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SHIKOKU TOURS

Travel and Adventure

Unique Accommodation of Shikoku

8 Days
Kominka outside

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 the flexibility to change the pace and saves you lugging luggage.

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, so you’ll need to be reasonably fit.

Itinerary

Day 01 :

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. Dinner is included.

Day 02 :

After breakfast (included), you drive to Matsuyama, where you visit the hilltop castle with its amazing view over the city. 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. Dinner (included) is served at your accommodation.

Day 03 :

After breakfast (included), 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. Dinner (included) is at your accommodation.

Day 04 :

After breakfast (included), 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. Lunch (included) is what you make. In the evening, you visit a popular local izakaya for dinner (not included). Your accommodation is the same as Day 3.

Day 05 :

After breakfast (included), you get on a local train for the next step of your journey. This is 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. Dinner (included) is at your accommodation.

Day 06 :

After breakfast (included), you tour the sites of Iya from your base at the farmhouse, visiting the famed vine bridge, exploring the mountainside hamlet of Ochiai, and the deep gorge at Ōboke. You stay another night at the farmhouse. Dinner (included) is at your accommodation.

Day 07 :

After breakfast (included), you say farewell to your hosts in Oku-Iya and 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. Dinner (included) is at a local restaurant.

Day 08 :

After breakfast (included), 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 (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.

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