Travel to Tokushima by the previous day of your journey.
Drive 20-minute from Tokushima station.
“Ohenro (the Shikoku pilgrimage)” is a pilgrimage to 88 temples following the achievement of Kobo Daishi, the famous monk known as “Kukai” who founded Shingon Buddhism at Mount Koya. This tradition dates back more than 1,000 years and many people visit for his blessings. Ryozen-ji Temple is always filled with crowds of visitors, as it is the first temple along the pilgrimage.
Enjoy walking along stone lanterns and old buildings from here to the second temple, Gokuraku-ji.
- 126 Oasa-chobando tsukahana Naruto-city, Tokushima
Otsuka Museum of Art
Otsuka Museum of Art features over 1,000 masterpieces from 190 museums in 25 countries reproduced on ceramic panels at actual size. Highlights are Monet's “Water Lilies" on spacious outdoor display and the replica of Gogh’s lost masterpiece “Sunflowers”. Immense yourself in their unique exhibitions!
- In Naruto Park, Naruto-cho, Naruto City, Tokushima Prefecture
- Opening Times
- 9:30am - 5pm (Last entry at 4pm)
- Closed on Mondays (except public holidays, in which case the museum is closed the next working day)
- Adult 3,240 yen
The Naruto Whirlpools in the Naruto Strait, a channel between Shikoku and Awaji Islands, is considered as one of the three fastest tidal currents in the world. The strait is only 1.3km wide and the whirlpools appear twice a day. In this Japan’s fastest current, some whirlpools reach up to 20m in diameter. Get an exciting close view from a sightseeing boat or take a thrilling walk on “Uzu no Michi”, the promenade with glass floors under the Ohnaruto Bridge!
- Uzunomichi, the promenade under Ohnaruto Bridge: Naruto-machi Park Naruto-cho Naruto-city, Tokushima
- Opening Times
- 9am - 6pm (Depending on the season)
- Promenade under Ohnaruto Bridge: admission fee 510 yen
- https://www.uzunomichi.jp/ (Japanese only)
Overnight stay in Tokushima city
Awa Jurobe Yashiki (Puppet Theatre and Museum)
Awa Jurobe Yashiki is the former residence of Bando Jurobe, the main character of one of traditional Ningyo Joruri puppet plays set in Tokushima. Today you can still see the classical main building, garden and wooden puppets with their costumes on display. There are daily performances at 11am and 2pm on a stage designed to be an exact replica of the stage of those days. Special performances can be arranged on request (reservation required).
Hyotanjima Tour Boat
The tour boat cruises around Hyotanjima, the 6km gourd-shaped sandbank enclosed between two rivers, passing under 22 bridges. It can be thrilling at high water times as these bridges have little headroom. Enjoy the scenery of the waterside city including charming water parks, castle ruins, rows of pine trees and a yacht harbour during a 30-minute boat journey!
Yakuo-ji Temple is No.23 of the 88 temples of the Shikoku pilgrimage and attracts many visitors praying for protection from bad luck. There are two sets of steps: the first one with 33 steps for women and the next one with 42 steps for men. The following 61 steps from the main temple lead to the red tower. Here your efforts are rewarded with fantastic view with Hiwari Castle in distance.
Hiwasa Chelonian Museum Caretta
This is the only museum in the world dedicated to sea turtles. “Caretta” comes from the scientific name for the loggerhead sea turtles. On the ground floor, there are stuffed turtles from around the world, an exhibition to trace the turtles’ evolutionary processes and an aquarium to observe their ecology. On the upper floor, you will learn more about sea turtles through quizzes and a 120-inch high-definition theatre. Don’t forget to visit the outdoor turtle pool and artificial hatchery where adorable baby turtles are swimming!
- 374-4 Hiwasaura, Minami-cho, Kaifu-gun, Tokushima
- Opening Times
- 9am - 5pm
- Mondays (except Bank Holidays, in which case closed the next working day), December 29 to 31
- Adult 600yen
Overnight stay in Kaiyo-cho
Muroto Global Geopark Centre
Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark was approved as a member of Global Geoparks Network (GGN) in 2011. Here the local residents have been coping with its earthquake-induced formations. Now visitors can learn more from their way of living and think about our way of living and the Earth. Muroto Global Geopark Centre is the best place to start your exploration as a hub for tourism with an information centre, a theatre, shops and cafes.
Mikurodo Cave is known as the place where the famous monk Kobo Daishi (Kukai) in his youth attained enlightenment about 1,200 years ago. Along with residential usage, the cave contains a shrine called Gosho Shrine and “Shinmei-kutsu”, a space for practices. His name “Kukai (meaning: sky and sea)” derives from the scenery he was impressed by while living here.
Kitagawa Village "Monet's Garden" Marmottan
Opened its doors in 2000, Kitagawa Village “Monet’s Garden” Marmottan is a replica of the French Impressionist artist, Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny. It is officially the only replica permitted to use the name “Monet’s Garden” outside of Monet’s home country. The village consists of three gardens. The water garden is famous for its water lilies, an arched bridge, wisteria trellis and impressive roses. The flower garden is as colourful as a painter’s palette. And the last but not the least is the light garden with palm trees and exotic plants in a Mediterranean style. After your garden walk, take a rest at the café serving a menu with lots of locally sourced produce.
Surrounded by a range of mountains, 96% of this small village is covered by forests and is famous for its production of Yuzu. Unwind yourself at Umaji Onsen, a hot spring known to promote beautiful skin. You can enjoy some beautiful natural scenery while taking a bath. Classical trolley trains and cable cars for lumber transport are remodelled for tourism and run through the forests on Sundays and public holidays (everyday during August). Come for the ride!
Overnight stay in Aki
Niyodo River & QRAUD (Tosawashi Kogeimura)
The Niyodo River is known as a “miracle of clear streams” preserving its top water quality. Enjoy fishing, camping and playing at the riverside, or try activities like canoeing and rafting! The QRAUD (Tosawashi Kogeimura), located close by the Niyodo River, offers hands-on classes for handmade Washi (Japanese paper), charcoal making and weaving, canoeing and other river activities. The on-site gallery and restaurant, making use of a former storehouse, are also well worth visiting.
- 1226 Kashiki, Ino-cho, Agawa-gun, Kochi
- Wednesdays (except Golden Week, Summer Holidays, New Year Holidays, Bank Holidays)
- hands-on class for handmade Washi (certificate, dyed paper, postcard…) 400yen p/p (*booking essential for a group over 20 people)
- http://www.qraud-kochi.jp/ (Japanese only)
Minetopia Besshi is a theme park built out of the copper mining industrial remains. You can take a ride on Japan’s first restored mine railway, a walk through mine roadway and experience gold panning. There are hot spring facilities with open-air bath and stone spa, as well as an indoor play area for kids. Tourist buses to Tohnaru known as “Machu Picchu of the Orient” run regularly from here.
- 707-3 Tachikawa-cho, Niihama-shi, Ehime
- Opening Times
- [Tour of the mine] 9am – 6pm (Depending on the season)
- [Tour of the mine] Adults 1,200yen
Kirosan Observatory Park
The view from this observatory park is considered as the most spectacular on the Shimanami Kaido. In the evenings, along with the sunset and the city night views, views of the illuminated Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge are exceptional. The observatory itself is unobtrusively located within the mountaintop to preserve the natural landscape. Along with the stunning views, the observatory is also acclaimed for its uniqueness of architecture.
Overnight stay in Imabari
Cycling the Shimanami Kaido and Oyamazumi Shrine
The Shimanami Kaido consists of 9 bridges connecting 6 islands between Ehime and Hiroshima over the Seto Inland Sea, with a total length of 70 km. You can cross the Shimanami Kaido on foot or by bike via the special pedestrian laneways. Fuel yourself up with citrus fruits grown in the sun or a variety of fresh local seafood during your stay in these islands. Rent a bike at Sunrise Itoyama Cycling Station and head for Oyamazumi Shrine, one of the most-visited attractions along the Shimanami Kaido. Breeze along this exhilarating cycling road while taking in stunning views of the tranquil sea!
- [Sunrise Itoyama Cycling Station] 2-8-1 Sunaba-cho, Imabari-shi, Ehime
[Oyamazumi Shrine] 3327 Miyaura, Omishima-cho, Imabari-shi, Ehime
Beginner-friendly bike ride on the Shimanami Kaido!
The Shimanami Kaido is known as a mecca for cyclists. Cycling over the sea is an experience like no other. You can explore the interconnected islands by bike while enjoying the spectacular scenery of magnificent bridges and the beautiful archipelago.
Just follow the blue line for cyclists to stay on the route. For those who can easily get lost, no worries! There are maps and signs waiting for you at junctions. Make sure you have plenty of time to dawdle. The route is safe and enjoyable for beginners!
Take a 20-minute high-speed ferry ride from Takamatsu port to Tonosho port.
Overnight stay in Shodoshima
Shodoshima Furusato Mura
Shodoshima Furusato Mura is a roadside station offering a wide range of services including campsites, a caravan park, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a sports field and a gymnasium. Kayaking or Udon noodle-making is also available. You can purchase a variety of local products such as olives and Somen noodles at Furusato Bussankan. On-site café serves light meals. Many visitors stop for their refreshing Japanese plum ice cream.
With 200 million years of history, Kankakei Valley is one of Japan’s most beautiful gorges. Enjoy awe-inspiring views while taking a cable car ride through fantastically eroded rocks and gigantic sheer cliffs! This is the only cable car that enables you to view “sky, sea and valley” all together. The valley attracts many visitors throughout the year with spring cherry blossoms, summer verdant green, winter snow scenes and most of all, autumn colours! During autumn when the whole Shodoshima Island is transformed into red, the foliage around Kankakei Valley is exceptionally beautiful.
Angel Road is a sandy promenade that appears at low tide twice a day. This romantic promenade is well known as a sacred place for lovers and it is believed that an angel will come down to make your wish come true if you walk across the sandbar hand in hand with your loved one. The two of you can ring a blessing bell at the nearby “Yakusoku-no-Oka” observatory looking out over the Angel Road.
Take a 20-minute high-speed ferry ride from Tonosho port to Takamatsu port.
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.
Overnight stay in Takamatsu city
Okubo-ji Temple is the last temple of the 88 temples of the Shikoku pilgrimage. Pilgrims who have completed their journey dedicate their walking staffs to the temple and this tradition makes it unique. It also has a place for “Osunafumi (stepping on the soil) ”. Osunafumi is a miniaturised pilgrimage. People walk and pray around the route where collected sachets of soil from the 88 temples are placed. The temple is popular with visitors coming to enjoy the autumn foliage.
- 96 Tawakanewari, Sanuki-shi, Kagawa
50-minute drive to Takamatsu station
Leave for home from Shikoku by preferable means of transportation.