Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Osaka Castle-Japan-1398125-P

Hiker's Journey to Shikoku

Wilderness Travel
5.0 . Excellent
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
13 days
From: $ 7,895 $ 607 / day
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  • Day hikes to the legendary temples of Shikoku
  • Explore the traditional Iya Valley, with its thatched houses and vine bridges
  • Meet pilgrims and hikers, sample Shikoku’s delicious fresh seafood with elusive umami—the “fifth taste”
  • Kochi Castle and Matsuyama-jo, two of the most famous original castles in Japan

Short Description

For 1,200 years, o-henro-san (pilgrims) have walked the 88-temple pilgrimage route across Shikoku Island, following in the footsteps of the great 8th century Buddhist saint Kobo Daishi. We’ve selected the most beautiful temples—and hikes—to create a captivating journey across this legendary isle, with our Trip Leader who literally wrote the book on hiking in Japan. You’ll follow trails between venerated temples, climb Shikoku’s two highest peaks, and discover the remote Iya Valley, a vestige of old Japan with its kazura-bashi (vine bridges) and 300-year-old thatched farmhouses. Cultural adventures abound as well, from a soak in the thousand-year-old Dogo Onsen (hot spring) to stays at a temple lodging and a family-run ryokan in the mountains. Along the way you’ll sample Shikoku’s regional cuisine, including its renowned udon and sakes, and have the chance to meet Japanese pilgrims from all walks of life.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Osaka
End City Osaka



Cities & Attractions

Kochi Osaka

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Trip Includes

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader
  • Accommodations: 11 nights hotels, inns, and ryokans, 1 night temple lodging
  • All meals included
  • Entrance fees for museums and sites as part of the itinerary
  • All ground transportation including chairlifts as needed

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Days 1-4: Osaka / Koyasan Monastery / Temple Hikes

Accommodation: Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport; Ekoin Temple; Hotel Clement Tokushima; Hotel Iya Onsen

At the Koyasan Monastery where Kobo Daishi is buried, pilgrims traditionally request his “support” and we’ll do the same. After getting our pilgrim’s passport (which is stamped at each temple), we boat to Shikoku and begin our pilgrimage at 8th century Ryozen-ji, the first temple of the circuit. We also visit Kakurin-ji, a mountain temple perched 1,500 feet above the sea.

Days 5-10: Iya Valley / Kochi / Matsuyama / Dogo Onsen

Accommodation: Hotel Iya Onsen; Hotel Nikko Kochi Asahi Royal; Shimanto Iyashi No Sato, Yunoyado Sachiya

In the Iya Valley, whose high peaks and deep gorges made it a safe haven for the Heike Clan during the civil wars of the 12th century, we hike up sacred Tsurugi-san (6,412') and to cliff-perched Iwaya-ji Temple, and explore seaside Kochi on foot. In Matsuyama, we visit its feudal-era castle and soak in Dogo Onsen hot springs, dating back a thousand years.

Days 11-13: Kompira-san / Okubo-ji / Awaji Island / Osaka

Accommodation: Kotohira Spa Kotosankaku; Yumekaiyu Awajishima

We visit Zentsu-ji Temple, where Kobo Daishi was born, walk through an underground tunnel that pilgrims must “feel” their way through, then climb the 1,368 steps to the Shinto shrines of Kompira-san, dedicated to sailors and seafarers. Our final stop is Temple 88, the last temple on the pilgrimage trail, known as the Temple of the Completion of the Vow. The stone in front of the temple is said to be where Kobo Daishi left his walking staff. After an overnight on Awaji Island, known in Japanese folklore as the birthplace of Japan, we depart on Day 13 via Osaka.


Checking price
Price From $ 7,895
Price Per Day: $ 607 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardSingle StandardAvailability 
Oct-05-2019Oct-17-2019$ 7,895$ 8,775Limited Reserve
Nov-02-2019Nov-14-2019$ 7,895$ 8,775Limited Reserve
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 880

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Wilderness Travel.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Max 12 members

Trip ID#:


Trip Excludes

  • International airfare, airport transfers
  • Optional gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors
  • Pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas
  • Other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)

Meals Included:

All meals included

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