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SHIKOKU TOURS

Travel and Adventure

Unique Accommodation of Shikoku

8 Days

Shikoku has some wonderful accommodation –  places that alone are worth travelling to see, with heartwarming hospitality. This tour takes you to all four prefectures of Shikoku, staying in the most characterful 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. Both the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean are on the itinerary. 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 to undertake little adventures like riding a local train through some lovely scenery, point-to-point walks, and a bike ride over the bridges of the Shimanami Kaidō. The minibus picks you up at the end of your adventure.

Who is this tour for?

This tour is for groups of two to four 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, and there’s an opportunity to cycle too, so you’ll need to be reasonably fit.

Price

Prices shown are per person

With 2 people: ¥498,000
With 3 people: ¥448,000
With 4 people: ¥398,000
With 6 people: ¥298,000

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

Itinerary

Day 1 :

Your private vehicle picks you up in Matsuyama and takes you to explore the Shimanami Kaidō, crossing the dramatic bridges between the islands. On Ōmishima, you visit one of Japan’s most celebrated Shintō shrines. Tonight’s accommodation is Japanese-Western fusion ryokan, with an onsen rotenburo overlooking the Kurushima Straits. It’s known for its excellent seafood and friendly staff.

Day 2 :

On the way back to Matsuyama, you visit a museum in the tile-making town of Kikuma. You’ll be amazed by the design and craftsmanship that goes into these celebrated roof tiles. Next stop is Matsuyama Castle. From here, you drive to Uchiko, with its lovely historic streets of merchant’s houses. Here you can try making washi paper by hand. You can choose to stay in a traditional home in town, or an old farmhouse out in the countryside.

Day 3 :

From Uchiko, you go to nearby Ōzu and visit Garyū Sansō, a villa whose elegant décor tells a story. Next stop is the Ehime Museum of History and Culture with its engaging recreations of Shikoku throughout the ages. Then the journey takes you to the idyllic Shimanto River where you embark on a covered boat to glide over the calm, reflective water. You stay at a luxurious ryokan on a hill above the river mouth where the Shimanto flows into the Pacific.

Day 4 :

Today you explore the southwestern coastline of Kōchi, with its dramatic rock formations, plunging cliffs, and pilgrimage temples. For a change of pace, you can try your hand at preparing Kōchi’s signature cuisine, katsuo no tataki. In the evening, you visit a popular local izakaya for dinner. Your accommodation is the same as Day 3.

Day 5 :

The next step of your journey is by local train, a chance to experience how many people still travel in Shikoku. At your destination, you visit the fishing port of Kure with its traditional market. From here you drive into Kōchi city and visit pilgrimage temple No. 31 Chikurin-ji, a lovely leafy temple with a tall red pagoda. Then you head into Tokushima Prefecture, to stay at a remote farmhouse on the mountain slopes of Oku-Iya. If you like, you can help your hosts with chopping wood, harvesting vegetables, and preparing meals.

Day 6 :

From your base at the farmhouse, you tour the sites of Iya, visiting the famed vine bridge, exploring the mountainside hamlet of Ochiai, and the deep gorge at Ōboke. You stay another night at the farmhouse.

Day 7 :

After saying farewell to your hosts in Oku-Iya, you head into Kagawa Prefecture, to Kotohira. Here you climb the many steps to Konpira Shrine, visit the Kinryō Sake Museum, and have fun making Kagawa’s favourite food, udon noodles. Tonight’s accommodation is a traditional townhouse in Tadotsu, which was once a geisha teahouse.

Day 8 :

In the morning, you visit Ritsurin, one of Japan’s most celebrated gardens, where the feudal lords of Takamatsu once took their leisure. Here you can enjoy tea overlooking one of the many lakes. From here, you head to Naruto, taking a boat out into the famous whirlpool under the massive Naruto Straits Bridge. The tour ends in Tokushima city.

Included

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

Not included

  • Travel to and from Shikoku
  • Drinks
  • Comprehensive personal insurance
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, offer advice on the smooth operation of the tour, and provide spoken translation occasionally when necessary. The driver will basically not provide guide services. However, if you ask him questions about Shikoku, he’ll be glad to answer them.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Unique Accommodation of Shikoku
From ¥298,000
/ Adult
From ¥498,000
/ person with 2
From ¥448,000
/ person with 3
From ¥398,000
/ person with 4
From ¥298,000
/ person with 6