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Shikoku in Dec

Singapore
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27 posts
4 reviews
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Shikoku in Dec

We are a family of four with 1 young child. We will be arriving Okayama airport and planning to hire a car to tour around Shikoku. Our itinerary is not fixed but I have been reading some posts about the place. Is dec ok for driving into iya valley area and those mountainous places towards Kochi? Will there be snow and I under the weather is similar to tokyo? We wil be spending 4 days in Shikoku before heading to Kobe airport. Are we able to cover the north eastern part of Shikoku? Do not think we have time to cover west and south as we want to have a leisure pace.

Vancouver, Canada
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for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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1. Re: Shikoku in Dec

Weather last Dec around Oboke Gorge and Iya Valley region was cold dropping below zero during the latter part of the month but no snow was recorded.

…jma.go.jp/obd/stats/etrn/view/daily_a1.php…

And the latest forecast is between -2C to 2C during Christmas Eve.

http://www.jma.go.jp/jp/yoho/343.html

We drove around the area during the month of Oct and the weather was fine BUT the drive was not easy. The mt roads are narrow, winding and some are only single lane traffic so extra care should be taken.

Singapore
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2. Re: Shikoku in Dec

Thank you William. Would need your advice if the following is possible to do in 4 days.

Day 1 - arrive Okayama and drive to iya valley and stay 1 night there.

Day 2 - explore a bit of iya valley and proceed to kotochira and takamatsu for the kompria San, kinroyo sake brewery, ritsurin park, shikoku museum and takamatsu castle, stay 1 night in takamatsu.

Day 3 - proceed to shodoshima and Stay 1 night there.

Day 4 - leave shodoshima, drive to tokushima and naruto, and cross the bridge to awaji island - stay 1 night either on awaji island or kobe.

Day 5- proceed to Kobe airport.

Please advise if Okayama and Kobe cities are worth exploring and if I need to cater some time to experience both cities. Or could it be better we skip both cities and just tour Shikoku?

Day 4 - leave shodoshima and drive to

Vancouver, Canada
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for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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3. Re: Shikoku in Dec

Will you have spare time on Day 1 to take in a bit of Iya Valley!? Because Day 2 as it stands looks pretty rushed if you still have to allocate time for driving around Iya Valley and Oboke Gorge. Note that although the river cruise still operates during winter time, the frequency maybe down to only one run per hour due to fewer visitors. And as I mentioned on my previous post, extra care is needed while driving in the area and the last thing you want to do is to rush from one place to another.

For your reference, the drive from Okayama to Iya Valley will take approx. 2 hrs 40 min. and is about 1 hr 45 min from Iya Valley to Kotohira/Kompirasan. The strenuous walk up Kompira-san will take 30+ min, longer if you aim for the highest temple bldg. of Oku-sha 奥社. More interesting than the sake museum is the Nakano Udon School. Time permitting go for an Udon DIY to get a “feet-on” experience in making udon while dancing.

In Takamatsu Ritsurin Koen is a must but Takamatsu Castle is miss-able. As a castle it’s rather small and not too impressive.

Again there is a lot planned on Day 4. It too depends on how much time you still need to allocate for Shodoshima before leaving. Luckily you are driving yourself. We were there for one full day and found we didn’t have enough time as we used public buses only. Ferry from Shodoshima back to Takamatsu takes an hour. Assuming you are going for the whirlpool cruise in Naruto, the drive from Takamatsu port to the Naruto boat pier is about 80 min. The shortest cruise takes 30 min. Hopefully you don’t have too much planned for Tokushima and Awaji Island (Awaji Island is best explored during warmer months for flowers, IMO). The drive from Naruto to Kobe is about 1 hr 40 min and not forgetting you will most probably run into traffic while driving back into town during the latter part of the day.

Okayama is popular for its castle and Korakuen but if time is limited, consider skipping it and keep Kobe for a bit of seasonal highlight. The famous annual Kobe Luminarie may just be over last week but there is still a beautiful light-up winter event in town.

http://ameblo.jp/fruit-flowerpark/

4. Re: Shikoku in Dec

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