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SHIKOKU TOURS

Travel and Adventure

Ehime Gourmet and Sake

4 Days

The four prefectures of Shikoku each have their own unique culinary culture based on their geographical situation, with sake brewed to match the food. This series of guided tours explores the food and sake of each of the four regions.

Ehime faces the Seto Inland Sea which produces white fish known for its dense, amino-rich flesh, as well as octopus and shellfish. The islands and coastlines are dotted with citrus groves, that produce a bewildering variety of high-quality oranges year round. The mountainous interior produces chestnuts and mushrooms, and is home to tasty game animals.

We stay at venerable old onsen ryokan, renowned for their cooking and hospitality. We visit farms on land and sea, meeting the people who produce the food. Ehime has many small, family-run sake breweries that welcome visitors, and every day we visit one or two to learn about their brewing styles and taste their sake.

You can read more about the Shikoku food in our blog post, A Guide to Shikoku Cuisine.

Who is this tour for?

This tour is for those who like to travel with a guide and a small group of like-minded people. The focus is on the food and sake of Ehime, and we have a busy schedule of visits to breweries, farms, and food processing facilities. Although we visit a few key sights, food and its origins rather than sightseeing is what this tour is about. The onsen ryokan accommodation doesn’t have ensuite toilets and baths, so basically you need to be OK with getting naked with strangers. The tour is for foodies and those who want to engage with the traditional culture of Japan, irrespective of some little inconveniences.

Price

Prices shown are per person

With 2 people: ¥368,000
With 3 people: ¥298,000
With 4 people: ¥258,000

Accommodation is 1 room for 2 people. Additional charge for 1 room per person: ¥60,000

Day 01 :

The tour starts in Matsuyama. We drive east to Hōjō where we visit Yuki Suzume, a sake brewery whose young master brewer recently won a prestigious prize for his daiginjō sake. Then we head north towards the Seto Inland Sea and the Shimanami Kaidō, where we take a fast boat into the rapid currents that flow between the islands, and gaze up at the massive bridges. We also drive up to the observation deck on Mt. Kirō to see the same scene from high above. Then we head further east to Saijō where we stay at an onsen ryokan.

Day 02 :

Snowmelt from Mt. Ishizuchi percolates down through the rock over centuries, bubbling up in Saijō, which is one of Shikoku’s major brewing areas. First, we visit Ishizuchi Shrine, before exploring the many picturesque sites where the pure water springs from the ground. Our first brewery visit is to Seiryō, in a village in the rice fields. From here, we drive through a mountain pass to the pottery town of Tobe, to visit our second brewery, Kyōwa. Our next stop is Matsuyama Castle offering a fine view over the town, including Dōgo, today’s final destination. Here we visit Minakuchi Brewery and see some of the treasures in the room where the brewery owners used to entertain favoured guests. We stay in a ryokan in Dōgo.

Day 03 :

Today we travel south to Uwajima. Here, the indented coastline is ideal for raising fish. We get on a fishing boat in the picturesque port to visit a fish farm and learn about this important industry. Our next stop is the Ehime Museum of History and Culture in Seiyo with its engaging recreations of Shikoku throughout the ages. Then we visit the nearby Motomiya Sake Shop, which remains largely as it was in the Edo period. We visit a soy sauce brewery which has many similarities to sake breweries, and a factory producing fish fry. Our last stop is the dramatic stepped fields of Karihama where we pick mikan oranges. We stay at a remarkable onsen ryokan tucked away in a pretty valley.

Day 04 :

Our focus today is the pretty, historic towns of southern Ehime. We stroll around Ōzu, visiting the Garyū Sansō villa and garden, then drive the short distance to Uchiko. Here we explore the fascinating Uchiko-za Theatre with its wooden stage machinery, and the palatial former home of a candle merchant. We drop into Chiyo no Kame brewery before heading back to Matsuyama where the tour ends.

Included

  • Private vehicle
  • English-speaking guide
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Basic insurance

Not included

  • Travel to and from Shikoku
  • Drinks
  • Comprehensive personal insurance

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Ehime Gourmet and Sake
From ¥258,000
/ Adult
From ¥368,000
/ person with 2
From ¥298,000
/ person with 3
From ¥258,000
/ person with 4