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SHIKOKU TOURS

Travel and Adventure

Luxury Accommodation of Shikoku

7 Days
Auberge lounge

Shikoku has some wonderful accommodation –  places that alone are worth travelling to see, with heart-warming hospitality. This tour takes you to three of Shikoku’s prefectures, staying in the most characterful and luxurious kominka and ryokan accommodation. This is one of our more relaxed tours  – at two of the places, you stay for two nights, allowing you to settle in and enjoy the feeling of being at home.

The tour visits many of the main attractions of the island, as well as some lesser known treats. You visit castles, gardens, mountain hamlets, and historic towns. You visit shrines and temples, sake breweries and tea houses. There are many opportunities to meet and talk to the people of Shikoku.

You travel in a comfortable minibus. There’s no guide, but your driver speaks English. The private vehicle allows you the flexibility to change the pace and saves you lugging luggage.

Who is this tour for?

This tour is for groups of two to six people. It’s ideal for families. The tour makes a good introduction to Shikoku (and Japan for that matter). Some of the places visited can only be accessed by climbing a lot of steps, so you’ll need to be reasonably fit.

A shuttle bus picks you up at Takamatsu Airport or the station at Kotohira and takes you to Kotohira’s best ryokan. Located at the foot of a mountain, you have a separate villa to yourself with its own hot spring bath. The ryokan is a short walk from Konpira Shrine. Dinner (not included) is at a local restaurant.

After breakfast (included), your private vehicle picks you and you drive to Yashima, a fascinating table-top mountain overlooking the city of Takamatsu and the Seto Inland Sea. You stroll around the extensive grounds of Yakushima-ji Temple, one of the 88 Shikoku Pilgrimage temples. After lunch (not included), you drive to Ritsurin Garden where the feudal lords of Takamatsu once took their leisure. You can take a boat out on the lake and have tea in one of the elegant villas around the garden. Then you drive back to Kotohira and try your hand at one of the local crafts including lost-wax dyeing, fan making, or creating the delightful sugar sweets called wasanbon. Dinner (included) is served at your accommodation.

Day 3 :
Kotohira

After breakfast (included), you check out and explore nearby Konpira Shrine, spread out over the mountain behind your ryokan. Climbing the many steps is rewarded by an amazing view over Kagawa. Konpira Shrine has several museums of fine art in various styles. On the approach to the shrine is the Kinryō Sake Museum where you can learn how sake is made and have a tasting. You also visit an authentic kabuki theatre and see how the special effects work. After lunch (not included), you head south into Kōchi, and check into a comfortable auberge in the hills. Dinner (included) is at your accommodation.

Day 4 :
Kōchi

After breakfast (included), you drive to Mt. Godai above Kōchi city and visit Chikurin-ji Temple, one of the most beautiful of the 88 Shikoku Pilgrimage temples with its two Buddhist-inspired gardens. It’s a short walk from Chikurin-ji to the Makino Botanical Gardens, created in honour of Dr. Makino Tomitarō, a botanist who discovered many orchids. The hot house and outdoor grounds are full of remarkable flowers year round. There’s also a museum documenting the life of the eccentric Doctor. After lunch (not included), you drive to Katsurahama Beach with its large statue of Kōchi hero Sakamoto Ryōma. The last stop is Kōchi Castle, one of the most complete Edo period castles in Japan. Then you drive back to your accommodation where dinner (included) is served.

Day 5 :
Iya Valley

After breakfast (included), you check out and drive to Ōboke in Tokushima where you cruise down the gorge on the Yoshino River, admiring its dramatic rocks. After lunch (not included), you drive to Iya Valley and walk across the swaying vine bridge and visit the waterfall where the Heike refugees remembered the old days in Kyōto. Then you drive deeper into the mountains to Oku-Iya to stay at a remote farmhouse on the mountain slopes. If you like, you can help your hosts with chopping wood, harvesting vegetables, and preparing your meal. Dinner (included) is at your accommodation.

Day 6 :
Oku-Iya

After breakfast (included), you tour the sites of Iya from your base at the farmhouse, exploring the mountainside hamlet of Ochiai with its thatched cottages and fields carved into the extreme slopes. You also visit Nagoro, the Village of Dolls, known worldwide for its unique handmade figures arranged in lifelike poses. You make your own lunch of soba noodles with the help of a local grandmother. At the Higashi-Iya Museum of Local History and Folklore, you learn about the traditional livelihood of this remote region. You stay another night at the farmhouse. Dinner (included) is at your accommodation.

After breakfast (included), you say farewell to your hosts in Oku-Iya and drive to Wakimachi, with its streets of merchant houses from the Edo period. Here you can try indigo dyeing and make a souvenir that you’ll be glad to use. Then you head to Naruto to visit Honke Matsuura sake brewery, home to the popular Narutotai brand. You can visit the old brewery and enjoy a tasting. You can also drop into the old soy sauce brewery just across the street. Naruto is known for its whirlpools, and you take a boat out to see them up close and experience the rapid current of the straits. Then you drive to a stylish ryokan hotel on a hilltop overlooking the Naruto Strait and its great suspension bridge. After checking in, you say goodbye to your driver. Dinner (included) is at your accommodation.

After breakfast (included), you check out and a shuttle bus service is available to take you to Naruto Station.

Included

  • Private vehicle
  • English-speaking driver (see the FAQ tab)
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Basic insurance (see the FAQ tab)

Not included

  • Travel to and from Shikoku
  • Drinks
  • Comprehensive personal insurance (see the FAQ tab)
Are there vegetarian options?

Not really. Japanese cooking is based on fish stock, and the Japanese love their fish and meat. On this tour, you stay in traditional Japanese accommodation that is proud of its cuisine, especially the fish. For breakfast and dinner, it is possible to ask for ‘largely’ vegetarian food, but no guarantees are offered. You can generally find vegetarian options for lunch, but with limited choice.

There are eight of us. Can we do this tour?

No, not exactly as it is. But we can try to find you some alternative, characterful places that accommodate eight people.

What does the English-speaking driver do?

The English-speaking driver will drive, help with check-in, and offer advice on the smooth operation of your tour. This allows you the peace of mind that you won’t encounter a situation where you’re alone and helpless. However, the driver doesn’t provide guide services. If you want a guided tour, please let us know and we’ll provide a guide.

What's your cancellation policy?

Our cancellation policy is as follows;

  • Cancelled more than 21 days prior to start: No charge
  • Cancelled between 20 and 8 days prior to start: 20% of the total fee
  • Cancelled between 7 days and 48 hours prior to start: 30% of the total fee
  • Cancelled between 48 and 24 hours prior to start: 40% of the total fee
  • Cancelled within 24 hours of start: 50% of the total fee
  • Cancelled on the day of start or failure to show: 100% of the total fee
  • No refunds will be given after the tour has commenced.

What are your payment terms?

When you book a tour, we ask for a 10% deposit, with the balance to be paid a month before the start of the tour. You can pay by credit card or bank transfer.

What is the 'basic insurance' mentioned in Inclusions?

When you purchase a tour from Shikoku Tours, we automatically enrol you in basic travel insurance as a legal requirement. The insurance pays out up to 300 million yen per incident. We also have insurance to cover our bicycle operations. Although we enrol you in basic travel insurance, you should still purchase your own general travel insurance in case our coverage is insufficient.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Luxury Accommodation of Shikoku
From ¥558,000
/ Adult
From ¥898,000
/ person with 2
From ¥698,000
/ person with 3
From ¥648,000
/ person with 4
From ¥598,000
/ person with 5
From ¥558,000
/ person with 6