Shikoku is one of Japan’s Big Four islands and is the smallest and the least populated among the four. It is located south of Honshu and east of the island of Kyushu and its name, which means “four countries”, refers to the four former provinces that made up the island: Awa, Tosa, Sanuki, and Iyo. Shikoku is divided into four prefectures: the ones closest to the main island are Ehime and Kagawa, and the other two - Kochi and Tokushima - are facing the Pacific Ocean. A common way to get to Shikoku is by crossing the bridge that connects with the main island by vehicle or train. Or, you could take a ferry there as well. Shikoku is often referred to as a rural backwater with mountainous inner regions that offer good hiking opportunities. They are also known for being home to the 88 Temple Pilgrimage of temples, that is associated with the priest Kūkai and is a 1,647-kilometer (1,023 miles) hike around the entire island. The pilgrims can be seen wearing white jackets emblazoned with the characters “dōgyō ninin”, meaning “two traveling together”, unlike the modern-day ones who travel by bus.
Must-see attractions include the four castles, shrines, gardens and museums. Shikoku is home to four of the twelve original castles in Japan. The island of Shikoku is known for its brilliant amount of charm, natural beauty, history, culture and of course, cuisine. To be able to experience all of that during your stay could be a feat, so the choice of accommodation would always play a huge part. There are quite a number of guesthouses and hotels in Shikoku and each boasts its own charm and amenities. We’ve prepared a full lowdown on where to stay in Shikoku, from guesthouses to hotels and everything in between!
A small cosy guest house with good facilities. Location is close to tram stops and a short walk from the main bus and train station.
The Harimayabashi Guesthouse
Address: 1-6-11, Harimayacho, Kochi-city, Kochi Prefecture (see map)
Price: from 55 USD
Access: Walking distance from the Harimayabashi Tram Station
Owned by an American couple, the Sen Guesthouse is located in the very well-known Dogo hot spring area in Ehime. This guesthouse features Japanese and dormitory style rooms that are spacious and come with air-conditioning, heater, and in most rooms, tatami (woven-straw) flooring and Japanese futon bedding. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property and bathrooms and toilets are shared among the guests. Other facilities include bike rental, traditional Yukata robes, luggage storage and an on-site drink vending machine. There is a common cafe area located in the property where you can interact with the other guests. This guest house is conveniently located at just an 8-minute drive to Matsuyama Castle, a 10-minute walk from Shiki Kinen Museum, and the Ishite Temple, one of the 88 Pilgrimage Temples, is just a 25-minute walk away.
Sen Guesthouse, Ehime
Address: 4-14, Dogotako-cho, Matsuyama-city, Ehime (see map)
Price: from 27 USD
Access: 7-minute walk from Dogo Onsen Train Station
Very nicely situated close to Dogo-onsen. Well equipped kitchen and nice Japanese-Western hotel rooms. Anna
Nodokeya Guesthouse, Mima
Address: 54, Wakamachi Ooaza Wakamachi, Mima-city, Tokushima (see map)
Price: from 117 USD
Access: Nearest airport: Kochi Ryoma Airport
Location, interior, design, and size were all great! Probably one of the best experiences I’ve had with hostels/hotels in Japan. Just like the name says, the room was an actual spacious apartment. Daisuke is awesome; he’s so friendly and helpful! If it’s your first time in Takamatsu, he’ll definitely be able to tell you about the best places in the area. I would definitely recommend Traditional Apartment :)
Address: 1-3-7, Shiogamicho, Takamatsu-city, Kagawa Prefecture (see map)
Price: from 117 USD
Access: Walking distance from Kawaramachi Train Station
The Crown Palais New Hankyu Kochi is located at just a 5-minute walk away from Kochi Castle and features 7 restaurants and bars, and a fitness club. This hotel is located in the heart of Kochi and its rooms come with a flat-screen TV, a fridge, electric kettle and green tea and free wired internet. There is an en suite bathroom that includes a bath tub and toiletries as well. Other facilities include a 24-hour front desk, free luggage storage, indoor swimming pool and bike and car rental.
For dining, head down to Benir restaurant for gourmet French cuisine and Kazan restaurant to experience sizzling Teppanyaki meals prepared right in front of you. For authentic Japanese cuisine that is prepared from seasonal ingredients, head to Shichifuku Japanese restaurant. The Crown Palais New Hankyu Kochi is conveniently located at just a 1-minute walk from Kochijo-mae Tram Stop, an 8-minute drive away from JR Kochi Station and a 30-minute drive from Kochi Ryoma Airport.
The Misaki Hotel is located in Kochi and features a hot spring bath that overlooks the gorgeous seaside views. In fact, the rooms and dining areas in this hotel all offer amazing views, complementing your stay all around! Every room comes with its very own flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a private bathroom and complimentary toiletries and slippers. There is a seating area in certain rooms as well. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property and guests can enjoy the restaurant, free parking and the luggage storage space offered.
Misaki Hotel, Kochi
Address: 215, Ashizurimisaki, Isa, Kochi Prefecture (see map)
Price: from 158 USD
Access 3-minute walk from Ashizuri bus centre, which is a 65-minute bus ride from JR Nakamura Station
Takamatsu Kokusai Hotel is located in the heart of Takamatsu and is just 4km (2.5 miles) from JR Takamatsu Station and 3.5km (2.2 miles) from the Ritsurin-koen Garden. Its basic rooms come with a fridge and an en suite bathroom while its air-conditioned rooms come with free Wi-Fi. The hotel is located just 1.5km (1 mile) from Hanazono Train Station and 20km (12.4 miles) from Takamatsu Castle. Other facilities include bike rentals, free parking, laptop rentals, a 24-hour front desk, a coin launderette, laundry services and luggage storage. For dining, the Takamatsu Kokusai Hotel offers a Japanese cum French restaurant that comes with outdoor dining as well as Grill Yashima, which serves all meals of the day and has floor-to-ceiling windows.
Having travelled for four hours after an intense day at work, finding this hotel within carrying distance for our push bikes from the station was a blessing. The new building is clean, modern and comfortable. Check in was simple, but the greatest delight was space in the room for our bikes. Breakfast was filling and satisfactory for the start of the Shimanami Kaido (a cycling route).
Imabari Urban Hotel
Address: 1-5-28, Kitahoraicho, Imabari-city, Ehime Prefecture (see map)
Price: from 87 USD
Access: Nearest airport: Matsuyama Airport
Really close to the main shopping street. Only stayed for 1 night in between temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, but it was very convenient and comfortable!
For dining, the dining room serves breakfast that includes Japanese and Western menu items. The property is conveniently located at only a 15-minute walk from Koichi Castle, a 10-minute walk from Hirome Market and a 1-minute walk from Harimaya Bridge Tram Station. The nearest airport is the Koichi Airport which is a 30-minute drive away.
Nishitetsu Inn Kochi Harimayabashi
Address: 1-1-3, Harimaya-cho, Kochi-city, Kochi Prefecture (see map)
Price: from 127 USD
Access: 10-minute walk from JR Koichi Train Station
Naruto Kaigetsu is located in Hyogo and offers amazing views of Naruto Bridge and Naruto’s swirling sea current. The hotel boasts a seasonal indoor pool, a sauna and a hot public bath where guests can relax while enjoying the panoramic views of the sea. Their Western-style rooms come with a bed and a private bathroom, while the Japanese-style rooms overlook the sea and come with futon bedding on a tatami (woven-straw) floor. Each room features a LCD TV, a small fridge and yukata robes. Other facilities include drinks vending machines and free parking. There is also free Wi-Fi provided at the lobby.
For dining, head down to the dining room for Japanese breakfast and dinner that includes seafood dishes whereas the cafe serves a range of alcoholic drinks and offers karaoke. The hotel is conveniently located at just a 3-minute walk from the Otsuka Museum of Art and is 15 minutes away from JR Naruto Train Station.
Where would you stay in Shikoku?
On an island that exudes a brilliant amount of spiritual and natural beauty, there’s just so much to explore in Shikoku. When you’re there, be sure to check out the amazing food that Shikoku has to offer, such as the sweet mikan mandarin oranges in Ehime, Sanuki udon in Kagawa and the Bonito (Katsuo), which is a type of small tuna fish famously found in Kochi!
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