The must-have item is your camera! The western drive route includes photogenic spots in Kagawa, Kochi, Ehime, and Hiroshima

You definitely will take lots of photos! An artistic and stylish “photo-trip.”

If you like taking nice photos, a road trip is the best way to efficiently visit many lovely spots.
There are so many photogenic spots which you can boast of visiting in this western route through Kagawa, Kochi, Ehime, and Hiroshima.
Let’s go on a five-day road trip, starting from Takamatsu Airport and finishing at Hiroshima Airport.

Spot 1

Arriving at Takamatsu Airport, staying in Takamatsu City


Spot 2

The sacred place of lovers “Angel Road” (Shodoshima, Kagawa)


Let’s take a ferry to Shodoshima, and visit “Angel Road,” a sand road which only appears at low tide.
There is a rumor saying, “if you walk here holding your precious one’s hand, you will be happy.”

Angel Road
Address/Ginpaura, Tonosho-cho, Shozu-gun, Kagawa
> Angel Road & Futagoura: A Sandy “Promenade for Angels” That Only Appears At Low Tide!

Spot 3

There are various photo-shooting spots in “Shodoshima Olive Park.” (Shodoshima, Kagawa)


This park is surrounded by olive fields, and has many places which are good for taking photos!
How about taking picture while riding on a magic broom, just like Kiki from the movie “Kiki’s Delivery Service” directed by Hayao Miyazaki?

Shodoshima Olive Park
Address/1941-1, Ko, Nishimura, Shodoshima-cho, Shozu-gun, Kagawa
Open/8:30 – 17:00

Spot 4

“Kankakei” with magnificent scenery created by nature (Shodoshima, Kagawa)


The “Kankakei” gorge has been in the making for about 13 million years, and this extraordinary view must not be missed!
We especially recommend taking the ropeway to see the view of sky, sea, and gorge all at once.

Kankakei Ropeway Koun Station
Address/327-1, Otsu, Kankakedori, Shodoshima-cho, Shozu-gun, Kagawa

Kankakei Ropeway Sancho Station
Address/168, Otsu, Kankakedori, Shodoshima-cho, Shozu-gun, Kagawa

Spot 5

Make your own udon noodles at “Nakano Udon School”!


You can learn the entire process of making udon noodles: kneading, cutting, and boiling.
After learning the recipe, of course you can taste your own udon there.
You will receive a rolling pin and a “diploma” as a certification of your completion of the course.

Nakano Udon School
Address/8, Nariai-cho, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa
Open/9:00 – 15:00 (Reservation required)
Fee/1,600 yen for each (when you are in the group of 2-14 people/excluding tax)

> Nakano Udon School – Make Noodles to the Music

Takamatsu-nishi IC to Mitoyo-Tossaka IC

Spot 6

“Chichibugahama Beach,” Salar de Uyuni in Japan (Mitoyo-shi, Kagawa)


This is one of the most famous and instagrammable spots in Japan, where you can take pictures just like you can at “Salar de Uyuni” in Bolivia in South America.
Don’t miss the best moment to take a beautiful picture at a low tide, especially within 2 hours of sunset!

Chichibugahama Beach
Address/203-3, Otsu, Nio, Nio-cho, Mitoyo-shi, Kagawa
Parking lot/You can use a toll parking lot for the beach between July and August.
> This is Salar de Uyuni in Japan! Let’s take some wonderful photos in which the Setouchi Inland Sea mirrors the sky!/Chichibugahama Beach (Mitoyo-shi, Kagawa)

Spot 7

Staying at “Kotohira Onsen Shikishima-kan” (Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun, Kagawa)


“Shikishima-kan” with its pure Japanese-style building and modern interior, is located along the main approach to Kotohiragu Shrine.
Just relax while soaking yourself in the hot spring at this inn.

Kotohira Onsen Shikishima-kan
Address/713-1, Kawanishi, Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun, Kagawa

Spot 8

Climb on the long stairway at “Kotohiragu Shrine”!


Kotohiragu Shrine, a.k.a. “Konpira-san,” is one of several locations thought to be flowing with mystical energy. About 3 million people visit here every year.
There are 785 stairs to the main shrine, and 1,368 stairs to the rear shrine.
You can enjoy seeing the cherry blossoms here around the end of March.

Kotohiragu Shrine
Address/Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun, Kagawa
> Konpirasan – the famous Pilgrimage of Shikoku (Kagawa)

Zentsuji IC to Nankoku IC

Spot 9

A flower and fruit paradise “Nishijima Horticultural Park” (Nankoku-shi, Kochi)


Now, it’s time to head to Kochi Prefecture!
The first must-visiting spot is “Nishijima Horticultural Park,” a flower and fruit paradise.
You can enjoy various kinds of colorful flowers in the garden, and taste fresh melons and watermelons.
You can also pick strawberries here between January and the beginning of June.

Nishijima Horticultural Park
Address/600, Hataeda, Nankoku-shi, Kochi
Open/9:00 – 17:00
Fee/780 yen for a fruit ticket (includes a piece of melon and watermelon)

Spot 10

A superb taste! Seared bonito slices at “Hirome Market” (Kochi-shi, Kochi)


Have a lunch at “Hirome Market,” which is a shopping center resembling a “Yatai-mura” (a village of food stalls).
This place is located close to Kochi Castle.
There are about 50 restaurants and 10 shops in the building.
Don’t forget to try “Katsuo-no-tataki,” (seared bonito slices) which is the most famous local dish in Kochi.

Hirome Market
Address/2-3-1, Obiyamachi, Kochi-shi, Kochi
Open/9:00 – 23:00, Open at 7:00 on Sundays *Opening times may vary at each shop.
Closed/on New Year’s Day, and randomly closed about 6 days in a year *Closing days may vary at each shop.

Spot 11

“Monet’s Garden Marmottan” is Just like a beautiful painting. (Kitagawa-mura, Aki-gun, Kochi)


This garden was literally created with the garden in Giverny in France as a model, which Claude Monet loved.
The combination of water lilies and the various colors on the water surface, plus the tint of light and the surrounding flowers seem to echo the scenery which used to inspire Monet.

Monet’s Garden Marmottan
Address/1100, Ko, Notomo, Kitagawa-mura, Aki-gun, Kochi
Open/9:00 – 17:00
Closed/Tuesdays (opens for national holidays) ※Not closed on Tuesdays between April and June./Closed for maintenance from December 1st 2020 to February 28th 2021.
Admission fee/Adults 730 yen

Spot 12

A unique exhibition at “Muroto Aquarium in a Former School” (Muroto-shi, Kochi)


This closed elementary school is now used as an aquarium.
More than 1,000 fish of 50 kinds are on display here, and most of them were caught by local fishermen or the aquarium staff.
You might be surprised at the exhibition, which uses an outdoor pool and some vaulting horses.

Muroto Aquarium in a Former School
Address/533-2, Murotomisaki-cho, Muroto-shi, Kochi
Open/9:00 – 18:00(closed at 17:00 between October and March)
Admission fee/Adults 600 yen

Spot 13

Staying at “Kitagawamura Onsen Yuzu-no-Yado” (Kitagawa-mura, Aki-gun, Kochi)


This inn’s guest rooms are all facing the river, so you can enjoy the beautiful view.
The hot spring is known to be good for the skin because of its mild and thick alkalescent spring water quality.
The hot spring water flows straight from the source.
Refresh yourself with a hot bath!

Kitagawamura Onsen Yuzu-no-Yado
Address/121, Koshima, Kitagawa-mura, Aki-gun, Kochi

Nankoku IC to Susaki-higashi IC

Spot 14

Wonderful driving on the “Shikoku Karst” (Kochi and Ehime Prefectures)


Ehime and Kochi Prefectural Road 383 crosses the “Shikoku Karst,” and this route is called “the road in the sky.”
This is a very popular and classic driving road and you will be surprised at the wonderful views.
*The road might be closed in winter due to snow coverage.

Spot 15

A tremendous 360-degree view at “Tengukogen Highlands” (Tsuno-cho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi)


“Tengukogen Highlands” is located at the highest point on the plateau of the “Shikoku Karst”, and this is also the prefectural boundary between Kochi and Ehime Prefecture.
You can see a great panoramic 360-degree view of the beautiful mountain range and the sky from the small observation platform on the top.

Tengukogen Highlands
Address/Otsu, Yoshiuno, Tsuno-cho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi


Spot 16

You can see the great craftsmanship at “Garyu-sanso.” (Ozu-shi, Ehime)


Hijikawa is the biggest river in Ehime Prefecture, and the number one picturesque spot on the river is “Garyu-fuchi.”
“Garyu-sanso” (the villa) is standing along a pool in the river, and it is said a masterpiece of sukiya style architecture (an architectural style based on the style of a Japanese tea ceremony building).
Please look closer and feel the craftsmanship in the architectural details, which are scattered in everywhere.

Address/411-2, Ozu, Ozu-shi, Ehime
Open/9:00 – 17:00
Admission fee/Adults 550 yen
Parking lot/Use a parking lot for “Ozu Machi-no-Eki Asamoya”

Ozu IC to Matsuyama IC

Spot 17

Ehime’s local special dish “Tai-meshi” (Ehime Prefecture)


How about having “Tai-meshi” for your lunch?
“Tai-meshi” literally means “seabream and rice” and this is the local specialty dish in Ehime Prefecture.
There are 2 kinds of Tai-meshi.
One is Imabari and Matsuyama Style “Tai-meshi”, where the whole seabream is cooked with rice in a hot pot.
The other one is “Uwajima Tai-meshi”, where a bowl of rice is topped with seabream sashimi soaked with a special sauce mixed with a raw egg.

Tai – Ehime Seafood

Spot 18

The castle in the sky “Matsuyama Castle” (Matsuyama-shi, Ehime)


Matsuyama Castle is built on the top of the 132-meter Katsuyama Mountain.
You can walk to the top from the foot of the mountain, or take a ropeway/chair lift going up to the top.

Matsuyama Castle
Address/Marunouchi, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime

Spot 19

The oldest hot spring in Japan, “Dogo Onsen Honkan” (Matsuyama-shi, Ehime)


Dogo Onsen is well-known as the oldest hot spring in Japan, and the “Dogo Onsen Honkan” building is designated as a National Important Cultural Property for its historical value.
It also won the three stars from the Michelin Green Guide Japan, which is the highest rating in the guidebook.

Dogo Onsen Honkan
Address/5-6, Dogo-yunomachi, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime
Open/6:00 – 23:00
Admission fee/Adults 420 yen *Some spaces in the building are not available due to the maintenance construction

> Dogo Onsen – Steeped in History

Spot 20

“Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu,” an artistic hot spring (Matsuyama-shi, Ehime)


This place, meant to introduce a new hot spring culture, opened in 2017.
You can have an interesting experience here with art, and the atmosphere is totally different from “Dogo Onsen Honkan.”

Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu
Address/19-22, Dogo-yunomachi, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime
Open/6:00 – 23:00
Admission fee/Adults from 610 yen

Spot 21

Staying at inns near the Dogo Onsen area


There are a lot of hotels and inns that use the same water source of Dogo hot spring, other than “Dogo Onsen Honkan” and “Dogo Onsen Annex.”
Find your favorite accommodation on these websites, where you can search according to your requests and conditions.


Spot 22

“Ishite-ji Temple” and its specialty, “Yakimochi” (Matsuyama-shi, Ehime)


You can walk to “Ishite-ji Temple” in around 10-15 minutes from Dogo Onsen, and this temple is one of the Shikoku pilgrimage temples.
After visiting the temple, let’s have a local specialty “yakimochi” a griddled rice cake (mochi) at “Gojuichi-ban Shokudo,” a diner loved by locals.

Ishite-ji Temple
Address/2-9-21, Ishite, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime

> Oyaki: The Famed Treat from Temple No. 51 (Ishite-ji), A Traditional Flavor Unchanged Since Olden Times…

Spot 23

Matsuyama Port to Kure Port


Kure IC to Niho IC

Spot 24

“Miyajima,” the “Royal road” of Hiroshima Sightseeing (Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima)


Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan at Itsukushima Shrine.

“Miyajima” is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Hiroshima (and even Japan).
There are so many spots you have to see, such as “Itsukushima Shrine” which is designated as a world cultural heritage site, its huge Torii-gate which appears to float on the sea, and Misen Mountain.


Spot 25

Oysters, a specialty in Hiroshima (Hatsukaichi-shi and Miyajima, Hiroshima)


Taste delicious oysters which were raised in the beautiful sea.

Now, we introduce you 2 plans, for flights returning to Taiwan and Hong Kong.


Hatsukaichi IC to Kochi IC

Spot 26

“Sankei-en” (Mihara-shi, Hiroshima)

DAY5 – Plan for Taiwan flights

“Sankei-en” is a Japanese garden, and it is only 3 minutes on foot from Hiroshima Airport.

Sankeien Garden

Spot 27

“Hattendo Sweet Bun Workshop” (Mihara-shi, Hiroshima)

DAY 5 – Plan for Taiwan flights

You can experience making some cream buns, which are very famous and popular products from “Hattendo”!


Spot 28

Staying at “Forest Hills Garden”

DAY 5 – Plan for Taiwan flights

Rent a whole cottage and get the perfect private relaxation space for your last night in Hiroshima.

Or, if you stay at Airport Hotel, it only takes 5 minutes to get to the airport on foot.

ForestHils Garden

Spot 29

Leaving from Hiroshima Airport (at 9:00)

DAY 6 – Plan for Taiwan flights

The following is the plan for Hong Kong flights

car: Miyajima: Hatsukaichi IC to Kochi IC, ferry: Tadanoumi Port to Okunojima *Please note the time of last ferry and don’t miss it.

Spot 30

“Okunoshima” (Takehara-shi, Hiroshima)

DAY 5 – Plan for Hong Kong flights

More than 900 rabbits will welcome you!
Do some cycling on the island and refresh yourself.


Takehara Hiroshima Tourism Guide

Spot 31

Staying at “Kyukamura Okunoshima” (Okunoshima, Tadanoumi-cho, Takehara-shi)

DAY 5 – Plan for Hong Kong flights

You can have nice meal made from Setouchi seafood and organic vegetables, and relax yourself in a hot spring.

Kyukamura Okunoshima

Spot 32

“Takehara Townscape Preservation District” (Takehara-shi, Hiroshima)

DAY 6 – Plan for Hong Kong flights

The last spot of the trip is Takehara, with a stroll on the streets and the beautiful townscape a.k.a. “Little Kyoto in Aki.”

Takehara Hiroshima Tourism Guide

Spot 33

Leaving from Hiroshima Airport

DAY 6 – Plan for Hong Kong flights

Isn’t this a fascinating plan for you?
If you follow the route in this article, you only have to pay 7,100 yen for 4 days of SEP.
You can save 1,840 yen from the regular toll of 8,940 yen (not using an ETC card) for 4 days, from the second day in Kagawa to the fifth day in Hiroshima!

The driving routes which we have recommended are a total of 3 plans (there are other 2 routes).
Please check all of them and enjoy a road trip using SEP service in San’in, Setouchi, and Shikoku.

> A continual stream of natural beauty which will make your heart tremble! The eastern drive route covers the best viewing spots in Okayama, Hyogo, and Tokushima
> Visiting the well-known “power spots” where mystical energy flows! This northern drive route visits temples, shrines, and cultural heritage sites in Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi

You can take a road trip in San’in, Setouchi, and Shikoku in Japan with a discounted toll service.

Cherry blossoms in spring, the sea in summer, the fall colors in autumn, and snow in winter….
Japan has beautiful scenery, and you can cherish each place as it changes its expression from season to season.
If you would like to see various photogenic spots and ease your body and mind during your travels in Japan, then visiting San’in, Setouchi, and Shikoku area by car will be the best way!

But maybe you are concerned about the expressways tolls?
Well, don’t worry.
Let’s use a service called the “San’in-Setouchi-Shikoku Expressway Pass (SEP),” provided by “NEXCO WEST,” which is the company that has jurisdiction over expressways in western Japan.
SEP is a flat-rate expressway toll service good for 3 to 10 days!
With this in mind, you can feel free to plan a road trip in the San’in, Setouchi, and Shikoku areas, right?

> You can use the expressways with a flat-rate toll! Take a “road trip” in San’in, Setouchi, and Shikoku with this good value for tolls on expressways. / San’in-Setouchi-Shikoku Expressway Pass

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