Shikoku, Western Japan
Ehime & Kochi
Matsuya . Uchiko . Kochi
Located in Shikoku, an island southwest of Japan's main island, Honshu with a warm climate. Shikoku is the smallest and least populated of Japan's four main islands.
Recommended Length of Stay
5 days, 4 nights
Photo by: Shikoku Railway-trip
Venture beyond Japan's golden route. The island of Shikoku ("four provinces") consists four prefectures, Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime and Kochi. The easiest way to get to the Shikoku island is by flying into one of the island's airports, Matsuyama (Ehime), Tokushima and Kochi. Shikoku island is also connected to the mainland via several railway bridges but the Shinkansen does not service the region. If travelling on the Japan Rail Pass, one can take the Shinkansen to Okayama and changing to JR train to Matsuyama or Takamatsu.
Unlike the other major islands of Japan, Shikoku has no volcanoes. The island is separated by mountains running from east to west. The northern part of Shikoku faces the Seto Inland Sea and the southern part faces the Pacific Ocean. The prefecture's warm climate create the perfect environment to grow various fruits.
In our sample itinerary, we explore and highlight the unique features of Ehime and Kochi. Ehime is the busiest prefecture in Shikoku and known as the "Mikan Prefecture", producing high quality oranges (Mikan). The prefecture is home to one of the original castles of Japan. The country oldest hot spring is also found in Ehime. Kochi is characterised by its rugged mountains and coastline, and is the largest prefecture on Shikoku. It is a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts with hiking trails through majestic mountains and stunning coastal views.
4-Day, 3-Night Activity Highlights
Being Japan's major source for sea bream, one of Ehime's local specialties, Taimeshi (sea bream rice) is a traditional specialty dish of the prefecture. Taimeshi in eastern areas including Imabari and Matsuyama is served as rice cooked with the whole sea bream. Southern Ehime enjoy seabream sashimi with soy sauce and egg on a rice bowl. Amongst approx 40 citrus fruits grown in Ehime, the Minkan has the perfect balance of sweet and sour thanks to the region's perfect growing conditions.
Kochi is known to produce the largest quantity of bonito in Japan. Fisherman use the traditional method involving the use of a pole to catch the fish instead of using a net. This prevents the net from damaging the bonito but the method is labour intensive as each fish can weigh up to 5kg. Fire-seared bonito is the best way to enjoy the local delicacy and tastiest in spring and autumn months. Just as Ehime Mikan is synonymous with the prefecture, Kochi is known for its yuzu production. Kochi focuses on eco-friendly cultivation of the iconic fruit and is the country's largest producer. Grown in the forests and mountains that cover most of Kochi with a cooler climate, the yuzu produced in the region are particularly tasty.
Photos by: Japan Travel, Visit Kochi, Visit Ehime, Oishii
Kindly note the activities vary depending on the season and your travel dates.
Contact us to find out more and start planning your escape.
Yusaharu Town Hall
A town known for its urban development, dotted with architectural wonders designed by the world renowned Kengo Kuma. The town hall was constructed using local Japanese cedar. It is a multipurpose building serving government, council, agricultural cooperative, bank and society of commerce and industry. The structure also functions as a disaster-prevention centre.
Photos by: Kengo Kuma .and Associates
Japan's last unobstructed stream with no dams or blockage. It features a chinkanbashi - submerisble narrow bridges without any guardrails. This prevents the bridge from collapsing during seasonal floods.
Photos by: Zekkei Japan,
Photo by: Japan guide
Yokaichi Old Town
Uchiko is a small town 40km southwest of Matsuyama city. The village is historically known for producing wax and paper. In the late 19th century, wealthy merchants resided in the relatively large houses along Yokaichi street. Today, the houses have been preserved houses with the complete structures left intact.
Photo by: CNN
One of Japan "original castles" (survived the post-fuedal ear since 1868). Located at the top of Mount Katsuyama with a viewing point overlooking Matsuyama and Seto Inland Sea. The castle is a particularly lovely viewing point during spring, hanami (cherry blossom) season. Approximately 200 cherry blossom trees are planted around the castle grounds.
Photo by: Wonderland Japan
A famous onsen popular amongst tourists and locals. The area features a wooden public bathouse dating back to 1894 - Dogo Onsen Honkan. It's said to have inspired the bathhouse in Japan's award-winning anime film, Spirited Away.
NIPPONIA HOTEL Ozu Castle Town
A 4-star accommodation located in Matsuyama, Ehime. Located a short 1km walk from the Ozu castle.
Photos by: Ozu Castle Stay
Room amenities may vary depending on type of room selected.
5 different room types available
Room occupancy ranging from 1-6 adult guests
All rooms equipped with high quality mattresses
Futon bedding available for whole villa rentals
Type of bath/shower vary depending on room
Wi Fi, Refridgerator, Electric kettle, Hair dryer, Toiletries
Facilities: lounge, courtyard and shop