The birthplace of revered ascetic and founder of the Shingon Buddhist sect Kōbō Daishi (774–835), Shikoku (四国) is synonymous with natural beauty and the pursuit of spiritual perfection. It's home to the 88 Sacred Temples of Shikoku, Japan's most famous pilgrimage.
In Japan's feudal past, the island was divided into four regions; hence the name shi (four) and koku (region). Considered remote and isolated for centuries, Shikoku is now easy to access from Honshū via three impressive bridge systems built in the last three decades.
The island's stunning Iya Valley, rugged Pacific coastline, mountain ranges and gorgeous free-flowing rivers all beckon to be explored with hiking boots, kayaks, surfboards and your own earthly vessel. Your physical incarnation will feast upon the remote temples, historic castles and gardens, excellent regional cuisine and modern pleasures of Tokushima, Kōchi, Matsuyama and Takamatsu.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Shikoku.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Shikoku.