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Lonely Planet names Japan’s Shikoku top travel region to visit in 2022

After the pandemic, visit Shikoku to enjoy the natural beauty of the island.

TOKYO, JAPAN – Lonely Planet,  has ranked Japan’s Shikoku sixth in the regional category of its “Best in Travel 2022” list of recommended travel destinations for 2022.

The island’s stunning Iya Valley, rugged Pacific coastline, mountain ranges and gorgeous free-flowing rivers all beckon to be explored with many nature activities such as hiking, kayaks, surfboards. Also, it is home to the 88 sacred sites of Shikoku, the most famous pilgrimage in Japan. Tokushima, Kochi, Matsuyama, and Takamatsu offer secluded temples, historic castles and gardens, delicious local cuisine, and modern delights. After the pandemic, visit Shikoku to enjoy the natural beauty of the island.

Shikoku is home to many tourist attractions such as hot springs and natural scenery, but the Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage has been rapidly gaining popularity in recent years. The pilgrimage is approximately 1,200 km long and is one of the few looped pilgrimage routes (not trails) in the world.

Tokushima Prefecture
Ryozenji Temple
This is the first stop on the “Shikoku Pilgrimage,” a tour of 88 temples on Shikoku in connection with Kobo Daishi, the founder of the Shingon Buddhism. It takes about two months to make a complete circuit of the four prefectures of Shikoku on foot.

Kagawa Prefecture
Goshoji Temple
This is the 78th sacred site on the Shikoku pilgrimage route. The temple was once located below the port of Utazu, which prospered as a port town.

Ehime Prefecture
Kaiganzan Iwayaji Temple
As the 45th of 88 sacred places in Shikoku, it is located on the historic sacred mountain. Surrounded by towering rock walls and a primeval sawtooth oak forest, the temple grounds have been designated a national scenic beauty spot. In addition, Kobo Daishi-do Hall was designated as a national important cultural property in 2007.

Kochi Prefecture
Tosa Kokubunji Temple
For over 1,200 years, this temple has been surrounded by rich and quiet forests and has carved out a long and storied history.

It was first built in 741 by Gyoki (668-748) at the request of the 45th Emperor of Japan, in the best location in Shikoku.

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