Saturday, 31 October 2015

Shikoku 3-Day Itinerary: Day One

Read Day 1 here - Uzu no michi, Mount Bizan
Read Day 2 here - Iya Valley, Oboke Gorge
Read Day 3 here - Kochi Castle, Ritsurin Garden

We were able to explore three prefectures in Shikoku (四国) over three days. Shikoku is one of the four main islands of Japan. Departing from Sannomiya Station in Kobe, we took a bus to Naruto koenguchi (鳴門公園口) where the whirlpools are. We took Shinki Bus which took 78 minutes and cost 2280 yen one way for advance purchase at the conbini.

Naruto Bridge
The bus dropped us off by 10:15am and a lady at the tourist booth told us that the next tidal change was at 11:30am. Since we had more than an hour to wait, we opted for the promotion which was 900 yen for entrance to the museum and Uzu no michi. The museum was small but informative about the whirlpools and famous bridges in Japan and around the world.

Interactive parts of the museum
Uzu no michi (渦の道) was a walkway under the Naruto Bridge and had glass flooring so tourists can see the whirlpool in action below. I was mesmerized as the water swirled stronger and stronger as it approached 11:30am. The colour was a bright blue mixed with navy and pictures did not do it justice. I have heard that some people were disappointed by the Naruto Whirlpools but I think that it is just important to check the high and low tide times of each day to see them at their height of action.

Uzu no michi
Whirlpools forming under my feet
Uzu no michi
A short walk away from the bridge, down a flight of stairs behind the museum was the bus stop for heading to Tokushima (徳島). The ride took a little over an hour and cost 710 yen one way.

After dropping our things off at our hotel in Tokushima, we headed to Mount Bizan (眉山) with the intention of riding the ropeway up to see the sunset and night view (1200 yen round trip). However, there happened to be an anime festival that weekend and the queue for the ropeway was at least 1.5 hours long because there was an event on Mount Bizan.

On the hike up Mount Bizan
View of Tokushima City from Mount Bizan
Instead of waiting, we opted to hike up the mountain. It took about 45 minutes and most of the trail were rocks or tree roots. Only the beginning and end of the trail had proper stairs. I actually preferred the rocky trail because it was less tiring than stairs.

Sunset from Mount Bizan
The view at the top was great! We could see far out into the city and the sunset were gorgeous shades of crimson and orange descending behind the shadowy mountains. The queue going down the mountain was pretty long as well so we began our hike down before nightfall since it was not lit. We did not get to see the the night view but the beautiful sunset made up for it.

Read Day 1 here - Uzu no michi, Mount Bizan
Read Day 2 here - Iya Valley, Oboke Gorge
Read Day 3 here - Kochi Castle, Ritsurin Garden
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