Shikoku Self Guided Hiking
Japan 7 days ex Kyoto

The Land of the Rising Sun offers much more to see than the bright  lights of Tokyo. Far west, over the Inland Sea, the island of  Shikoku
offers some of Japan's best-kept hiking secrets. Famous for  its scenic mountains, quiet rural villages, and ancient Shingon  Buddhist
pilgrimage route (the 88 day circuit that takes 4-6 weeks to cover on foot), Shikoku is a fabulous destination for an off-the-beaten-track hiking

This six day self guided trip summits up three sacred mountains, visits secluded Buddhist temples, passes through mountain villages, and
gives you the chance to soak in ancient hot spring baths. With your route and accommodation organized for you in advance, all you need are
your walking shoes and a sense of adventure. As well as detailed trail maps with local history and restaurant suggestions, we can also
organize fully guided tours of the area and, in Kyoto, help you do take part in some of the great activities on offer - cooking schools, tea
ceremony classes, calligraphy lessons and much more - you tell us what you would like to do!
Trip Details
Day 1 Arrive Kyoto
Arrive in Kyoto and transfer by train to our hotel.  Your local guide will meet you at a prearranged time to answer
any questions you may have about the trip and take you on a walking tour of this beautiful city.

Day 2 Matsuyama then transfer to mountain cottage
You make an early start this morning to travel by bullet train and express train from Kyoto to the island of
Shikoku. The smallest of Japan's four main islands, rural and mountainous Shikoku sees few visitors. You're
free to spend the afternoon exploring the charming city of Matsuyama, famous for its hot springs and relaxed
pace of life, or walking along the seashore in this coastal city before heading in the mountains by bus.

Day 3 Hike Mt Ishizuchi
You head further into the mountains from Kuma Kogen village to Omoge Gorge, where you shoulder your
daypacks and hike up Mt Ishizuchi, the highest mountain on Shikoku. It's an eight hour climb to the summit,
where, after a challenging climb you'll enjoy some stunning and well-earned views of the surrounding mountain
ranges and the Seto Inland Sea. You stay tonight in a simple mountain hut near the summit.

Day 4 Hike and transfer to Iya Valley
You'll descend the opposite side of Mt Ishizuchi today, heading down towards Yokomineji Temple. One of the
more secluded temples on the 1200-year-old Shikoku 88 Temples Pilgrimage route, peaceful Yokomineji is the
perfect spot for picnic lunch. You'll reach the village of Komatsu on the Seto Inland Sea this afternoon and from
there transfer by train and bus (2 hours) to the isolated Iya Valley. A remote region located deep in the
mountains of central Shikoku, the Iya Valley is famous for its dramatic scenery and unique cultural traditions.

Day 5 Mt Tsurugi dayhike
You'll head out early this morning for a full-day hike.  You first climb Mt Miune, then follow a ridge trail across to
Mt Tsurugi and down to the hamlet of Minokoshi before transferring by private car back to the Iya Valley.  Feel
free to stop along the way to explore some of the ancient vine bridges that the region is famous for.

Day 6 Return to Kyoto
You have the option of taking it slow this morning, enjoying a quiet riverside walk, or taking it a bit faster and
going whitewater rafting through Koboke gorge on the Yoshino River.  After lunch, you'll head back to Kyoto by
bus, express train, and bullet train, arriving in the late afternoon.

Day 7 Depart Kyoto
Do some last minute sightseeing, souvenir shopping or just relax before departing Kyoto.
Kyoto sightseeing,
Geisha, Rural Japan,