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Suggested Itineraries

Route Map for Day 1

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Travel to Takamatsu station by the previous day of your journey.

Tamamo Park is walkable from Takamatsu station.

Tamamo Park

Tamamo Park is located on the grounds of the Takamatsu castle ruins. The former castle with moats filled with water from the Seto Inland Sea is known as one of the three greatest water castles of Japan. Designated as a national historic site, the park is home to five Important Cultural Properties and a nationally designated garden of scenic beauty. Enjoy a day out for their events: cherry blossom viewing party and garden plant market in spring as well as chrysanthemum exhibition in autumn.

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Information
Address
2-1 Tamamo-cho, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa
Telephone
087-851-1521
Opening Times
the west gate opens 7am to 5pm (Depending on the season)
Closures
Closed from 29 December to 31 December
Prices
Adults 200yen
Website
https://www.my-kagawa.jp/point/285/ (Japanese only)

Walk to Takamatsu station.

Take a 5-minute JR train ride from Takamatsu station to Ritsurin-Koen-Kitaguchi station.

Ritsurin Garden

Ritsurin Garden is a historical Japanese garden built in the 1600s. The 75 hectares of massive garden offers seasonal beauty and enchantment throughout the year. Have a bowl of matcha at an on-site teahouse or try a bowl of rice porridge for breakfast while enjoying the view of the garden at the restaurant “Hanazono-tei” (Served between 7am to 10am. Prior booking required). Another way to enjoy the view is a Japanese-style boat ride on the pond as feudal lords used to do. The garden has a three-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide Japan.

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Address
1-20-16 Ritsurin-cho Takamatsu, Kagawa
Telephone
087-833-7411
Opening Times
Open sunrise to sunset, and at night when there are concerts or special events
Prices
Admission fee; 410 yen
Website
https://www.my-kagawa.jp/en/ritsurin/

Take a 5-minute JR train ride from Ritsurin-Koen-Kitaguchi station to Takamatsu station.

Take a 24-minute JR train ride from Takamatsu station to Marugame station.

10-minute walk

Marugame Castle

With 400 years of history, Marugame Castle is one of Japan’s twelve originally surviving castles. The stone walls stacked up from inner moats to the castle tower, known as “Ougi no Kobai (shape of a folding fan)”, are characteristics of the castle for their curvaceous beauty. The three-storey, triple-layer white castle tower has been designated as an Important Cultural Property.

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Address
Ichibanncho Marugame-city, Kagawa
Telephone
0877-24-8816
Opening Times
Castle tower 9am - 4:30pm (Last entry at 4pm)
Prices
Castle tower
Adults 200yen
Website
http://www.marugame-castle.jp/ (Japanese only)

10-minute walk

Take a 12-minute JR train ride from Marugame station to Zentsu-ji station.

5-minute taxi ride

Zentsu-ji Temple

Zentsu-ji is No.75 of the 88 temples of the Shikoku pilgrimage and known as the birthplace of the famous monk Kukai (Kobo Daishi). The spacious 45,000 square metres precincts are tranquil and peaceful. You can see one of very few Japanese five-story wooden pagodas and an over 1,000-year-old camphor tree. Many people visit here as a sacred place.

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Address
3-3-1 Zentsuji-cho Zentsuji-city, Kagawa
Telephone
0877-62-0111
Opening Times
7am - 5pm (Treasure museum: 8am - 5pm ※Please come before 4:30pm. Charm house: 9am - 4pm)
Prices
No admission fee is required.
Admission fee for treasure museum: Adults 500 yen
Website
http://www.zentsuji.com/english/

5-minute taxi ride

Take a 4-minute JR train ride from Zentsu-ji station to Kotohira station.

Overnight stay at Konpira Hot Springs

Route Map for Day 2

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Kotohira-gu(Konpira)Shrine

Kotohira-gu is the Shinto shrine complex known as Konpira-san, dedicated to the guardian god of seafarers. The renowned long front approach consists of 785 stone steps to the main shrine, and 1,368 steps in total to the inner shrine. Climbing and descending along these steps takes 3 hours, but the sense of achievement is beyond words! Enjoy wandering around the approach to the shrine with the side-street souvenir shops and Udon noodle eateries!

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Address
892-1 Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun, Kagawa
Telephone
0877-75-2121
Website
http://www.konpira.or.jp/ (Japanese only)

Walk to Nakano Udon School.

Sanuki Udon noodle-making

“Sanuki Udon” has many fans all over Japan for its chewy and smooth noodles. Try your hand at making Sanuki Udon noodles at Nakano Udon School. Friendly staff will teach you every step in the Udon noodle-making process. You can experience unique steps only for Sanuki Udon and have your own freshly made noodles cooked and taste there with side dishes such as Tempra or Chirashizushi.

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Information
Address
796 Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun, Kagawa
Telephone
0877-75-0001
Opening Times
Udon making classes 9am - 3pm
*Shop open 8:30am - 6pm
*Reservations by the day before your visit are required (min 2 people).
Prices
1,620 yen per person (groups of 2-14 people)
1,400 yen per person (groups of 15-500 people)
Website
https://www.my-kagawa.jp/en/experience/experience01

15-minute walk

Take a 42-minute JR train ride from Kotohira station to Oboke station.

3-minute taxi ride

Obokekyo Canyon Pleasure Boat

A sightseeing boat will take you to famous spots designated as natural monuments. A 30-minute boat ride provides the views of uniquely shaped rock formations as if you were looking up from the bottom of the river. Early summer verdant greens and autumn colours are equally breathtaking. The red leaves and the emerald green river create a picturesque, serene landscape. The reception desk is next to the Obokekyo Mannaka Restaurant. The minimum passenger count for the boat ride is 1.

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Address
1520 Yamashirochonishiu Miyoshi-city, Tokushima
Telephone
0883-84-1211
Opening Times
9am - 5pm
*Boat rides are subject to cancellation due to bad weather conditions.
Prices
Adults 1050 yen
Website
http://www.mannaka.co.jp/restaurant/excursionship/excursionship.html (Japanese only)

5-minute taxi ride

Heike Yashiki Museum of Folklore

Heike is a samurai family that came to power and prospered in the 12th century. The Heike Yashiki Museum of Folklore contains exhibits of their daily living items such as armours and flags. The museum had been a residence of an escaped doctor and his descendants for generations after the fall of Heike. An 800-year-old tree still stands in the garden.

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Address
46 Higashinishioka, Nishiiyayamamura, Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima
Telephone
0883-84-1408
Opening Times
8am - 5pm (Depending on the season)
Prices
Adults 500yen
Website
http://www.miyoshinavi.jp/english/02miru/detail.php?genr=101&uid=SS000046

10-minute taxi ride

Overnight stay at Oboke-Iya Hot Springs

Route Map for Day 3

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5-minute taxi ride

Iya-no-Kazura Bashi (Vine Bridge)

Iya-no-Kazura Bashi is a suspension bridge spanning 45m long, 2m wide and 14m over the Iya River. Legend has it, when refugee samurai fled into this area around 800 years ago, the bridge was constructed of vines so that it could be easily cut down to prevent enemies from crossing. The walk across the bridge is thrilling as it wobbles while giving you a glimpse of the river far below from between the logs you tread on. Enjoy the sense of adventure at the bridge designated as an Important Tangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan!

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Address
Nishiiyayamamuraimazentoku Miyoshi-city, Tokushima
Telephone
0883-87-2275
Opening Times
Open every day from sunrise to sunset
*Closed once every three years, during the winter, to be rebuilt
Prices
550 yen
Website
https://discovertokushima.net/en/experience/mountains/vinebridges-iyavalley/

10-minute taxi ride

Iya Soba Noodles

Iya is well known for their delicious soba noodles. The regional thick soba noodles made of almost 100% buckwheat flour are served with lightly flavoured dashi broth. Try this simple but heart-warming delicacy at “Michi-no-Eki Nishiiya”!

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Information
Address
348-2 Oinouchi, Nishiiya-yamamura, Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima
Telephone
0883-87-2670
Opening Times
9am - 5pm
Website
http://www.miyoshinavi.jp/english/02miru/detail.php?genr=101&uid=SS000055

20-minute taxi ride

Take a 49-minute JR train ride from Oboke station to Kochi station.

Take a 30-minute bus ride from JR Kochi-ekimae bus stop to Makino Shokubutsuen Seimon-mae bus stop.

Makino Botanical Garden

Located on the slopes of Mt. Godai, Makino Botanical Gardens is home to 3,000 types of plants in connection with Dr. Makino, the “Father of Japanese Systematic Botany”. In the gardens, you can walk back in time through the old cobbled approach to the Chikurin-ji Temple (No.31 of the 88 temples along the Shikoku pilgrimage) while appreciating the historic and beautiful natural surroundings. The gardens also offer seasonal events.

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Address
4200-6 Godaisan Kochi-city, Kochi
Telephone
088-882-2601
Opening Times
9am - 5pm
Closures
Closed from Dec 27th to Jan 1st
Prices
720 yen
Website
http://www.makino.or.jp/index_e.html

Take a 20-minute bus ride from Chikurinji-mae bus stop to Katsurahama bus stop.

The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum & Katsurahama Beach

“Katsurahama”, a scenic beach in Kochi, is also known as a scenic place for viewing the moon. White waves lapping against the arched beach, create a picturesque contrast to the neighbouring pine grove with dark green foliage. Here stands the famous statue of Ryoma Sakamoto, one of the great contributors to the modernisation of Japan. The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum is a 5-minute walk from the beach. *The museum is closed for refurbishment until 21 April 2018.

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Address
830 Uradoshiroyama Kochi-city, Kochi
Telephone
088-841-0001
Website
http://www.ryoma-kinenkan.jp/en/

Take a 60-minute bus ride from Katsurahama bus stop to JR Kochi-ekimae bus stop.

Overnight stay in Kochi city

Route Map for Day 4

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Take an 11-minute JR train ride from Kochi station to Ino station.

10-minute walk

Ino-cho Paper Museum

Kochi is one of Japan’s three largest producers of Washi (paper). Ino-cho Paper Museum offers displays on the history of Washi, its raw materials and the clear process of Tosa Washi making. Highlights are the demonstration of traditional techniques by a craftman and papermaking experience. Try your hand at making your own Washi with instructors who will show you every step! *Image courtesy of Ino-cho Paper Museum

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Information
Address
110-1 Saiwaicho, Inocho, Agawa-gun, Kochi
Telephone
088-893-0886
Opening Times
9am - 5pm
Closures
Closed on Mondays (except public holidays, in which case the museum is closed the next working day)
Prices
Adults 500yen, Children (6-17) 100yen, Papermaking Experience 400yen
Website
http://kamihaku.com/en

10-minute walk

Take a 36-minute JR train ride from Ino station to Tosa-Kure station.

5-minute walk

Kure Taisho-machi Market

Kure Taisho-machi Market has been at the heart of the local community since the 19th century. Alongside local specialties like pole & line caught skipjack tuna, a huge selection of seafood, vegetables and delis are available. Eating in the market is popular for tourists. Enjoy some nautical flavours for lunch!

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Address
Kure, Nakatosa-cho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi
Telephone
0889-52-2437
Opening Times
late morning to evening
Closures
January 1 to 3, stormy days (some stalls closed on the fourth Tuesday)

5-minute walk

Take a 52-minute JR train ride from Tosa-Kure station to Nakamura station.

5-minute taxi ride

Shimanto River Pleasure Boat

Known as Japan’s last pristine river, the Shimanto River flows mostly slowly meandering through green forests. This beautifully calm scenery reflects the locals’ way of living. Take a pleasure boat ride and enjoy both the scenery and the sense of tranquillity. Their services range from regularly scheduled, chartered to reserved boats with meals and traditional Semba sailboats with distinctive white sails.

5-minute taxi ride

Overnight stay in Shimanto

Route Map for Day 5

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Take a 35-minute JR train ride from Nakamura station to Kubokawa station.

30-minute taxi ride

Kaiyodo Hobby Museum Shimanto

Kaiyodo, a company known for its professional manufacturing of elaborate figurines, opened this museum to the public as a “remote museum” deep in the mountains of Shimanto-cho. A gymnasium of a closed elementary school was remodelled into the museum. The museum is popular for figurine lovers and contributes to the revitalisation of the depopulated local community.

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Address
1458-1 Utsui-gawa, Shimanto-cho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi
Telephone
0880-29-3355
Opening Times
10am - 6pm (last admission 5:30pm)
Closures
Closed: Tuesdays
Prices
Adults 800yen
Website
http://ksmv.jp/language/english/

30-minute taxi ride

Take an 83-minute Kaiyodo Hobby Train ride from Kubokawa station to Matsumaru station.

30-minute taxi ride

Nametoko Gorge

Surrounded by deep forests, Nametoko Gorge is full of negative ions. It has a positive effect on your health such as helping to boost energy and relieve stress. Enjoy trekking through beautiful shades of red autumn leaves. Don’t miss Yukiwa Falls, cascading down a massive stone slab and creating designs in its waves. It takes approximately 40 minutes to reach there on foot from Morinokuni Hotel, a travel hub located within the gorge.

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Address
from Meguro, Matsuno-cho, Kitauwa-gun to Nogawa, Uwajima-shi, Ehime
Telephone
0895-42-1116
Website
https://www.visitehimejapan.com/en/see-and-do/698

30-minute taxi ride

Take a 45-minute JR train ride from Matsumaru station to Uwajima station.

Uwajima Taimeshi (Sea Bream Rice)

Uwajima Taimeshi is a dish originally created by fishermen to make the most of fresh red sea bream with a quick and easy recipe. This is a local specialty of the southern part of Ehime. The fresh sea bream sashimi caught in Uwajima is placed on piping hot rice and mixed with a sauce made of dashi, soy sauce, sake and raw eggs. The taimeshi with sea bream sashimi is only served in this region. Don’t miss it!

Overnight stay in Uwajima city

Route Map for Day 6

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10-minute walk

Uwajima Castle

Designated as an Important Cultural Property, Uwajima Castle is one of Japan’s twelve originally surviving castles. With steep flights of stone steps along its enormous stone walls, the three-storey, triple-layer castle tower stands prominently for 400 years on a hill top 80m above sea level. Inside the castle, you can enjoy the wooden interiors along with views of Uwajima city and Uwajima Bay in the distance.

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Address
1 Marunouchi, Uwajima-shi, Ehime
Telephone
0895-22-2832
Opening Times
[Gate opening times] 6am - 5pm
[Castle opening times] 9am - 4pm
[Folklore museum opening times] 9am - 4pm
(Depending on the season)
Prices
[Castle] Adults 200yen
Website
https://www.visitehimejapan.com/en/see-and-do/663

10-minute walk

Take a 60-minute JR train ride from Uwajima station to Iyo-Ozu station.

20-minute walk

Garyu sanso

Garyu Sanso is an elegant large villa with a masterly harmony of nature, art, simplicity and luxury. It is located on a scenic cliff in Ozu, the city known as “Little Kyoto in Ehime”. After ten years of planning, skilful craftsmen from Kyoto were brought in here for the four years of construction work and completed it in the late 19th century. The place is filled with traditional Japanese aesthetics which is prominently recognisable in the“borrowed landscape” garden and tea house where distant mountains and rivers come to form part of the garden. Come and appreciate the great architecture where you can feel the spirits of the master artisans.

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Address
411-2 Ozu, Ozu-city, Ehime
Telephone
0893-24-3759
Opening Times
9am- 5pm (Last admission at 4:30pm)
Prices
Adults 500yen
Website
http://www.garyusanso.jp/ (Japanese only)

20-minute walk

Take a 10-minute JR train ride from Iyo-Ozu station to Uchiko station.

10-minute walk

Traditional Townscape of Uchiko

Uchiko is a small town with traditional Japanese townscape. You can explore the inside of Uchiko-za, a restored historical kabuki theatre, on the days when there are no performances. The 600m long old streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku areas are lined with distinctive white and cream walled townhouses that remain the glory of the post town 150 years ago. Stop by a Japanese candle shop running business for 200 years.

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Address
Uchiko-za: 2102 Uchiko-cho uchiko Kita-gun, Ehime
Telephone
0893-44-2840
Opening Times
9am - 4:30pm
Closures
Closed 29 December to 2 January
Prices
Adults 400yen
Website
http://www.we-love-uchiko.jp/

10-minute walk

Take a 28-minute JR train ride from Uchiko station to Matsuyama station.

35-minute taxi ride

Tobe Pottery Creation Museum

With 240 years of history, Tobe Pottery is a nationally designated traditional craft characterised by its rather thick white porcelains with blue patterns. Try your hand at some pottery techniques such as painting, twisting or wheel throwing and create your own Tobe pottery!

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Information
Address
82 Gohonmatsu, Tobe-cho, Iyo-gun, Ehime
Telephone
089-962-6145
Opening Times
9am - 5pm (Last entry at 16:00)
Closures
Closed on Thursdays (except public holidays, in which case the museum is closed the next working day), from 29 December to 3 January
Prices
Painting a cup from 500yen, a bowl/plate from 800yen
Twisting 1,500yen
Wheel-throwing 1,500yen
Website
http://www.town.tobe.ehime.jp/site/sousakukan/ (Japanese only)

20-minute taxi ride

Ishite-ji Temple

This temple is No. 51 of the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage and home to a number of famous buildings such as the Niomon Gate (a designated national treasure), the temple’s main hall, bell tower and pagoda, all designated Important Cultural Properties. Other popular sights include a goddess for safe childbirth, a treasure house, the Mantra cave, and an inner temple. Many tourists come to visit the famously mysterious temple in addition to those on the pilgrimage.

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Address
Ishite 2-9-21, Matsuyama City, Ehime
Telephone
089-977-0870
Opening Times
8am - 5pm

Overnight stay at Dogo Hot Spring

Route Map for Day 7

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Take a 10-minute tram ride from Dogo Onsen station to Okaido station.

5-minute walk

Matsuyama Castle

Matsuyama Castle is one of Japan’s twelve originally surviving castles. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Matsuyama from the castle tower like a lord would! You may appreciate the magnificent 14m high stone walls for military purposes or for their artistic beauty. Inside the castle, you can dress up as a samurai warrior for free. Don’t hesitate and try it out for a memorable experience! The spring cherry blossoms add charm to the castle. Take a scenic chairlift ride to enjoy the view on fine days!

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Address
1 Marunouchi Matsuyama-city, Ehime
Telephone
089-921-4873
Opening Times
9am - 5pm (Depending on the season) (Last admission 30 minutes before closing)
Prices
Castle admission fee: 510 yen
Website
http://www.matsuyamajo.jp/ (Japanese only)

Column

columnALL SHIKOKU Rail Pass

“ALL SHIKOKU Rail Pass” is for short-term overseas visitors and gives you unlimited rides on all lines operated by the six Shikoku railway companies. The pass is available for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days, convenient to choose the one that suits your itinerary.

5-minute walk

Take a 10-minute tram ride from Okaido station to Matsuyama station.

Leave for home from Shikoku by preferable means of transportation.