Adventure Travel Island Shikoku
Shikoku is the ideal destination for adventure in Japan.
In September 2021, the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) was held for the first time in Japan, organised by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). Adventure travel companies across the country gathered to prepare ‘pre-summit adventure’ trips for the hundreds of delegates from overseas travel agents and travel media. Shikoku Tours spent the summer of 2021 preparing eight different adventure itineraries specifically for the event.
Ultimately, circumstances intervened, and the summit was held online. In place of live trips, we made a short film about our favourite tour, the Best of Shikoku by E-bike and SUP, which takes you across the Seto Inland Sea on the Shimanami Kaidō, up Mt. Ishizuchi, and down the Niyodo River to the Pacific. Delegates were amazed by the diverse beauty of Shikoku, and excited by the prospect of cycling the UFO Line route themselves one day soon.
When they visit another country, adventure travellers want to experience an exciting region in depth. Our tours are designed to showcase the attraction of Shikoku at a slow place. But adventurers also want to get to know the country as a whole, so in addition to our adventure tours in Shikoku, we’ve worked with other operators across Japan to prepare longer adventures lasting up to a month, exploring Japan’s major rivers and holy mountains, with cycling, hiking, and water sports.
In 2022, the world summit was held in Lugano, Switzerland. Shikoku Tours represented the island of Shikoku again at the summit, as part of a consortium of adventure travel providers. In 2023, the ATWS will return to Japan, and delegates will have the opportunity to discover the outdoor attractions of Shikoku, as well as its important cultural and historical heritage.
Shikoku is the ideal place for adventure travel in Japan. As Japan’s smallest main island, it’s compact enough to experience in a week. Bordered by the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific, it offers highly varied marine activities. And Shikoku is home to western Japan’s highest mountain, Mt. Ishizuchi, from which flow several mighty rivers. Culturally, Shikoku has been shaped by the 1,200-year old Shikoku Pilgrimage of 88 Buddhist temples. This circular trail is an unforgettable adventure for whoever undertakes any part of it. The Shimanami Kaidō, the western gateway to Shikoku, is a remarkable cycling route comprised of islands and bridges, but the cycling fun doesn’t stop there. Each of the four prefectures has developed cycling routes provided with all the necessary facilities.
Besides the outdoor activities, there’s a world of culinary adventure to enjoy too. The four prefectures have their own different food culture, with sake brewed to match it. Then there’s the history of the maritime clans – pirates! – to explore. And when the day’s activities are done, you can dive into the charming world of Shikoku’s geisha arts and entertainment.
Now that life is returning to normal, Shikoku is the ideal place to discover the adventure possibilities of Japan.