Spiritual Shikoku Island

Chikurin-ji Temple in Kochi

Spiritual Shikoku Island, Kochi Prefecture: 10 Dyas/9 Nights

Take a journey with us through the sacred land of Shikoku’s Kochi Prefecture. 

Shikoku is known as “Spiritual Island” because of a famous Buddhist pilgrimage called “Ohenro-san”. 

There are 88 pilgrimage temples across the island—not to mention numerous sacred sites where Kukai (a monk also known as Kobo Daishi who founded Koyasan and the Shingon sect of Buddhism) is believed to have visited during the 9th century.

There are 4 prefectures across the island of Shikoku, but Kochi Prefecture is where we host our spiritual journey. 

Kochi consists of the southwestern part of the island facing the Pacific Ocean. Most of the province is mountainous; in areas such as Kochi City and Nakamura City is a lovely coastal plain. Kochi alone is home to a full sixteen of the 88 temples, making for a convenient Ohenro-san pilgrimage.

People from Kochi say there is nothing to do in Kochi. I have to say that it is not true. Kochi’s rich natural bounty—its sea, rivers, mountains, and forests—is waiting to be explored. Kochi is indisputably a natural sightseeing mecca!

The most famous person hailing from Kochi is Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-1867). Ryoma was a samurai, statesman, and businessperson who helped modernize Japan during the tail end of Edo period (1603-1868). Ryoma is a much admired historical figure in Japan. He stands proudly, in edifice, at the square in front of JR Kochi Station.

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 or ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) in the city of Kochi. 

Upon arriving, you’ll notice many trams running up and down the town’s streets. Why not take a trip by tram to explore some of the city’s sightseeing spots?

You can then take an evening stroll to Hirome Ichiba Market, where locals shop alongside 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 local cuisine is prepared by briefly searing bonito fish filet before seasoning and dressing it with thinly sliced green onion or myoga (Japanese ginger). There are more delicious local foods where that came from!

*Tour can start in Tokyo or Kyoto or any other Japan destination.

*This tour offers a special opportunity to do a farm stay! It’s an especially popular destination for kids! Contact us for more details. 

Suggested lodging: Sansuien

Kochi, Shikoku Island Luxury Travel Japan
Kochi City
Luxury Travel Japan in Shikoku
Hirome-Ichiba Market

Day 2: Kochi City

On your second day in Kochi Prefecture, you will explore the capital city of Kochi!

Your tour escort will meet you at your hotel. Together you’ll explore Kochi by private car, including Kochi Castle, Makino Botanical Garden, Chikurin-ji Temple on Mt Godai, and Katsurahama Beach.

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

Ohenro-san pilgrimage experience

We will explore two of the 88 Ohenro-san pilgrimage temples:

Zenraku-ji Temple (No. 30)
Chikurin-ji Temple (No. 31)

Procedure of worship

 

  1. Bow at the main gate
  2. Rinse hands and mouth
  3. Ring the bell
  4. Place a charm in the main hall
  5. Light a candle and/or incense stick, and make a money offering
  6. Join our hands and chant sutras
  7. Pay to get a red seal in sutra book
  8. Bow once more at the gate before leaving
Kochi Castle
Kochi Castle
Chikurin-ji Temple in Kochi, Shikoku Island
Chikurin-ji Temple

Day 3: Cape Muroto in Eastern Region

Today, you’ll tour the Eastern Region of Kochi!

After meeting your Tour Escort and private vehicle at your hotel, you will head to Cape Muroto in Eastern Kochi.

You can experience many outdoor activities here, including Sea Kayak!

If you are interested famous Japanese animations, you must visit the Ampanman Museum, which is based around one of the most popular anime ever!

Ohenro-san pilgrim experience:

Hotsumisaki-ji Temple (No. 24)
Shinsho-ji Temple (No. 25)
Kongocho-ji Temple (No. 26)

You will stay overnight in Muroto.

Our suggested hotel: Hoshino Resort in Cape Muroto

Cape Muroto Kochi Shikoku Island
Cape Muroto
Cape Muroto Luxury Travel Japan Tours
Cape Muroto

Day 4: "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. The entirety of the region where it flows is designated as an important cultural scenery of the country.

People have resided by this river for a long time, running their everyday lives always beside it in pace with the pastoral time of the nature.
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.

You’ll stay three nights at Hotel or Ryokan in Shimanto.

Our suggested lodging: Hotel Seira Shimanto, Shimanto Iyashi no Sato

Shimanto River
Shimanto River
River Shimanto
Chinka-bashi bridge over Shimanto River

Day 5: Shimanto River Sports

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.

Shimanto River canoeing

Day 6: Cape Ashizuri, Southernmost Tip of Shikoku Island

Today you head for Cape Ashizuri

A two kilometer walking path follows the coastline and around a 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.

You’ll stay at Nest West Garden Tosa, Irino Beach.

Ohenro-san pilgrim experience:

Kongofuku-ji Temple (No. 38)

Turtle Stone in Cape Ashizuri National Park
Turtle Stone (Kame-ishi) in Cape Ashizuri National Park
Cape Ashizuri
Cape Ashizuri

Day 7: Okino-shima Island

Explore Okino-shima Island, Uguru-shima Island, and 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, you’ll stay at a hotel in front of the Irino Beach.

Ohenro-san pilgrim experience:

Enko-ji Temple (No. 39)

Kochi Beach
Kochi seaside

Day 8: Kamikoya in Yusuhara-cho, a village in the Northwest Region

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

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

Luxuy Travel Japan Kochi Yusuhara
View from Kamikoya Guest House

Day 9: Yusuhara-cho

Spend all morning at Kamikoya in Yusuhara-cho before going back to Kochi City in the afternoon.

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.

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

Kengo Kuma's works in Yusuhara Town
Yusuhara Town Hall, One of the Kengo Kuma Works in Yusuhara town
Comunity Market in Yusuhara by Architenct Kengo Kuma
Community Market in Yusuhara Town by Architect Kuma Kengo

Day 10: Departure

Meet your Travel Escort and leave Kochi Airport for Osaka or Tokyo International Airport, or to your next destination.

Ohenro-san pilgrim experience:

Tanema-ji Temple (No. 34)
Sekkei-ji Temple (No. 33)
Zenjibu-ji Temple (No. 32)

Chikurinji Temple in Kochi
Chikurinji Temple in Kochi city

Travel With Kids

We offer exciting tours that can be enjoyed along with your children.

We can also arrange for child care, as well as a doctor or nurse should the unfortunate need arise.

Our Pricing

The total tour cost will be based on the hotel rooms you have selected, and include transfers, a private vehicle with driver, an English-speaking private tour escort, specialized field guides, travel insurance, activities and entrance fees, and breakfast at the hotel. (Room prices at ryokans typically include breakfast and dinner in the room, or in some cases in the hotel’s dining room.) 

Optional special activities will be quoted separately. 

Some personal expenses, including lunches, dinners, alcoholic beverages, and spa treatments will need to be directly paid at the time of consumption. 

Prices may vary depending on the season and chosen level of accommodation.

The approximate price of this tour: JPY 1,700,000 and up for two people.

Planning a trip to Japan?

Don’t just plan a trip. Create a life-changing, luxurious adventure.

Luxury means different things to different people. It could be a lavish hotel room, a fine restaurant, high-end shopping, one-of-a-kind experiences, exploring one’s personal interests without impediment, or even something intangible. 

Let us know your top trip priorities by applying for your initial itinerary proposal. We have prepared a host of suggested itineraries for your consideration and inspiration, but all trips can be modified to best suit your needs. Made exactly as you like it, naturally.

Tokyo Tower Tour
Classic & Modern Tokyo
Itsukushima-jinja Shrine in Miyajima, Hiroshima
Central Honshu & Hiroshima
Shikoku pilgrimage (to the 88 temples)
Spiritual Shikoku Island
Hokkaido Tour Luxury Travel Japan
The Best of Summer in Hokkaido
Mt. Fuji Spring in Japan
Mt Fuji & Atami Onsen
Nikko Samurai and World Heritage Site
Nikko Samurai & World Heritage Tour
Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto
The World Heritage Special: Kyoto & Nara
Shirakawago Luxury Travel Japan Tours
Central & Western Honshu ft Wakayama
Luxury Travel in Kyushu
Kyushi "Onsen" Island
Ise Shrine
Mie Prefecture & Ise Shrine
Hakone Mountain Train
Hakone, Deep Mountain Adventure
Mt. Takao in Tokyo
Mt Takao Sacred Power Spot
Kumano Kodo Trekking Tour
Kumano Kodo Ancient Pilgrimage Trail
Tohoku Festival Luxury Travel Japan
Tohoku, the Great Northeast
Shuri Castle in Okinawa
Okinawa, Japan's Southernmost Resort
Winter Snow in Japan
Powder Snow and Winter Onsen Experience
Kamakura Buddha
Kamakura & Enoshima Island