Shikoku Culture and Spots to Enjoy Experiences Trip

Shikoku Culture and Spots to Enjoy Experiences Trip
This is a five-day and four-night course that takes you around history and culture spots (e.g., traditional crafts and temples) and spots to enjoy experiences (e.g., a sightseeing boat and an aquarium)
START
5 minutes on foot from Takamatsu Station
1

Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park

Site-seeing boat and local events help you make connections with this park
  • Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park
  • Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park
  • Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park
  • Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park
  • Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park
  • Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park
  • Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park
  • Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park
  • Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park
  • Takamatsu Castle Tamamo Park
 One of the ‘Three Water Castles of Japan’ (*castles that use sea water from the nearby ocean in their moat) , the ruins of Takamatsu Castle are now open as a park. Also known as Tamamo Castle.
A popular way to visit is on the wooden boats that travel up the moats, which are connected to the ocean. In addition to enjoying the castle from the water, you can also experience feeding the sea bream that swim in the moat.
Inside the park, the Hiunkaku is a reconstruction that brings together the bungalo of the castle lord and the guest annex. This beautiful building, combining Japanese tradition and Western techniques, is an Important Cultural Heritage site. The building faces the Kareyamasui Tei-en, a type of garden that uses rocks, boulders and sand to represent water and mountain scenery. Currently, it is rented out for tea parties and other gatherings.
There are many events held here, such as the spring cherry blossom viewing and the plant market. In the autumn there is the chrysanthemum exhibit. This site holds a special place in the hearts of the local people.
15 minutes on foot
2

Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute

40-minute visit
  • Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute
  • Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute
  • Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute
  • Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute
  • Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute
  • Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute
  • Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute
  • Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute
Kagawa lacquerware was developed under the protection and encouragement of the lord of the Takamatsu domain in the Edo period, and since then many artisans have emerged. Today, by making full use of techniques such as Kinma, Zonsei, and Choshitsu, many lacquerware artists continue to play an important role in Kagawa and other prefectures. In Kagawa Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute, founded to preserve and pass on the art of Kagawa lacquerware, students work hard and receive training to master the techniques of lacquerware under instructors, including master artisans known as Living National Treasures.
25 minutes by car
3

Yashima

60-minute visit
  • Yashima
  • Yashima
  • Yashima
  • Yashima
  • Yashima
  • Yashima
  • Yashima
  • Yashima
  • Yashima
  • Yashima
About a thousand years ago in Japan, two groups of samurai –the Genji and the Heike– fought against each other in what is known as "the Genpei Battle". Yashima was one of the battle sites. From a roof-like lava plateau, you can take in a panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea as it blends in with the islands and cityscape of Takamatsu.
At Dannoura, the location where the Genpei Battle was fought, many ruins from this time tell their history: The Heike hid their warship at Funa-kakushi (Hiding Ship), and the archers prayed for their arrows to hit their target at the Inoriiwa (Prayer's Rock).
Yashimaji Temple is located at the summit, and is the 84th temple of the Shikoku 88 temples visited by pilgrims to rid themselves of bad luck and make wishes. The drive to the summit is very popular, and you can look out over the location where the famous Kagawa product Aji-stone is found.
55 minutes by car
4

Okuboji Temple

90-minute visit and lunch
  • Okuboji Temple
  • Okuboji Temple
  • Okuboji Temple
  • Okuboji Temple
  • Okuboji Temple
  • Okuboji Temple
  • Okuboji Temple
  • Okuboji Temple
  • Okuboji Temple
  • Okuboji Temple
 This is the 88th temple on the pilgrimage route of the 88 Shikoku Holy Places (* The pilgrimage is for getting rid of bad luck, with 88 temples to grant your wishes). Many pilgrims (Ohenro-san) visit this temple as the last stop on their long pilgrimage route. Inside you will see the many umbrellas and walking sticks that have been dedicated here by the pilgrims who have completed the route. On the underground floor, there are small images of the 88 temples, and you can do the ‘osuna-fumi’, which is paying respects after walking across sand collected from all of the pilgrimage route temples. It is believed that this will grant wishes just like the actual 88 site pilgrimage.
At the entrance is the soba restaurant Yasoba-an. The noodles are made from locally produced flour and the holy water of Okuboji Temple, and can be enjoyed with dishes made from local mountain vegetables.
40 minutes by car
5

Sanshu Izutsu House

60-minute visit
  • Sanshu Izutsu House
  • Sanshu Izutsu House
  • Sanshu Izutsu House
  • Sanshu Izutsu House
  • Sanshu Izutsu House
  • Sanshu Izutsu House
  • Sanshu Izutsu House
  • Sanshu Izutsu House
  • Sanshu Izutsu House
  • Sanshu Izutsu House
 This is the renovated house of a businessman who previously ran successful soy sauce and Japanese sake brewing operations. Now it is a multipurpose facility that is centered around a tourism information center.
In the garden there are stone basins for washing hands (Chozubachi) and stone lanterns (Ishitoro). The house is left as it was built – there is a tea room with sliding doors (Yukimishoji – ‘viewing the snow’ doors) through which the garden can be viewed, and a lovely tatami room. Inside the facilities you will find a popular fish restaurant, a shop that sells antique kimono and obi (kimono sash), and an insect shop that has hard-to-find Japanese rhinoceros beetles. A unique line-up!
You can experience making Kagawa’s traditional confectionery Wasanbon and making leather key holders and corsages. Higashi Kagawa is Japan’s number one producer of gloves, and you can try your hand at making gloves here as well.
5 minutes on foot to Hiketa Station, 40 minutes by train to Tokushima Station
6

Tokushima Accommodation

  • Tokushima Accommodation
*The images of the accommodation facilities are for illustrative purposes only
10 minutes on foot from Tokushima Station
7

Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)

90-minute visit
  • Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)
  • Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)
  • Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)
  • Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)
  • Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)
  • Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)
  • Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)
  • Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)
  • Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)
  • Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Odori Museum)
The world-famous Awa Dance can be viewed all year round at this dance hall. The first floor is home to an information desk and shop area for local products and tourist information. On the second floor is the Awa Dance library and an exhibition hall. The third floor is home to a museum, and on the fifth floor is the station for the ropeway to the top of Mt. Bizan.
8

Bizan Ropeway

  • Bizan Ropeway
  • Bizan Ropeway
  • Bizan Ropeway
  • Bizan Ropeway
  • Bizan Ropeway
  • Bizan Ropeway
  • Bizan Ropeway
  • Bizan Ropeway
  • Bizan Ropeway
  • Bizan Ropeway
Mt. Bizan is the symbol of Tokushima City. It overlooks the whole area, and on clear days you can see out to Awaji Island to the north and the Kii Peninsula to the east. The base of the ropeway is at Sanroku Station on the 5th floor of the Awa Odori Kaikan.
15 minutes by car
9

Awa Jurobe Yashiki

60-minute visit
  • Awa Jurobe Yashiki
  • Awa Jurobe Yashiki
  • Awa Jurobe Yashiki
  • Awa Jurobe Yashiki
  • Awa Jurobe Yashiki
  • Awa Jurobe Yashiki
  • Awa Jurobe Yashiki
  • Awa Jurobe Yashiki
  • Awa Jurobe Yashiki
  • Awa Jurobe Yashiki
Here you can find daily performances of the Awa puppet theatre, at the former residence of Bando Jurobe who is said to be the leading character in the puppet play "Keisei Awa no Naruto". Also on display are wooden puppets and items related to the theatre.
15 minutes by car
10

Tokushima Station

45-minute lunch around the station
  • Tokushima Station
*The images of the food are for illustrative purposes only
11

Hyotanjima Tour Boat

30-minute boat trip
  • Hyotanjima Tour Boat
  • Hyotanjima Tour Boat
  • Hyotanjima Tour Boat
  • Hyotanjima Tour Boat
  • Hyotanjima Tour Boat
  • Hyotanjima Tour Boat
  • Hyotanjima Tour Boat
  • Hyotanjima Tour Boat
  • Hyotanjima Tour Boat
  • Hyotanjima Tour Boat
Hyotanjima is the island-like area comprising central Tokushima City in between the Shinmachi and Suketo Rivers. This tour boat conducts free tours around the island starting from Ryogoku Bridge at the Shinmachi Riverside Park.
30 minutes by car
12

Ryozenji Temple

30-minute visit
  • Ryozenji Temple
  • Ryozenji Temple
  • Ryozenji Temple
  • Ryozenji Temple
  • Ryozenji Temple
  • Ryozenji Temple
  • Ryozenji Temple
  • Ryozenji Temple
  • Ryozenji Temple
  • Ryozenji Temple
Ryozenji is the starting point for the popular 88 temple pilgrimage around Shikoku. The temple here was founded in the 8th century by the monk Gyoki under the direction of Emperor Shomu to offer prayers.
10 minutes on foot
13

The Naruto German House

45-minute visit
  • The Naruto German House
  • The Naruto German House
  • The Naruto German House
  • The Naruto German House
  • The Naruto German House
  • The Naruto German House
  • The Naruto German House
  • The Naruto German House
  • The Naruto German House
  • The Naruto German House
Built on the site of a relocation camp where German prisoners of WWI lived for three years, the Deutsches Haus displays mementos of their daily life, tools, and cultural objects. The soldiers interacted with the local community and formed an orchestra that presented the first performance in Japan of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
25 minutes by car
14

Naruto Accommodation

  • Naruto Accommodation
*The images of the accommodation facilities are for illustrative purposes only
75 minutes by car
15

Yakuōji Temple

30-minute visit
  • Yakuōji Temple
  • Yakuōji Temple
  • Yakuōji Temple
  • Yakuōji Temple
  • Yakuōji Temple
  • Yakuōji Temple
  • Yakuōji Temple
  • Yakuōji Temple
  • Yakuōji Temple
  • Yakuōji Temple
This is the 23rd temple of the 88 Shikoku pilgrimage.
It is famous for expelling evil spirits and is the last pilgrimage temple in Tokushima.
5 minutes by car
16

Sea Turtle Museum, “Caretta”

100-minute visit and lunch
  • Sea Turtle Museum, “Caretta”
  • Sea Turtle Museum, “Caretta”
  • Sea Turtle Museum, “Caretta”
  • Sea Turtle Museum, “Caretta”
  • Sea Turtle Museum, “Caretta”
  • Sea Turtle Museum, “Caretta”
  • Sea Turtle Museum, “Caretta”
Each year between May and late August, loggerhead sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs at Ohama beach on the southern coast of Tokushima. This museum presents all kinds of information about sea turtles.
50 minutes by car
17

Takegashima Marine Park (The Blue Marine tourist boat)

45-minute visit
  • Takegashima Marine Park (The Blue Marine tourist boat)
  • Takegashima Marine Park (The Blue Marine tourist boat)
  • Takegashima Marine Park (The Blue Marine tourist boat)
  • Takegashima Marine Park (The Blue Marine tourist boat)
This Environment Ministry-designated marine park covers an area to the northwest of Takegashima island, just off the coast of Kaiyo-cho. While it is well known as a scuba diving location, anyone can board the Blue Marine tourist boat to appreciate the rich underwater scene and watch the dancing of colorful tropical fish.
45 minutes by car
18

Muroto Accommodation

  • Muroto Accommodation
*The images of the accommodation facilities are for illustrative purposes only
10 minutes by car
19

Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium

45-minute visit
  • Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium
  • Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium
  • Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium
  • Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium
  • Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium
  • Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium
  • Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium
  • Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium
  • Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium
  • Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium
Due to a decreasing number of children, Shiina Elementary School regrettably had to close in 2005, but it was repaired and classes are back in session in April 2018! The new students of the reborn school are fish.

 The Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium reuses the old school building. The 25 m outdoor pool where children used to learn to swim is now remodeled into a large fish tank, and 19 other tanks of various sizes have been installed. Ocean water is drawn directly into the fish tanks, and people come from far and wide to visit. Over 1,000 “students” of around 50 species, including parrotfish and amberjacks raised at the Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark, have been “admitted” to the school with the help of local fishermen.
 About 10 loggerhead sea turtles and Galápagos green turtles have come here to study after getting caught in nets, and their leisurely swimming has gained popularity. The touch-pools in the former school restrooms are also popular, and let visitors touch seashore creatures like sea slugs. The unique exhibit styles using the old school facilities have become a hot topic.
 Sharks like hammerheads are another part of the aquarium’s appeal, alongside deep sea classmates including giant isopods, as well as meeting new aquatic transfer students every season.
 The building has been neatly repaired, so you’d never imagine that it had been closed. However, the desks and chairs are in place just like in previous years, making for a nostalgic experience.
 Some classrooms display specimens of fish skeletons, letting visitors learn more about fish they’re interested in. The aquarium also conducts sea turtle release experiences in the nearby ocean.
 In the future, there are plans for hands-on study with fishermen teaching how to prepare locally-caught fish.

 Muroto Schoolhouse Aquarium – located in the former Shiina Elementary School. A popular place of learning and communication now, as it always was.
5 minutes by car
20

Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark

60-minute visit
  • Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark
The Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark is a popular tourist spot, with its abundant nature. Located on the tip of the Muroto Peninsula in Kochi, even now the lands continue to uplift by earthquakes which occur every 100 to 150 years, and you can feel the dynamism of the planet.

In 2011, it was approved as a Global Geoparks Network member. The Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark encompasses the entire administrative district of Muroto City, with a total area of 248.20km2. You can learn and experience the geology, history, lifestyle and food cultures which live in harmony with the dynamic natural features across the region.

For example, Cape Hane used to be located on the sea floor in the distant past. It is a rocky area which has risen out of the water due to geological shifts resulting from earthquakes. You can still discover trace fossils where shellfish once crawled when you walk through it. Similarly, the Nishiyama Plateau is a largely agricultural region that makes good use of marine terraces, generated by similar forces. Cape Muroto is a site with more geological and ecological features than anywhere else in Muroto. Take a walk on the walking path to enjoy views of rocks which see floor had been uplifted and subtropical vegetation. English guided tours along Cape Muroto, available with reservations, will give you some interesting information on the area.

To fully enjoy the Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark, we recommend visiting the Muroto Global Geopark Center first. You can learn about the feature of geology, nature, history, and culture of the area through videos and displays, and gather tourism information at the information desk. They also rent out bicycles, and we recommend using bicycles with this facility as a hub when exploring Muroto.

The website also offers listings of courses suitable for solo visitors.
45 minutes by car
21

Kitagawa Village "Monet's Garden" Marmottan

120-minute visit and lunch
  • Kitagawa Village
  • Kitagawa Village
  • Kitagawa Village
  • Kitagawa Village
  • Kitagawa Village
  • Kitagawa Village
  • Kitagawa Village
  • Kitagawa Village
  • Kitagawa Village
  • Kitagawa Village
Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France, is well known as a place that fascinated impressionist artist Claude Monet. He spent half of his entire life in the garden as well as in his residence, which has an atelier, and devoted his time to yard work in the garden besides his creative activities. Monet’s Garden has been replicated in the nature-rich village of Kitagawa, Kochi Prefecture, as “Monet’s Garden Marmottan, Kitagawa Village.” It is the world’s only facility that is allowed to use the name “Monet’s Garden.”
Approximately 70,000 plants are grown on the premises of about 30,000 square meters and you can enjoy a beautiful landscape that changes from season to season. Blue water lilies that are particularly popular are in full bloom in the garden from around late June to early November.
25 minutes by car
22

Ioki Cave

30-minute visit
  • Ioki Cave
  • Ioki Cave
  • Ioki Cave
  • Ioki Cave
  • Ioki Cave
  • Ioki Cave
  • Ioki Cave
  • Ioki Cave
  • Ioki Cave
  • Ioki Cave
This cave is formed from earth layers laid down some three million years ago, and is home to a fern community registered as a national Natural Monument. Because of its location just a few minutes from the national highway, passing through the cave will leave you in a primeval world, as if you have gone back in time. (There is a small stream in the cave, and snakes may be in the area, so wear proper footwear here.)
23

Aki Accommodation

  • Aki Accommodation
*The images of the accommodation facilities are for illustrative purposes only
24

Gomen-Nahari Line

55 minutes by train (Aki Station to Kochi Station)
  • Gomen-Nahari Line
  • Gomen-Nahari Line
Tosa Kuroshio Tetsudo(Railway) Gomen-Nahari Line started operations in July 2002. The line has 20 stops, from Gomen Station in Nankoku City to Nahari Station in Nahari Town. Since trains on the line run mostly on elevated tracks along the southern coast, passengers can enjoy a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. A character figure based on a drawing by comic artist Takashi Yanase, the author of “Anpanman” and a native of Kochi Prefecture, is on display at each station. Such figures produced using motifs reflecting the characteristics of the local community around each station welcome arriving passengers. Some trains operated on this line include unique carriages such as those without windows or walls on both sides to let in fresh air.
A short walk
25

Kochi Tabi Hiroba (Kochi Travel Plaza)

30-minute visit
  • Kochi Tabi Hiroba (Kochi Travel Plaza)
  • Kochi Tabi Hiroba (Kochi Travel Plaza)
  • Kochi Tabi Hiroba (Kochi Travel Plaza)
  • Kochi Tabi Hiroba (Kochi Travel Plaza)
  • Kochi Tabi Hiroba (Kochi Travel Plaza)
  • Kochi Tabi Hiroba (Kochi Travel Plaza)
  • Kochi Tabi Hiroba (Kochi Travel Plaza)
  • Kochi Tabi Hiroba (Kochi Travel Plaza)
  • Kochi Tabi Hiroba (Kochi Travel Plaza)
The Kochi Tabi Hiroba, found in front of JR Kochi Station in the center of Kochi Prefecture, is something all visitors to the area should stop by and see at least once. It’s a great starting point for Kochi sightseeing. At the Kochi Tourist Information Center, “Tosa Terrace”, they have all the sightseeing information tourists could want for a fun trip around Kochi. Inside, the general tourist information desk is decked out in the style of “Machiya” traditional townhouses. They have information on all the tourist sites and the best food in town, as well as on lodgings such as hotels, information about delivering your luggage to your accommodation, and of course, they sell public transport tickets. They have pamphlets on tourist sites and activities, and a corner for introducing seasonal sightseeing information in Kochi Prefecture.

The Kochi Tabi Hiroba also boasts a display of items from the ancestral home of historical patriotic hero, Ryoma Sakamoto, via the Bakumatsu Patriot Film Hall. These items were used in the filming of the Taiga drama “Ryomaden” about Sakamoto’s life, and inside the building is a reproduction of the set used in filming. The set is a masterful replica of a Bakumatsu building, and will charm viewers whether or not they’re fans of this historical period, which marked the end of Shogunate rule. You can also take a photo with someone dressed as Ryoma for a fun trip through time into Bakumatsu Japan. Also located in the same building is the Tosa-ya Shop, with all the Kochi souvenirs and regional products you could want. They also sell packs of Kochi sweets to eat while you take a break. Please stop by at the Kochi Tabi Hiroba to complete your Kochi Prefecture experience. They’ll give you information on beautiful sights and activities, and help you to get in touch with nature, historical landmarks, and delicious local cuisine.
15 minutes on foot
26

Kochi Castle

60-minute visit
  • Kochi Castle
  • Kochi Castle
  • Kochi Castle
  • Kochi Castle
  • Kochi Castle
  • Kochi Castle
  • Kochi Castle
  • Kochi Castle
  • Kochi Castle
  • Kochi Castle
Fifteen structures at Kochi Castle, including its tower and the Otemon main gate, have been designated by the national government as important cultural properties. The castle was originally built in 1603 on the order of Yamauchi Katsutoyo, lord of the Tosa domain, but was burned down in a massive fire in 1727. The current castle tower was rebuilt in 1749.
Kochi Castle is Japan’s only castle where all the structures constituting its main building have been preserved. Since the castle’s structures are compactly situated, you can see its most important parts in a short period of time. Its tower is one of the 12 castle keeps that are still preserved in Japan. Kochi Castle is known as a popular photo spot because it is Japan’s only castle where you can capture both its Otemon and its tower in a single shot.
5 minutes on foot
27

Hirome Market

60-minute lunch
  • Hirome Market
  • Hirome Market
  • Hirome Market
  • Hirome Market
  • Hirome Market
  • Hirome Market
  • Hirome Market
  • Hirome Market
  • Hirome Market
  • Hirome Market
Hirome Market is a commercial facility located next to Kochi Castle. It is also a place for locals and visitors alike to fill their stomachs with not only Kochi"s local cuisine, but also more international flavors. The inside of the nostalgia-inspiring market building is packed with approximately 65 street stall-style restaurants, busy fresh fish and meat shops, unique knickknack shops, and clothing boutiques.
With tables throughout, customers can get takeout from different restaurants and casually enjoy a variety of foods. Although you may notice people drinking during the day in the market, this too is a sight typical of Kochi, a place where the locals are known to like drinking.

A bar area called "Hirome Bar" opened in the market during 2016, as well. Whether Italian, Spanish, or French, the food options here are made to pair well with alcohol. Feel free to walk around with a drink in one hand.
Hirome Market is also a great place to buy Kochi souvenirs and find information on tourist attractions, so it"s worth a visit for anyone traveling to the prefecture.
Hirome Market could be called "Kochi"s Kitchen," but that name comes from Shigeaki Hirome Fukao, chief retainer to the feudal lord of Tosa (present-day Kochi) at the end of the Edo era (1603 - 1868). A renowned minister who had served under four successive lords, Shigeaki Hirome Fukao was well loved by the people of Kochi City. Even after time went by and Hirome"s home was no more, the area was still known by locals as the "Hirome Mansion." Later, the area became home to the "Hirome Market," driven by locals" desires to revitalize the region as well as Kochi"s food culture.
GOAL