A Quest in Untrodden Shikoku
Explore the secret and difficult-to-reach corners of Shikoku, and island where Japanese traditions, nature and character remain untoched.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
Arrival in Tokushima
Taking advantage of the direct flight from Hong Kong to Shikoku, you immerse yourself into this mysterious island. Due to its historic isolation, it jas retained more of the true character of Japan. This is reflected in nature, where very few exotic species have been introduced. This is also notable in the traditions and crafts, that have been preserved despite all odds. Shikoku is where Japan-ness can be experienced in its purest form.
You make your way to the eaves of the legendary Iya Valley, where so much of what we love about Japan was preserved. The valley is difficult to navigate and to enter, but you expert guides lead you across the historical vine bridges and dense forests. You reach your accommodation for the night, a ryokan surrounded by the peace and tranquility of this inaccessbile corner of Japan. Read more
Trails of Beauty
The Ohenro Pilgrimage is ancient, and long… Traversing much of Shikoku, it is a feat that takes pilgrims to some of the most sacred sites in Japan. However, the most picturesque and beautiful sections are actually quite difficult to get to, and are challenging even to experienced hikers. However, thanks to Blueflower expertise, you can enter the trail with the confidence that you can leave at any moment. At the end of your hike, you return to your ryokan and as you dip your tired legs in the onsen, surrounded by the peace of Shikoku, you are awash in renewal.
Your second day on the Ohenro Trail takes you to sites even more beautiful and, frankly bewildering. Much of what you see hasn’t changed since the Edo Period: from the thatched roofs, to the techniques used to create them. Even the humble sense of pilgrimage is something that you never thought could be encountered in our age. Perhaps you meet a pilgrim or two on the trail, as they appear at the turn of the road, surrounded by mist, a visions of an era long past.
As you leave the remote and inaccessible corners of Shikoku, you pay a visit to the Konpira Shrine. As you ascend the 785 steps to the main shrine, you are inspired by the views of Shikoku’s valleys and the Seto Inland Sea beyond. This is a famous site frequented by tourist. After all, sometimes we must share. Since your legs are hungry for more, you continue upwards to the rear shrine. Most just scratch the surface when it comes to Shikoku, yet you are happy you experienced its heart.