Surrounded by the tranquil Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Shikoku is a traveller’s dream. Seas, mountains, rivers, sublime cuisine, art, traditional culture, and a long and fascinating history. The island is also home to one of the world’s oldest and most revered pilgrimage routes, the Shikoku Henro. We are sure that a Journey through Shikoku discovers the Iya Valley, Kochi, Yushuhara before ending along the coast in Matsuyama.
Our journey on this island, begins in the vibrant port town of Takamatsu, which we visit before heading deep into the heart of Shikoku, to the remote Iya Valley. The Iya Valley is known as one of Japan’s ‘Three Hidden Valleys’ and is renowned for its rich history, natural beauty, dramatic mountain scenery and unique vine bridges. The valley does provide some of the best hiking on the island, with unique rock formations three historic traditionally-made vine bridges. We also visit the Scarecrow Village of Nagoro. where artist Tsukimi Ayano, has constructed hundreds of life-sized scarecrows in an effort to re-populate her once thriving home-town village.
Leaving Iya, we continue towards the east coast, facing through Kochi, visiting its markets and Kochi Castle, before arriving at Shimanto. We then head back into the mountains of the south to Yushara, where the architecture in the town is almost futuristic, with its wooden architecture designed by famous architect Kuma Kengo. One of his works include the Hotel Above the Clouds.
Our journey then concludes on the western coast, as we pass through Dogo Onsen to the coastal city of Matsumyama, where we stay at Setouchi Retreat Aonagi, designed by Tadao Ando.
This journey is easily combined with The Art Islands and Hiroshima or Southern Kysuhu.
These are a selection of lodges that we feel combine well for this journey. However we do also have a range of options to consider in each region, and can tailor them to you preference.
The dream centers on Iya Valley 祖谷, the mythical mountainous region in the center of Shikoku, where Chiiori is located. All rooms are designed and decorated to make guests feel right at home, and some rooms come with internet access – wireless, internet access – wireless (complimentary), air conditioning, heating, blackout curtains. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. For reliable service and professional staff, Chiiori Lodge caters to your needs.
"Shimanto no Yado" with a total of 30 rooms standing on a gentle hill at the mouth of the river. A resort-type hotel designed with the concept of breathing together with nature, considering coexistence with the ecosystem. They have loved nature for a long time and learned from the wisdom of Japanese people who have become familiar with it, and use natural materials such as wood, stone, and plaster. A Japanese-style room with a calm atmosphere and an elegant and simple Western-style room.
Kumo no Ue no Hotel is nestled deep in the mountains in Yusuhara. The hotel's name, 'Kumo no Ue no Hotel' literally means 'hotel on top of the clouds'. The facade of the hotel is constructed in the image of an airplane's wing. Yukata are available for guests to wear during their stay. Facilities include a communal bath, an open-air bath and a vending machine corner. The hotel possesses 16 guest rooms.
A place to strip away all the unnecessary, and simply give in to the blue sky and the calm, mirror-like Seto Inland Sea. Take in and enjoy the luxury of total tranquility found only here. Gathering all the abundant legacy of Japanese nature, history and culture . A new spot in tranquil Setouchi is born. A luxurious hotel with 7 all-suite rooms built and designed by Tadao Ando, world-renowned architect with numerous awards.