Best of Setouchi – Highlights from Shikoku (Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime) – Selected by Japan Travel Writers

JapanTravel is the leading resource for Japan travel information and the primary destination for visitors planning and traveling to Japan. In response to a special Japan Travel campaign, their community writers descended on the Setouchi region to find, discover and share some of the best things to do on the Japan Travel website. Shikoku attracts many visitors with traditional culture and nature, as well as art projects to discover.

1. Naruto Whirlpool Boat Trip – Take to the sea to get a closer look at the whirlpool!

The Naruto Whirlpools are a natural wonder that occurs in the Naruto Straits between Oge Island in Tokushima Prefecture and Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture. These fascinating formations can be viewed from the nearby bridge or from various sea craft.


During spring, the speeds of the current increase significantly. The fast flow creates whirlpools with a larger diameter. Times of the month with stronger tides will be a better time to visit.




Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/tokushima/naruto-whirlpool-boat-trip/32873

2. Kazurabashi – Rope Bridge of Iya – Historic bridge in the lush, green Iya Valley

Kazurabashi is a traditional vine-rope bridge located in Tokushima Prefecture’s Iya Valley region. A beautiful work of engineering in a gorgeous natural setting makes this bridge one of Tokushima’s top tourist destinations.

The most popular time to visit the bridge is in autumn when the leaves start to change color. It still makes a popular destination year round, however, and if you want to avoid crowds it is best to start as early in the morning as possible.




Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/tokushima/kazurabashi-rope-bridge-of-iya/32872

3. Ritsurin Garden – Japanese strolling garden in the heart of Takamatsu

Ritsurin Garden is one of the most nationally acclaimed gardens in Japan. Standing for nearly 400 years, this garden is in the center of Takamatsu City, Kagawa. Visitors come from around the world to walk and enjoy the extensive grounds.


There are multiple walking courses through the gardens, and relaxing pole-boat tours along the ponds in the southwest portion of the park.




Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/kagawa/ritsurin-garden/32871

4. Art of Naoshima and Teshima -Two artsy islands in the Seto Inland Sea

The islands of Naoshima and Teshima sit beside each other in the narrow Seto Inland Sea. Located between Okayama and Takamatsu prefectures, these two islands are famous for their art museums and art installations.


Teshima and Naoshima lay between Kagawa Prefecture on Shikoku Island and Okayama Prefecture on the main island of Honshu.





Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/kagawa/art-of-naoshima-and-teshima/32870

5. Sakura at Matsuyama Castle – Impressive relic of feudal Japan

Matsuyama City is distinctive due to its slightly more rustic, cozy setting on Shikoku. Matsuyama Castle is one of the central attractions of the city, and still holds a key role in day to day cultural and seasonal festivities. The display of blooming cherry blossoms here in early spring is one of the most impressive times of year to visit the site.


Matsuyama and its castle present a slice of Japan that is a blend of genuine, unaffected history and abundant, natural beauty – combined with the excitement and opportunities of a lively city.




Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/ehime/sakura-at-matsuyama-castle/32709


6. Dogo Onsen: Tradition Stripped Bare -‘Spirited Away’ to one of Japan’s oldest bath houses

Dogo Onsen, the inspiration for the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away, is one of Matsuyama’s most prized buildings and one of Japan’s oldest bath houses. A visit here for a soak in the waters is one of the highlights of a trip to western Shikoku.


Bathing at Dogo Onsen is certainly not to be missed. It is a unique onsen experience in many respects, but especially so because of its repeated influences and instances in Japanese culture.




Read more: http://en.japantravel.com/ehime/dogo-onsen-tradition-stripped-bare/32868

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