Shikoku – a four day trip

Shikoku, one of Japan’s four main islands, is known for: Japan’s oldest hot spring; the 88 temple pilgrimage; and arguably the best udon you will ever taste.

During this trip, I used the Seishun 18 Kippu. This discount ticket can be used all over Japan on local and rapid JR trains. It’s valid for 5 days and only costs ¥ 11,800, but it can only be used during 3 periods in a year.

I started my journey from Kobe, and used local train lines and transferred multiple times until I made it to Takamatsu in Shikoku. I had a few hours to explore the city, so I took the train to Shikoku Mura, an outdoor architecture museum with old buildings that are falling into disrepair or about to be demolished. The buildings were moved here from all around Shikoku, and were built during different time periods.

After that, I explored downtown Takamatsu and took the local train to my final destination, Sanuki Saita, which is a small village in the middle of Shikoku. I met my friend’s friend, Toshiaki-san (the owner of guest house ‘Nishougongo‘), and he and his friends welcomed me with a small nabe food party!

On the second day, I woke up early and continued my trip using the local train and headed down towards Tokushima prefecture. Upon reaching Ooboke Station, I took the local bus (me being the only passenger) up the mountains via slippery and snowy roads . I reached my destination of Kazurabashi about an hour later, and I was amazed by an old, but beautiful, vine bridge. Later on, I walked about a kilometer to my second goal: an outdoor hot spring with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. I rode a ropeway car up from the hotel to the onsen, and (once again) I was the only one there! I finished this nice day by going to Akaoni (the red ogre), a local izakaya, back in Sanuki Saita with my new friends, Toshiaki-san and Zushi-san.

On the third day,Toshiaki-san and I went around the local village and had Sanuki udon for lunch. We said goodbye, and I continued towards Kouchi, which is the southern-most town in Shikoku. There, I met my friend Ayumi. We toured the town a bit and had ‘katsuo no tataki’ for dinner.

On the final day, I went to Kouchi castle, one of the best castles that I’ve visited in Japan yet. We later went to Katsurahama and went to see the Sakamoto Ryoma statue and museum.

Afterwards, it was finally time to go back to Kansai after a wonderful four days in Shikoku!