The Seto Inland Sea separates Shikoku from Japan’s main island of Honshu but is connected by a series of picturesque bridges making it easy to access. Shikoku consists of 4 prefectures: Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, and Kochi. The temperate climate of Shikoku makes it ideal for growing various fruits, including Japan’s favorite citrus, yuzu.
The incredible views and rolling landscapes attract outdoor enthusiasts, particularly cyclists. Shikoku is a cyclist’s paradise, with hundreds of kilometers of roads suitable for cycling, with routes between rest stops that can be completed easily in a single day.
Shikoku has always been a popular destination for hikers as well, as many Japanese tourists make the pilgrimage to the 88 Zen Buddhist temples around the island. There are also hiking trails into the wilderness, where you can get caught up in the beauty of locations like Oboke Gorge.
Tokushima is famous for its summer Awa Odori Festival, a dance festival that attracts thousands of participants and millions of visitors from all over the country. Awa Odori originated in Tokushima but has become a popular dance festival in other cities during the summer months.
Naoshima Island off the coast of Kagawa is famous for its art museums and exhibits, including the work of world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama. Two museums designed by architect Tadao Ando are on the island, and it will host the Setouchi Triennale art exhibition in 2022.
Ehime Prefecture embodies Shikoku’s slower pace of life, and there is no place better to take advantage of that relaxing pace than Dogo Onsen. Known as the oldest hot springs bath in Japan, Dogo Onsen and its surrounding area bear an uncanny resemblance to the onsen town in Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away.
Colorful Kochi is best represented by its emerald green coastlines, endless blue skies, and deep green forests. Kochi doesn’t get many tourists, which is part of its charm. The pristine Katsurahama Beach, crystal clear mountain streams of Yasui Gorge, and stately Kochi Castle can all be enjoyed sans crowds of tourists.
With its mild weather year-round, Shikoku produces a wide variety of local food and beverages: from the yuzu as mentioned earlier citrus to Kochi beef, pork and chicken, an abundance of seafood and pure, crisp sake to wash it all down.