Ok, so you’ve decided to come to Shikoku for a visit. This is a very wise, very prudent decision. Why wouldn’t you come? Why wouldn’t you want to come and see one of the most treasured places in Japan, the undiscovered country, and the new frontier?
But you don’t have a lot of time.
You’ve had a day or so in Tokyo and you have danced the neon-electric night away. You spend another day in Tokyo but then decide to ride the overnight train to Takamatsu. You ride the SETO SUNRISE
Arriving in Takamatsu station in the early morning you have the whole day ahead. Here are a few things that you might want to do:
DAY ONE: Get on the ferry and spend the day in Naoshima. This is the art island you have heard of. Enjoy the Yayoi Kusama’s pumpkins, and ride all over the place on electric bicycles (no need to overly strain yourself). There are art exhibits, groovy little cafes, and beautiful beaches galore. Come back to Takamatsu re-invigorated by late afternoon and check into your hotel.
I like the Clement Hotel, Rhiga Hotel, and the Dormy Inn. All very reasonably priced.
In the evening go for a walk through the covered arcade and find some local restaurant to try out. Don’t be shy if you don’t see an English menu outside. Lots of places are familiar with out of country visitors, so it will be just fine.
At the end of the day head on down to Grandfather’s Pub. It’s the best pub in town for listening to music and enjoying real “old school” Japanese pub hospitality. http://grandfather.jp/takamatsu/
DAY TWO: Get up and get out down the road to check out Ritsurin Garden. It’s beautiful, historic, and inspiring. A must-visit when you come to Kagawa. You can go for a gentle boat ride around the lake, have a lovely tea from a tea house, and even take a guided tour as well. It is simply serene. After that, let’s head on back to Takamatsu station and get on the train.
Let’s go to Tokushima!
When you get to Tokushima station head out to see the NARUTO WHIRLPOOLS. This is such a great treat, and if the whirlpools are in high season it is quite cool to experience. You can get out on a boat and see it closely if you like, and if you dare. Seriously, don’t worry, you will be perfectly fine. https://www.uzusio.com/en/access/
There are lots of things to do for the rest of your day in Tokushima. I like Annette White’s “bucket list for Tokushima”. Check this out! She has some great suggestions: https://bucketlistjourney.net/tokushima-bucket-list-best-things-to-do-in-japans-prefecture/
After spending the day adventuring, crash out at your hotel in Tokushima city. I like the Smile Hotel Tokushima, Hotel Sunshine Tokushima, and the Tokushima Grandviro Hotel. Each one of these has excellent service, is clean, and you will feel safe and secure.
DAY THREE: Get up and get out to Ryouzenji Temple. This is the first temple of the 88 Buddhist Temple Pilgrimage. It is a marvelous and wonderful experience for anyone. Go to the shop and ask them about what you might need to take a day walk on the pilgrimage. You might want the white overcoat and the “stamp book” (nokyouchou) that holds the beautiful seals and calligraphy from each temple you visit. You can easily book a day on a tour, and get explanations along the way. Check this out here: https://www.samuraitours.com/shikoku-88-temple-pilgrimage-day-1-temple-1-10/
After a long day experiencing life as a pilgrim you may feel some inspiration. You may feel like you’ve just begun to see and learn something important. Now you wish you could stay a few more days. But don’t despair! Shikoku will still be here for your next visit, and you can simply start on the next temple of the pilgrimage when you return. No pressure, and no hurry.
Head back to Tokushima city and luxuriate in a nice onsen bath and sauna. Relax in pure Japanese style with excellent food (I really recommend the sea bream) and sake. Put your head on your pillow knowing that you have had a marvelous experience.
All of these are merely suggestions for you to head out and put together a tour for yourself. But, if you would like someone to put all this together for you, please contact us directly. We have a number of land-operators and tour companies we consult with. They can help you put together a seamless and stress-free experience for you.
Just email us at email@example.com . We will get you on your way here!