of ramen. The ramen's broth is made by stewing pork bones, and then adding a sweet soy sauce. Ramen noodles are cooked and added to a bowl of broth, along with seasoned pork back ribs, green onion, and a raw egg which cooks slightly in the hot broth.
Many Japanese will eat rice and ramen together as a meal. Recently, a new rice-based dish called a Tokushima Bowl has become rather popular in the area. It combines a bowl of rice with a topping of minced baby back ribs on top of it.

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Name
Tokushima Ramen | 徳島ラーメン
Website
Visit Website

15-minute walk

Awaodori Kaikan

8:00pmAwaodori Kaikan

In Awa, you can't help but dance!

Awaodori Kaikan is the facility where you can enjoy Awa Dance, which is considered to be one of the three most famous Bon dances in Japan.
In the dance hall you will not only see the unique styles of Otoko Odori (male dance) and Onna Odori (female dance) performed in a double time rhythm, but also enjoy dancing on the stage yourself. Drums, flute and gongs are played in a rhythm and music created specifically for the dancers. The harmony of dance and sound create the art of Awa Dance. This is the real Japan!
The facility attracts many overseas tourists by means of a museum which covers the history of the dance as well as a souvenir shop which carries a wide range of sweets, sake, traditional indigo dyeing products, and more!
You can climb up Mt. Bi (Bizan) where you can command a view of the entire city.

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Name
Awaodori Kaikan | 阿波おどり会館
Address
2-20 Shinmachibashi Tokushima, Tokushima | Map
Phone Number
088-611-1611
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
Day time stage: 11:00- (Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays), 2:00pm-, 3:00pm-, 4:00pm-(Everyday)
Night time stage: 8:00pm to 8:50pm (Everyday)
Price
Day time: 500 yen
Night time: 700 yen

Sunday Market

columnAwa reaches a fever pitch as the locals get excited for the the Awa Odori dance!

For over 400 years, the locals have been passing down the Awa Dance style. The dance embodies the very spirit of Awa's locals. To them the dance is the spirit itself. For four days, from August 12th to the 15th , 1.3 million people congregate and create a huge wave of dancing to the double time rhythm.
There are four famous sayings, "Odoru ahou ni (The dancers are fools)", "Miru ahou (The watchers are fools)", "Onaji ahou nara (Both are fools alike)", so "Odorana son, son (So, why not dance? )" .
The dance itself is very easy for anyone to try. Beginners are recommended to join the Niwakaren in which the Awa Dance masters give a lesson, which allows you to dance in the festival. The lesson and performance only take 30 minutes....so, why not dance?

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Name
Awa Dance | 阿波おどり
Venue
Siyakushomae Enbujo (2-5 Saiwaicho Tokushima, Tokushima) and the area | Map
Dates&Time
6:00pm to 11:00pm, Aug. 12 to 15 every year

Stay one night in Tokushima

70-minute ride by bus from Tokushima station

Naruto Whirlpool

9:30amNaruto Whirlpool

Get mesmerized by a dynamic whirlpool!

With its large scale, the Naruto Whirlpool is counted as one of the world's top three tides.
Naruto Strait is one of the connections between the Pacific Ocean and the Inland Sea, and has a width of about 1.3 kilometers.
Due to its narrow size coupled with the tides, a large amount of water flows from the Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean into the strait twice a day. The whirlpool is created by the complex shape of the bottom, and the difference in water levels. The current in the strait is the fastest in Japan, and sometimes create vortices of over 20 meters in diameter.
It's fun to observe the whirlpools from the ship, and also thrilling to be able to look down into the sea through the glass floor of Uzunomichi, the promenade located under the Ohnaruto Bridge. See the panoramic view of Naruto Strait!

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Information
Name
Naruto Whirlpool | 鳴門の渦潮
Address
Sightseeing boat: Kanko Port Narutochotosadomariura Naruto-city, Tokushima
Uzunomichi, the promenade under Ohnaruto Bridge: Naruto-machi Park Naruto-cho
Naruto-city, Tokushima | Map
Website
Sightseeing boat
Visit Website(Japanese)
Promenade under Ohnaruto Bridge
Visit Website
Business Hours
Sightseeing boat: 9:00am to 4:20pm 30-minute cruise
Promenade under Ohnaruto Bridge:9:00am to 6:00pm (until 5:00pm from Oct. to Feb.)
Price
Sightseeing boat: 1530-2200 yen
Promenade under Ohnaruto Bridge: admission fee 500 yen

Ai no yakata

columnDye using natural indigo

Tokushima has been well known as the production center for indigo for a long time. Ai no Yakata provides a traditional indigo dying experience which uses liquid gathered from the leaves of the indigo plant. You can make your own original handkerchief in only 20 minutes. They also make great gifts!

With its deep blue color, indigo is not only beautiful, but as a natural dye is also gentle on your skin. In addition, it is said that the dye works for skin troubles and colds, protects from insects, and has an antiseptic effect.

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Information
Name
Ai no yakata | 藍の館
Address
Tokumeiazamaezunishi Itano-gun Aizumicho, Tokushima | Map
Phone Number
088-692-6317
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Price
Handkerchief: 500 yen, Scarf: 1500 etc.

25-minute ride by bus to Naruto station

20-minute train ride to Ikenotani Station on the Naruto Line

5-minute train ride to Bando Station on the Kotoku Line

10-minute walk to Ryozenji Temple

Ryozen-ji, Gokuraku-ji, Konsen-ji

12:30pmRyozen-ji, Gokuraku-ji, Konsen-ji

If you are in Shikoku, you must try the pilgrimage!

To this day, Shikoku retains Buddhist training paths and sacred places as they were hundreds of years ago. It's only in Shikoku that a spiritual belief such as the pilgrimage has existed unchanged for over 1000 years. The 88 official temples of the pilgrimage "ohenro" attract people from a wide variety of backgrounds. It takes some time, but a number of overseas tourists have come to Japan and completed the pilgrimage of the 88 temples.
In Shikoku it is believed that the spirit of Kōbō Daishi still visits those temples and you will be able to receive his charity by performing the pilgrimage.
Kōbō Daishi is a Buddhist monk who took on the name "Kūkai". He was born in Kagawa Prefecture and established a monastery in the mountains at Mount Kōya. His pupils aim to achieve enlightenment by following in his footsteps, which is considered to be the origin of the Shikoku Pilgrimage.
Now that you are in Shikoku, how about visiting the first 3 temples?

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Information
Name
Ryozen-ji, Gokuraku-ji, Konsen-ji | 霊山寺/極楽寺/金泉寺
Address
Ryozen-ji Temple 126 Oasa-chobando tsukahana Naruto-city, Tokushima | Map
Gokuraku-ji Temple 12 Oasa-chohinokidannoue Naruto-city, Tokushima | Map
Konsen-ji Temple 66 ItanochoOterakameyamashita Itano-gun, Tokushima | Map
Phone Number
Ryozen-ji Temple 088-689-1111
Gokuraku-ji Temple 088-689-1112
Konsen-ji Temple 088-672-1087
Notes
At Ryozenji Temple (the first point), you can buy a full pilgrimage set of clothing

10-minute walk from Konsen-ji to Itano Station

50-minute express train from Itano Station to Takamatsu Station by the JR Uzushio Line

Stay one night in Takamatsu

10-minute train ride to Ritsurin Koen Station on Takamatsu Kotohira Electric Railway's Kotohira Line

10-minute walk

Ritsurin Garden

8:00amRitsurin Garden

A beautiful Japanese garden filled with wonderful scenery in every season

Set against the beautiful background of Mt. Shiun, this 75 hectare Japanese garden has been delighting visitors since its creation in the 17th century. In addition to the green of the pine trees, every step offers you different beauty of the landscape.
Whether is be the subtle hues of cherry blossoms in spring, or the vibrant red leaves in autumn, both seasons create a picturesque atmosphere not to be missed. In both seasons, the trees are lit up, surrounding the garden fantastic atmosphere.
In the garden you can try matcha (powdered green tea) in the tea house, or enjoy some rice porriage for breakfast at Hanazonotei. (Please make a reservation 7:00am to 10am)
Japanese boat rides are provided on the garden's pond.
The area is a favorite relaxation spot for the locals, and was also awarded a three-star rating by the Michelin Green Guide Japan in 2009.

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Information
Name
Ritsurin Garden | 栗林公園
Address
1-20-16 Ritsurin-cho Takamatsu, Kagaw | Map
Phone Number
087-833-7411
Website
Visit Website
Business Hours
Open sunrise to sunset, and at night when there are concerts or special events
Price
Admission fee; 400 yen

10-minute walk

Sanuki Udon

11:30amSanuki Udon

Kagawa Prefecture is called the Udon Prefecture because everyone loves udon noodles!

According to legend, Kobodaishi, one of the first monks to bring Buddhism from China to Japan, was responsible for introducing udon creation techniques to the locals and saved them from poverty. Udon noodles are made by mixing white wheat, salt and water.
Many local restaurants allow customers to cook their own wheat-based udon noodles themselves! Tourists can mimic the local's techniques for the best success.
The udon noodles can be eaten in a variety of ways, but is most commonly served in a seafood-and-soy-sauce-based broth or with the local favorite of simply adding soy sauce.

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Information
Name
Sanuki Udon | さぬきうどん
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)

55-minute train ride on Kotohira line by Takamatsu Kotohira Electric Railway to Kotohira station

15-minute walk

Zentsu-ji

1:30pmZentsu-ji

The temple where the famous monk Kukai was born

Zentsuji is the 75th point along the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, known as the birth place of famous monk Kukai (Kobodaishi).
The grounds cover 45,000 square meters, and are divided into an east area called "Garan" and west area called "Tanjoin". Garan has the main temple structure and a five-story pagoda. The pagoda has an interesting design in that it is a wooden structure which holds a large central pillar which hangs down from the top by a chain, stopping 6 centimeters from the foundation of the structure.
The grounds are very quiet and peaceful place. Many visitors enjoy the area around a 1000 year old camphor tree, which is famous as spiritual place.

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Information
Name
Zentsu-ji | 善通寺
Address
3-3-1 Zentsuji-cho Zentsuji-city, Kagawa | Map
Phone Number
0877-62-0111
Website
Visit Website
Business Hours
Treasure museum: 8:00am to 4:30pm
Parking: 8:00am to 4:00pm
Shops: 6:00am to 5:00pm
Food hall: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Charm house: 9:00 to 5:00pm
Price
No admission fee is required.
Admission fee for treasure museum: Adult 500 yen

5-minute taxi ride to Zentsuji Station

5-minute train ride to Kotohira Station

15-minute walk

Kotohira Shrine

4:00pmKotohira Shrine

Feel exhilarated after you make your way up a long series of stone steps to visit the god of seafaring.

Located on Mt. Zozu, 521 meters above sea level, the shrine was built to worship the god of sea faring, and affectionately called "Konpirasan". It takes about 3 hours up and back, with 785 steps to the main shrine and a total of 1,368 steps to make it to the inner shrine. Many people feel a large degree of exhilaration after climbing up to the top! Despite being held late at night, the shrine attracts tens of thousands to it's annual Taisai event, which is held at midnight from Oct. 9th to Oct 11th.
The area around the shrine has some hot spring inns, since it is a popular travel hub. Souvenir shops and udon stands line both sides of the approach, creating a jovial atmosphere. There is even a shop where you can try udon making.

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Information
Name
Kotohira Shrine | 金刀比羅宮
Address
892-1 Kotohira-cho Nakatado-gun, Kagawa | Map
Phone Number
0877-75-2121
Website
Visit Website(Japanese)
Business Hours
8:30am to 5:00om (Please come before 4:00pm)
Price
No admission fee is required.

Stay one night in Kotohira

50-minute train ride to from to Takamatsu Station

5-minute walk to Takamatsu Port

50-minute ferry cruise from Takamatsu port to Miyaura port

Naoshima
"Red Pumpkin" ©Yayoi Kusama,2006
Naoshima Miyanoura Port Square
Photo/Daisuke Aochi

9:00amNaoshima

See the art of Naoshima Island!

From Takamatsu-city in Kagawa, it takes about 1 hour by ferry to the Naoshima island, where contemporary art and nature coexist. Naoshima Island was selected as one of the world's top 7 "must visits" in the travel magazine "Traveler". In the island there are old traditional houses, temples, and shrines. The south side has newer sights and museums, such as the Chichu Art Museum and Lee Ufan Museum, both designed by Mr. Tadao Ando.
Some Traditional houses in Honmura district were assigned to artists to turn them into works of art.
School and gym facilities such as Naoshima Kindergarten, Naoshima Elementary School and Naoshima-cho gymnasium have unique designs to keep with the style of the other buildings in the area.

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Information
Name
Naoshima | 直島
Address
Naoshima-cho Kagawa-gun, Kagawa | Map
Phone Number
087-892-2299
Website
Visit Website

15-minutes by ferry ride from Miyaura port to Uno port