Essential Shikoku

Takamatsu & Iya Valley

From $3800 in low season
From $4500 in high season

based on 4 nights & selected experiences

Price includes:

  • Accommodation

  • Private transfers

  • Selected experiences

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At a Glance

  • Get a chance to visit Ritsurin Park, said to be one of the top three most beautiful parks in Japan.

  • Experience the unique art culture in Shikoku. Visit the island of Naoshima, home to some of the world class galleries, contemporary art and architecture.

  • Master the skill of making Shikoku's famous local noodles - Sanuki udon

  • Experience the villagers’ traditional way of life with two nights stay at the Ochiai Village thatch-roofed farmhouse

  • A short hike to Mount Tsurugi offers spectacular natural beauty that changes with the seasons

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Shikoku broadly follows Japan’s climatic pattern with August being the hottest month and mid-winter cooling things right down in January, although the island is known for having milder weather year-round. Rainfall can be higher on Shikoku than other areas of the country. The spring months of March to May are good for hiking, as is the autumn, particularly October. These are the classic pilgrimage times and seasonal colors are at their best with cherry blossom in the spring and golden hues in the autumn.

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation.

Itinerary

Shikoku is Japan's fourth largest island, southwest of Japan's main island Honshu. Located between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Shikoku offers an abundance of attractions including the art, nature, hot springs, delicious gourmet and traditional culture. In this short getaway, you will focus on the Kawaga and Tokushima prefecture.

  1. Days 1-1: Fly into Takamatsu

  2. Days 1-3: Takamatsu, Japan

    Start your trip in the historical Takamatsu city of Kawaga prefecture. Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony at the gorgeous Ritsurin Park, built during the Edo Period and widely considered as one of the top three beautiful gardens of Japan. Visit the Yashima-ji Temple, temple No.84 on the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage before enjoying an amazing sunset at the lava plateau at the Top of Mount Yashima. A short ferry ride will take you to the island of Naoshima, home to some of the world class galleries, contemporary art and architecture. Discover Kotohira-gu and enjoy the fun experience learning how to make the famous Sanuki udon noodles at the foot of the shrine before traveling down to Iya Valley.

    Accommodation: JR Hotel Clement Takamatsu (2 nights)

  3. Days 3-5: Iya Valley, Shikoku, Japan

    Spend the next two nights at the rural countryside in Ochiai village, deep in the Iya Valley. Ochiai village is a mountain village designated as a National Preservation site with more than 70 houses built on a steep slope. Enjoy the rural Japan at its finest when you stay in one of the thatch-roofed farmhouse built during the Edo period. Exploring the village, interacting with the local farmers and enjoying the local dishes cooked by the local people are the great options to experience the villagers’ traditional way of life. 
    During your stay at Iya Valley, we have also included a tour to the renowned Oku-Iya Kazurabashi Bridges and Mount Tsurugi. Named as one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains, Mount Tsurugi offers spectacular natural beauty that changes with the seasons. A relaxing chairlift will take you to the midpoint where you will continue with a short hike to the peak for a breathtaking panoramic views not to be missed.

    Accommodation: Tougenkyo Iya-no-Yamazato (2 nights)

  4. Days 5-5: Fly out from Takamatsu

Experiences

  • Eastern Iya Valley adventure

    Spend the day at the east of the Iya Valley, the more remote and tranquil section with amazing scenery. Begin the day with a short hike at Mount Tsurugi and then take on the challenge of crossing the Oku-Iya Vine Bridge.

  • Gems of Takamatsu

    Visit Ritsurin Garden, the Japanese style garden built by the local feudal lord during the Edo Period. A truly elegant setting for a stroll, taking in the road lined by black pines and experiencing the Japanese tea ceremony culture of Sado.

  • Hike to Mount Tsurugi

    Embark on a moderate hike to Mount Tsurgi, a mountain at the eastern end of the Iya Valley and the second tallest mountain in Shikoku.

  • Naoshima Art Galore

    Take a ferry ride to the island of Naoshima and be amazed by the unique art collection of Chichu Art Museum, Benesse House Museum, the Art House Project, Naoshima Pavillion and the various outdoor artworks including Yayoi Kusama’s beloved pumpkins.

  • Ochiai village walking tour

    A walking tour in Ochiai village, the most scenic of lya's mountainside villages with beautifully preserved traditional houses. A great opportunity to interact and get to know the life of the local villagers as you witness their day to day life.

  • Sanuki Udon making experience

    Join a Sanuki udon making class and learn how to make this popular dish, the soul food of Kagawa prefecture.

Location

Takamatsu & Iya Valley

Speak to our specialists 858 523 9000

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation.

Start planning now Speak to our specialists on 858 523 9000 or start planning now Plan your trip