Visited Shikoku and Kinki – Kobe/Nara/Kyoto/Biwako for koyo (fall foliage) in mid to late November for 2 weeks.
Aerial views of Shikoku prior to landing in KIX
Shortly before landing, plane flew across Shikoku where it looked like to be the mountain ranges in Kochi and Tokushima Prefectures. A Wind farm is on top of the mountain ridge on the right photo.
In KIX, had sushi lunch in one of our fav sushi shops from Osaka/Namba. Before checking in onsen hotel in Kobe/Minato, had a nice cake and coffee in Kobe/Sannomiya.
Dusk till dawn of Kobe harbour from balcony
Stayed overnight in onsen hotel for 3rd time to relax 🙂
On next morning, took Sanyo Shinkansen from Shin-Kobe and change at Okayama for JR express train heading to Shikoku for the first time via the Seto-Ohashi. Arrived at Marugame around noon and pick up car.
Overall driving itin in Shikoku – Marugame > Zentsuji > Shiromine onsen (1N) > Goshiki-dai > Kotohira-gu > Iya valley > Iya onsen (1N) > Kazura-bashi > Oboke/Koboke boat ride > Okuboji > Ritsurin-koen > Takamatsu (2N), including day trip to Sodoshima by ferry.
It was our first visit in Shikoku (Kagawa and Tokushima Prefectures). In general, road traffic is less heavy than in the countryside of Honshu and Kyushu. Locals are nice, lodgings and dining are slightly less expensive.
Marugame Castle (丸龜城)
The Marugame Castle is one of the twelve original castles in Japan. Climb was steep at some points though we were rewarded by nice views of Sanuki-Fuji in the distance. Also bumped into Jugatsu-zakura (October-sakura) and the 47th Marugame Chrysanthemum Festival.
Had late Sanuki-udon lunch in town. It was delicious and inexpensive. Since then, we have been craving for the same elsewhere 🙂
The birthplace of Kobo Daishi, #75 temple in Shikoku 88-temple pilgrimage.
As it was raining, slowly getting dark and cold, we did not stay long and drove back to Shiromine onsen in Sakaide.
literally five-coloured plateau. It has 5 peaks named in 5 different colours. Drove uphill after checking out from onsen hotel, where the Shiromine-ji is closeby.
Nice views of the Seto Inland sea and the Seto-Ohashi in the distance from the observatory.