Going through “Shikoku Karst” is an exhilarating drive on a mountain with an altitude of over 1,000 meters./Kumakogen-cho, Kamiukena-gun, Ehime

“Shikoku Karst” is one of the three greatest karsts in Japan, and this unique karst plateau was created by limestone being eroded by rain and groundwater.

The altitude here is from around 1,000 to 1,500 meters.
The nature-filled view from the top of the plateau is spectacular.
Cattle are put to pasture on this highland, so you may see cows relaxing or feeding on a meadow up close.

We will introduce you to the recommended driving route on “Shikoku Karst,” a classic sightseeing spot in Shikoku.

An exhilarating drive on “the road of the sky” through Shikoku Karst

The Ehime Prefectural Route 383 is also called “the road of the sky,” and it crosses 25km on this vast plateau from east to west.
The road, without branching, seems to continue forever.
Now, forget about your daily life and go for a drive that will heal your mind and body.

The top of Shikoku Karst, “Tengukogen Highlands”

“Tengukogen Highlands” is located in the eastern side of Shikoku Karst and at an altitude of 1,485m, it is the highest place on the plateau.
“Tengu” means a long-nosed goblin (or genie), a creature which appears in some old Japanese tales.

There is a promenade on which you can walk, so you can enjoy a stroll around, and maybe you will find some alpine plants.

The view from this point is tremendous.
You can see a 360-degree view of the beautiful mountain range and the sky.

”Godankogen Highlands” shows you the unique topography of karst.

There are so many complicated white limestone shapes scattered on the plateau.
“Godankogen Highlands” is the best place to see the unique karst topography, such as “Karrenfeld,” where the limestone looks like a flock of sheep; “doline” a basin like sinkhole; and so on.

Maybe you can see some cows set out to pasture!
The scenery is just so peaceful and relaxing.

”Mezuru-daira” has large wind turbines and pastoral scenery.

“Mezuru-daira” is located at the center of Shikoku Karst, and there are lodging accommodations and camping sites in this area.
Of course, you can see the mountain range and the pastoral scenery from here. Also, the big wind turbines are impressive.

Cows, again!
They are so adorable.

Don’t miss the sunset from “Genjigadaba”!

The “Onogahara” area, located on the west-side of Shikoku Karst, has ranches, pensions, coffee shops, and private houses.
However, the special must-see spot in this area is on the hill called “Genjigadaba.”

Seeing a sunset from “Genjigadaba” is just fantastic, and the gradation of the setting sun over the Japanese pampas grass is incredibly beautiful.

Maybe you can see the sky covered with stars!

Shikoku Karst is also one of the best spots to see stars at night because this plateau is pretty dark and far from any city lights.
So, if the weather is clear, you will encounter a fabulous night sky full of stars.

Maybe you will forget about the time as you gaze at the stars covering the sky……

The picture above is the word “Karst” written in Japanese katakana with lights.

There is so much great and impressive scenery waiting for you.
Please experience exhilarating feelings as you drive through the main route of Shikoku Karst!

*Please note that the road might be closed due to snow in the winter time.
There are some points which the width of the road is very narrow, so please be careful when driving on this road.
We also highly recommend that you start with a full tank of gasoline.

Sikoku Karst
Address/Nishidani, Kumakogen-cho, Kamiukena-gun, Ehime
Phone/0892-21-1111(Hometown Creation Department of Kumakogen Town Office)

Photographs and text by Chiemi Nishimori

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