This course takes you to Takamatsu, Matsuyama and Hiroshima, the main cities of Chūgoku and Shikoku.
Enjoy the different attractions of Takamatsu, gateway to Shikoku, Matsuyama with its castle and onsen, and Hiroshima, a city with two World Heritage Sites.
Cycling the Shimanami Kaidō is a great way to enjoy the dramatic scenery of the Seto Inland Sea.
4 nights and 5 days from Kansai International Airport
Stay in Takamatsu
About 1 hour by Takamatsu Kotohira Dentetsu
Kotohira Dentetsu Kotohira Station
15 minutes’ walk
01. Konpira Shrine
This shrine to the deity of the sea is known familiarly as ‘Konpira-san’.
The long stone steps up to the shrine are famous. There are 785 up to the main shrine, and another 583 to the top shrine.
It’s home to important national cultural properties and many art treasures.
You can buy one of the famous gold amulets of the shrine for good fortune.
About 20 minutes’ walk
JR Kotohira Station
About 2 hours and 30 minutes by Dosan Line and Yosan Line express train
JR Matsuyama Station
About 20 minutes by tram
02. Dōgo Onsen Honkan
Boasting a history going back 3,000 years, Dōgo Onsen is Japan’s oldest spa. Dōgo Onsen Honkan was built in 1894. Along with Matsuyama Castle, it’s a symbol of Matsuyama City. It’s said to have been one of the models for the spirit bathhouse in the Studio Ghibli animation Spirited Away.
The distinctive building has three storeys. Three times a day, a drum is beaten in the Shinrokaku. It’s the only onsen in Japan with a bathroom for the exclusive use of the Emperor, called the Yūshinden. At night when light leaks from the building, the onsen generates its own special romance. A paper guide in several languages is provided for foreign visitors.