Ok, so you’ve decided to come to Shikoku for your Deep Japan Adventure. This is a very intelligent, very inspired decision.

You have five days.

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. It’s a great way to see the Seto Inland Sea. Gorgeous as the sun comes up on the water.

https://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/limited-express/sunrise-seto.html

Arriving in Takamatsu station in the early morning you have the whole day to spend, and you didn’t lose time in a hotel overnight. 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, cool little cafes, and beautiful beaches all over. Come back to Takamatsu re-invigorated in the 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 perfectly okay.

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. These guys are really great. http://grandfather.jp/takamatsu/

DAY TWO: Get up and get out down the road to check out Ritsurin Garden. It’s beautiful, historic, and full of flowers and carp. 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’s simply serene. After that, 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/

DAY FOUR: Let’s take a journey into a more rural environment, but with nice people and at a leisurely pace. Let’s head on over to Brompton Tours run by the Awa-re company. The owner, Mr. Saeki is such a great guy. Spend the day with him and his team trundling around the countryside on fold-up bicycles that can jump on and off trains all over the area. See beautify rivers and bridges, stop for a delicious somen noodle lunch, visit fruit fields, and experience local handicraft too. At the end of the day, spend the night at a local inn.

DAY FIVE: Let’s take the train for a few hours and head on out to the very edge of Shikoku: Kochi Prefecture. Kochi is a huge area, and counts for about half of all of Shikoku. Take the train and rumble along the coast of the south of Shikoku. Enjoy the sight of yuzu fruit orchards and the rolling landscape until you arrive at Kochi City. Spend the day checking out Kochi Castle, and the evening at the Hirome market, where you can eat and drink with locals. If you have time during the day it would be great to get out on a canoe or paddle boat on the Niyodo River. The water is so pure and clear, you can see straight to the bottom. It’s like gliding on a mirror.

DAY SIX: From Kochi, you can plan your departure either from the local airport, from the train station, or continue traveling north through Ehime Prefecture to head out to Hiroshima if that is where your traveling feet are taking you.

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 cometokagawa@gmail.com . We will get you on your way here!