四国  Spiritual Shikoku Island – Kochi Prefecture  13 days/12 Nights

Shikoku is known as “Spiritual Island” because of the famous Shikoku pilgrimage “Ohenrosan”. There are 88 “official” temples across the entire island of Shikoku, not to mention the numerous other sacred sites where Ku-kai (who opened and spread the Shingon sect of Buddhism) is believed to have trained or have spent time during the 9th century. However, Kochi alone is home to a full sixteen of the 88 temples, making for a convenient ohenro-san experience across the prefecture.

Kochi prefecture is comprises the south western part of Island facing the Pacific Ocean. Most of the province is mountainous and in only a few areas such as around Kochi city and Nakamura city is there a coastal plain. People in Kochi say there is nothing in Kochi. However, I have to say that it is not true. You will find Kochi’s rich natural bounty across its sea, rivers and forests to be explored. Kochi is indisputably a sightseeing mecca!!

Possibly the most famous person hailing from Kochi is Sakamoto Ryoma. Ryoma was a samurai, statesman and also a businessperson who worked diligently on modernizing Japan during the tail end of Edo period. Ryoma is a much admired historical figure in Japan. He stands proudly, in edifice, at the square in front of JR Kochi Station.

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Day 1 Central Region: Kochi City

Welcome to Kochi prefecture!!

You will be met by your private tour guide at Kochi Ryoma Airport, escorted to your awaiting private car, and transferred to a luxurious hotel in the city of Kochi. Your fourteen days Spiritual Shikoku Island Tour will begin in Kochi prefecture’s central region.

Upon arriving Kochi, you will see many trams running up and down the town. Why not take a trip by tram to explore some of the city’s sightseeing spots? You can then easily take an evening walk to Hirome Ichiba Market, where lots of local people gather alongside many tourists from prefectures near and far. The festivities last from morning to late evening.

How have we gotten this far without talking about food? You absolutely must give “katsuo tataki” a try. This famous traditional cuisine of Kochi is prepared by searing bonito fish filet briefly, and then seasoned and dressing it with thinly sliced green onion or myoga (Japanese ginger). And there are more delicious local cuisines where that came from!

*Tour can be started in Tokyo or Kyoto or any other desitinations before Shikoku Island.

*The tour offers a special opportunity to stay with local farm families! It’s also a popular destination for kids too!

Stay at Kochi city

Our suggesting hotels & Ryokan: Sansuien

Kochi City. Click to see the photo.
Hirome-Ichiba Market. Click to see the photo.

Day 2 Kochi City

One Day tour around city of Kochi : On your second day in Kochi, you will explore the city of Kochi!

You will be met your Tour Escort and private vehicle at your hotel and explore the City of Kochi including Kochi Castle, Makino botanical garden and Chikurin-ji temple on Mt. Godai and Katsurahama Beach

Visit Tosa Tataki Dojo where you can experience searing your own Katsuo-no-tataki. Watch as the straw-fed flames sear and smoke the fish.

・ Ohenro-san (pilgrim) experience:
Zenraku-ji Temple (No. 30)
Chikurin-ji Temple (No. 31).

 Procedure of worship

1.We bow at the main gate of a Buddhist temple (Deva gate)
2.We rinse out hand and mouth using washroom (grow)
(we rinse out mouth with the left hand, the right hand, water of the left hand)
3.We hit bell on bell tower
(we say “return bell” after worship, and there is before worship by all means as it is unlucky. ※Only in the label place to attach bell to)
4.We put charm in the main hall of a Buddhist temple
5.We raise candle and incense stick, money offering
6.We join our hands and chant sutra (we agree in Daishido)
7.We pay rate in copied sutra place and have red seal in copied sutra book
8.When we go out of the main gate of a Buddhist temple, we bow and leave

Kochi Castle. Click to see the photo.
Chikurin-ji Temple. Click to see the photo.

Day 3 Cape Muroto in Eastern Region

One Day tour Eastern Region in Kochi : Meet your Tour Escort and private vehicle at your hotel. You will head to Cape Muroto in Eastern Kochi.

You can experience the activities include Sea Kayak and so on. If you are interested Japanese famouse Animation, you must visit Ampanman Museum which is one of the Japanese popular Animation films.

・ Ohenro-san (pilgrim) experience:
Hotsumisaki-ji Temple (No. 24)
Shinsho-ji Temple (No. 25)
Kongocho-ji Temple (No. 26)

Stay overnight in Muroto.

Our suggesting hotel : Hoshino Resort in Cape Muroto

 

Cape Muroto. Click to see the photo.
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Cape Muroto. Click to see the photo.

Day 4 Eastern Region

One Day tour Estern Region in Kochi : Meet your Tour Escort and private vehicle at your hotel. Today you will visit Dolphin center to meet the Dolphin Trainers and swim with Dolphins. Let’s also meet Marine Turtles in Ohama coast in Muroto.

After exploring Eastern region, head to the Farm House in Ino-cho, village in North Central Region and stay at a traditional farm house.

・ Ohenro-san (pilgrim) experience:
Konomine-ji Temple (No. 27)
Dainichi-ji Temple (No. 28)
Kokubun-ji Temple (No. 29)

Stay at a farm house in Inocho.

Muroto. Click to see the photo.

Day 5  A traditional farm stays in rural Japan

It’s your second day in Ino-cho, located in North Central Kochi! Ino-cho is a natural paradise, a palace of Big Nature studded with nature parks and waterfalls.

Some 90% of its area is wooded, with many villages clinging to steep slopes. But there’s nothing imposing about the people, as Kochi people are known for their friendliness! They are very approachable and easy to make friends with. Your tour guide will facilitate, helping you to discover just how great the people here are.

The Greatest Experiences in Ino-cho :
In SPRING (April – June)
Experience Sumiyaki (Charcoal Making), Soba-uchi (Soba noodle Making), Katsuo-no-tataki, Taue (Rice Planting), Fishing

In SUMMER (July – September)
Inekari (Rice harvest), Hotaru gari (Catching Fireflies), Kawa asobi (Enjoy the river), Yasaishukaku (Harvest the vegetables), Swimming pool, Konchusaishu (Insect collecting)

In AUTUMN (October – December)
Yama aruki (Tramping), Shiitakekari (Collect Shiitake Mushrooms), Inekari (Rice harvest), Mochitsuki (Rice cake making)

In WINTER (January – March)
Yasai shukaku (Harvest the vegetables), Yuki Asobi (Play in the snow), Mochitsuki (Rice cake making)

In All year around (January – December)
Yasaizukuri (Growing Vegetables), Tsukemonotukuri (Making Japanese pickle), Shizen ochatumi (Wild Tea Picking), Hoshigakitukuri (Making Dried Japanese Date Plum (Kaki))

・ Ohenro-san (pilgrim) experience:
Kiyotaki-ji Temple (No. 35)
Shoryu-ji Temple (No. 36)

Rural Japan
Rural Japan. Click to see the photo.

Traditional Japanese Sweets. Click to see the photo.
Rural Japan in Inocho, Kochi prefecture
Rural Japan in Inocho, Kochi prefecture

Day 6 So-called Japan’s last pristine river, The Shimanto River

After Ino cho, you will head for Shimanto River with your Guide.

The 196-kilometer Shimanto River is said to be the last clear stream of Japan and it is also the longest in Shikoku Island. People have resided by this river for long, running their everyday lives always beside it in pace with the pastoral time of the nature.
The entirety of the region where it flows is designated as an important cultural scenery of the country. Shimanto Time passes by softly and gently, just as it is does over the surface of its fresh waters.

Experience Japan in the traditional Yakatabune (pleasure boat) as you slowly drift through the river. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and Shimanto’s chinkabashi (flood bridge) while eating Shimanto’s best bento lunch box.

Stay three nights at Hotel or Ryokan in Shimanto.
Our suggesting Hotels : Hotel Seira Shimanto, Shimanto Iyashi no Sato

Shimanto River. Click to see the photo.

Day 7 Shimanto River

Today you’ll enjoy outdoor sports on Shimanto River! Try your hand at kayaking, touring by canoe, paddling a Canadian canoe, rafting, bicycle riding, and even tree climbing. On the gentler path, there is also many a nice forest walk to be had, along with other great activities! Your tour guide will be by your side, assisting you as needed.

Suggesting Hotel: Hotel Seira Shimanto, Shimanto Iyashi no Sato

luxury-travel-japan-cr-travel-shimanto-river
Shimanto River. Click to see the photo.

Day 8 Shimanto Area

Today you will be met a local guide and visit Little Kyoto in Tosa.

About Nakamura “Little Kyoto” of Tosa
The townscape was modeled on Kyoto, spread out in a grid like manner, and also given famous street names such as Gion, Kyomachi, Kamogawa, and Higashiyama – all famous places from the real Kyoto. It was therefore just a short matter of time before this area came to be called the “Little Kyoto of Tosa.” You’ll enjoy a relaxing walk through the streets and visit the many historical sites as you trace back the times and relive history.

・ Ohenro-san (pilgrim) experience:
Iwamoto-ji Temple (No. 37)

A village for Sake brewing in Shimanto region. Click to see the photo.
Kochi's Little Kyoto
Kochi’s Little Kyoto

Day 9 Cape Ashizuri, Southernmost tip of Shikoku Island

Today you head for Cape Ashizuri. A two kilometer walking path follows the coastline and around the lighthouse, with the Ashizuri Observatory and the Tengu-Nose Observatory also along the way. These vantage points offer a view of not only the lighthouse and the Pacific Ocean, but also of the arc of the distant horizon. Such wide open spaces! You’ll also witness the power and beauty of the Japan Jetstream’s waters as they make their closest approach to land, crashing onto the rocks below. Nearby is the Hakusan Do-mon, a 16-meter-high, 17-meter-wide rock arch. The pounding waves of the Pacific have carved out a donut hole, thus forming this gorgeous natural landscape. Embarking on a sunset cruise is a perfect end to this day.

Stay at Nest West Garden Tosa, Irino Beach.

・ Ohenro-san (pilgrim) experience:
Kongofuku-ji Temple (No. 38)

Cape Ashizuri. Click to see the photo.

Day 10 Okino-shima Island

Explore Okino-shima Island / Uguru-shima Island / Hime-jima Island by chartered boat. You can enjoy a multitude of marine sports here, including diving, snorkeling, fishing, and more. The water’s clarity truly is a sight to behold, enabling you to have up-close encounters with coral, various tropical fish, and large-sized migratory fish. All levels of from beginner to veteran can enjoy this aquatic wonderland. After Okino-shima Island, stay at a hotel in front of the Irino Beach.

・ Ohenro-san (pilgrim) experience:
Enko-ji Temple (No. 39)

Stay at Nest West Garden Tosa, Irino Beach.

Sea side in Kochi prefecture. Click to see the photo.

Day 11 Kamikoya in Yusuhara-cho, the village in Northwest Region

This morning, you’ll head to solitary house in the midst of mountains in Yusuhara village. You will stay overnight at Kamikoya Guest House and experience the life in the mountains.

About Kamikoya

Kamikoya is a small family-run Guest House, located in the mountains, Yusuharacho in South Western Kochi. Mr. Rogier Uitenboogaart is the owner of Kamikoya who came from Netherlands in 1980. He has been making handmade Japanese paper (Tosa Washi) and you can experience to make Tosa Washi.

Kamikoya in Yusuhara-cho. Click to see the photo.
Rural charm in Yusuhara. Click to see the photo.

Day 12 Yusuhara-cho

Spend all the morning at Kamikoya and Yusuhara-cho and go back to Kochi city in the afternoon.

About Yusuhara-cho

The town of Yusuhara-cho is called a town above the clouds. The tiers of the terraced rice field in this town are very spread apart and you can enjoy the imposing view of such a tall structure. This magnificent structure was created by the pioneers who carried stones from the river far below and piled them up the mountain one by one. (Kanzaiko Tanada).

Yusuhara-cho is also famous for the architectural structures of the internationally well-known architect Kuma Kengo. He designed Yusuhara Town Hall. The square shaped town hall with its wooden constructions impresses viewers the environmental friendliness of Yusuhara.

You will stayover in Kochi City tonight and experience traditional regional cuisine “Sawachi-Ryori” for dinner.

A bridge with atmosphere in Yusuhrara-cho. Click to see the photo.

Day 13 Kochi – Osaka or Tokyo… Departure

Meet the Travel Escort and leave Kochi Airport for Osaka or Tokyo International Airport.

・ Ohenro-san (pilgrim) experience:
Tanema-ji Temple (No. 34)
Sekkei-ji Temple (No. 33)
Zenjibu-ji Temple (No. 32)

 

Kochi Castle. Click to see the photo.

 

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If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at +81-80-3310-3620 or send your message to contact@luxury-travel-japan.com

Tour Price will be based on a hotel room you selected, transfers, private behicle/driver, English-speaking private tour escort, specialized field guide, travel insurance, activities and entrance fees, breakfast at hotel and lunches while touring. (Room prices at ryokan typically include breakfast and dinner taken in the room or a dining hall.) Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Some personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, and spa treatments can be paid on each spot. Price will be depending on season and choice of accommodation.

The average price of this tour for one: USD 990 a day.


Travel with Kids:

We offer fun tours as you can enjoy journey along with children.
We can also arrange nursery teacher, doctor, nurse, and so on for you.

Your first, no obligation step starts here.

 

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