B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner | SD: Special Dinner
Shikoku (四国, literally “four countries”) is Japan’s fourth largest island, southwest of Japan’s main island Honshu. True to its name, Shikoku is divided into four prefectures: Kagawa, Ehime, Kochi, & Tokushima. Let’s experience Japan’s Historic Architecture of Shikoku.
Day 1**Nov 6 | Honolulu – Kansai (Osaka)
We begin our journey by boarding an international flight to Kansai Airport, the gateway to Osaka. Meals and snacks will be served on the plane.
Day 2**Nov 7 | Kansai
Arrive at Kansai International Airport. We will meet with an Air and Sea Travel representative who will escort us to our hotel in the Kansai area.
Day 3**Nov 8 | Kansai – Himeji – Shodo Island (Kagawa) | (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will transfer to Himeji Port to board a ferry to Fukuda Port, the entrance to Shodo Island (Shodoshima). It is the second largest island in the Inland Sea (Seto Naikai), and is well connected with Shikoku. Shodo Island is the birth place of olive cultivation in Japan. We will enjoy the Olive Park, a working olive grove. After a Japanese Style Lunch, we will visit the Kankakei Gorge (SamuKasumiKei). It is a nationally-designated Place of Scenic Beauty on the island. Kankakei Gorge is ranked as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gorges and is particularly spectacular during the autumn season, which usually takes place in the second half of November. On Kankakei Ropeway, we will experience the stunning views of the Kankakei Gorge and the Inland Sea (Seto Naikai). Then we will head to Choshikei Monkey Park where we can observe the monkeys or feed them from a special feeding area. After a 15 minute walk beyond the monkey park, we will be able to have a beautiful view of the island and the Seto Inland Sea before returning to our hot spring hotel and enjoy Onsen Kaiseki.
Shodoshima Open air hot spring: We can enjoy the natural beauty and therapeutic benefits of the onsen. Japanese onsens are extremely beneficial for one’s health because of their mineral compositions. Different minerals provide different health benefits, which gives us a relaxing effect on our body and mind.
Day 4**Nov 9 | Shodo Island – Takamatsu – Matsuyama (Ehime) | (B, L, D)
After having a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the Marukin Soy Sauce Museum. Soy sauce has been very famous in Shodo Island for many years. We will learn the history of soy sauce and how soy sauce was made in ancient times. Besides tasting soy sauce, we will have a Soy Sauce Ice Cream at the museum. Soy sauce ice cream is the mixture of salty and sweet. After enjoying a special Shodo Island Teishoku for lunch, we will transfer to Tonoshō Port to take a ferry to Takamatsu Port. On the way to Takamatsu Port, we will pass by Dofuchi Strait, the narrowest strait acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records. On the ferry ride, we will experience the beauty of the Seto Inland Sea. As we journey ahead, Ritsurin Garden is a must see attraction. It is one of the most famous and beautiful historical gardens in Japan. There are various bridges, footpaths and small hills which offer a stunning view of the garden and the surrounding scenery. Next, let us explore Kotohira Shrine, one of the most revered Shinto shrines in the country. The main shrine stands halfway up Mt. Zozusan. The approach to the shrine is a long flight of granite steps – 785 in all. Udon, thick chewy wheat noodles is the staple food of Shikoku. The local type is still known by the province’s old name as Sanuki Udon. We will have a hands-on opportunity to Make Udon at the Udon School. Finally, we will transfer to Ehime and stay overnight.
Day 5**Nov 10 | Matsuyama (Ehime) | (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will transfer to Matsuyama Castle, one of Japan’s twelve “original castles”. We will take the Ropeway to the top for a panoramic view of Matsuyama City. The castle was completed in 1627 and is one of the few castles in Japan that has been preserved in its original condition. After walking through the castle, we will transfer to Dogo Onsen Hot Spring Main Building. Dogo Onsen is the oldest hot spring in Japan (3,000 years old). The Main Building is the symbol of Dogo spa resort, which was completed in 1894 and has been designated as an Important Cultural Property. The three-storied timber structure is said to be a model of the bathhouse of the gods in the film “Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki. Then we will take a walk to the Dogo Onsen Station and Houjyoen where we can enjoy a relaxing Foot Bath. The Dogo styled Teishoku will be arranged for our lunch. After lunch, we will stop by the Botchan Gizmo Clock (Botchan Karakuri Tokei), located beside Dōgo Onsen Station at the entrance of the shopping arcade. The clock chimes on the hour and half hour. The clock was completed in 1994 to commemorate the 100th year of the last reconstruction of the Dōgo Bathhouse, and the animatronics that emerge during the musical interlude depict special scenes from the novel. We also have the chance to board the Botchan Express (Botchan Ressha), a diesel-powered replica of a small-gauge steam locomotive installed in the city of Matsuyama in 1888 as the original Iyo Railway. Not only was it the first railway in Shikoku but it was also the third private railway in Japan. Tonight, we will enjoy the Hearty Buffet Dinner in the hotel.
Day 6**Nov 11 | Matsuyama (Ehime) – Kochi (Kochi) | (B, L, D)
After breakfast at our hotel, we will visit Towel Museum Ichihiro to learn about the long history of producing towels in Imabari, Ehime. Then we will transfer to Kochi, the capital of Kochi Prefecture on the southern coast of Shikoku. The city is small and friendly, with a casual atmosphere and a dose of southern flair. We will visit the Tosawashi Kogeimura Qraud(craftwork village). Japan is well known for paper productions. In Kochi the Tosa brand is a very high quality of Washi paper and has a history of more than 1,000 years. It has been designated by the central government as traditional craftwork and is being produced in areas including Tosa City and Ino Town. At Tosa Washi Kogeimura Qraud, we can experience papermaking, and create our own original postcards and paper fans, among other items. Finally, we will transfer to our Onsen Hotel where we can enjoy our dinner followed by a relaxing Hot Spring Bath.
Day 7 | Kochi – Tokushima (Tokushima) – Awaji Island (Hyogo) | (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will go to Tokushima in the eastern part of Shikoku. Tokushima is an old castle town known for its passionate Awa-odori dance in the summer. The Awa-odori Dance is a traditional dance with sounds of ‘shamisen’ (Japanese guitar), gongs, and drums. We can experience this fun atmosphere at Awa-odori Hall. Afterwards we will head to Naruto. The biggest attraction in Naruto is the Whirlpools in the Naruto Strait. The phenomenon occurs when opposing currents from the Seto Inland Sea and the Kii Channel meet in the Naruto Strait with a water level difference of as much as 1.5 meters, which is made by the ebb and flow of the tide. During high tides from spring through fall, huge whirlpools rotating at 20 kilometers an hour and exceeding 20 meters in diameter occur. A Whirlpools Sightseeing Boat allows us to take in a really spectacular view of the roaring whirlpools and surging currents. O-Naruto-kyo Bridge is a suspension bridge on the route connecting Awaji Island and Tokushima. We will drive on it to Awaji Island, the largest island in the Inland Sea.
Day 8 | Awaji Island – Kobe (Hyogo) | (B, L )
After breakfast, we begin our day tour at Awaji Yumebutai, a must-see destination on the island. Designed by famous architect Tadao Andoh, Awaji Yumebutai is a one-of-a-kind “environmental creation” project equipped with facilities that blend in with the magnificent landscape and takes advantage of a dynamic slope. From here we can be in touch with natural elements such as water, wind, light, shade, mountains, the sky and the ocean. Then we will head to Hompukuji Temple located on a small hill overlooking Osaka Bay. This is an old historic temple enshrining the Yakushi Buddha of esoteric Shingon Buddhism. The main hall called Mizumido Water Temple was also designed by Tadao Andoh. More than just a building, it is a sensory experience that represents a radical change from the traditional method of building temples in Japan. Afterwards we head out to Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture. We will enjoy stunning terraced gardens and heated greenhouses at the Kobe Nunobiki Herb Garden & Ropeway. Our lunch today features Kobe Beef. We will also visit the Kobe Mosaic Mall, a popular shopping mall with beautiful scenic views of the city of Kobe. We can enjoy our dinner in this mall.
Day 9 | Kobe – Osaka – Kansai – Honolulu | (B, L)
After breakfast, we will start our tour by visiting Himeji, originally a castle town in Japan. It is home to Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also known as the “White Heron” Castle and the largest castle in Japan. Himeji Castle is famous not only for its main tower but also for its highly effective and complicated defense design. Then we will Transfer to Aeon Mall Rinku, we can do our last minute shopping in the mall. Diaso is located in the first floor. If time is permit, we will head to Rinku Premium Outlets before we transfer to the airport. After a long day, we will transfer to Kansai International Airport for our return flight to Honolulu, taking with us the lasting memories of this wonderful trip.
We wish you a safe journey and have many wonderful memories to share with family and friends! ☺
CHECK OR CASH PAYMENT ONLY. A deposit of $350 per person is required at the time of application. The balance of payment is due 70 days prior. In the event that balance of payment is not made within the required time period, Air and Sea Travel Center reserves the right to cancel reservations and charge a service fee for cancellation.
Written notice is required for any cancellation. $350 deposit is non-refundable if you cancel within 70 days before departure.
Within 70 days before departure, the cancellation fee will be as follow:
** 69-31 days prior departure, 50% of total price plus any other service fee caused from the cancellation;
** 30 days prior to departure or withdraw during the tour shall be regarded as willingly give up all rights concerned, 100% of total price, and request for the other service as substitute shall not be accepted. Also we strongly recommend you to purchase travel insurance when you make your reservation.
Price from: $3,588.00
Includes: Tax and fuel surcharge
(SINGLE SUPP: $800)