Shikoku is a self-contained island, and if you want to see the main sights in a single visit, this is the tour for you.
Over eight days, we'll take you to some of the best castles and gardens in Japan, and to hidden valleys and bucolic towns where time passes slowly. You'll encounter pristine beaches on the Pacific coast and float through the dramatic Oboke Gorge and along the Shimanto River.
This tour offers a fascinating combination of iconic landmarks and less-visited rural and nature-filled experiences around the four prefectures of Shikoku.
|Day 1||The tour starts in Himeji, accessible by train from the main Japanese cities like Tōkyō, Nagoya, Ōsaka, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka. Visit Himeji Castle, Japan's largest and most well-known. Stroll around the charming city of Himeji. Stay in Himeji|
|Day 2||From Himeji Port, take the ferry to Shodoshima. With its Mediterranean atmosphere, Shodoshima is known for its olive trees, the breathtaking Kankakei gorge, and modern art installations. Stay in Shodoshima.|
|Day 3||Sail to Takamatsu, and head to Kotohira and Kompira-san, a Shinto shrine atop Mount Zozu. Join pilgrims of all ages climbing the 1,368 steps. Travel to Iya Valley and the spectacular Oboke Gorge with its mountain scenery, traditional villages and historic vine bridges. Stay at Iya Valley Onsen Hotel. Enjoy a Japanese dinner and relax in the outdoor hot spring baths.|
|Day 4||After breakfast at your hotel, visit the spectacular Oboke Gorge and historic vine bridges before heading to Matsuyama. Take the Botchan Train to Matsuyama Castle and enjoy the stunning views from the top of the keep. Then ride the tram to the Dogo, and enjoy a different onsen experience and unique food. Stay in Dogo.|
|Day 5||Tour the Dogo Onsen Honkan building including the Imperial bathroom, and shop for souvenirs in Dogo Onsen shopping arcade. Take a train to the two charming, rural cities of Uchiko and Ozu where time moves slowly. Stroll through the old districts, visiting a traditional theatre, a hilltop castle and the villa of a wealthy merchant. Stay in Uwajima.|
|Day 6||Travel south to Sukumo and Kashiwa Island, known for their pristine beaches, crystal clear water and delicious seafood. Walk above the cliffs of the Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park to Cape Ashizuri, the southernmost point of Shikoku, enjoying the rare flora and tunnels of camellias. Stay at Nakamura.|
|Day 7||Today, you'll cruise the broad Shimanto River, where you'll see eel fishing at first hand. Then head to Kochi with its perfectly preserved castle and architecturally inspired castle museum. Enjoy the hearty local food, including the unmissable katsuo no tataki at the very sociable Hirome Market. Stay in Kochi.|
|Day 8||From Kochi, take the train to Takamatsu and spend the afternoon at the outstanding Ritsurin garden. You'll also visit Yashima-ji Temple on the scenic plateau that dominates the western side of Takamatsu.|
Read our information about accommodation in Shikoku to learn more about your options.
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