Shikoku (四国, "four provinces") is the smallest (225 km or
139.8 mi long and between 50 and 150 km or 31.1 and
93.2 mi wide) and least populous (3.8 million as of 2015[update])
of the four main islands of Japan, located south of
Honshu and east of
the island of Kyushu. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima
(伊予之二名島), Iyo-shima (伊予島), and Futana-shima
(二名島). The current name refers to the four former provinces that
made up the island: Awa, Tosa, Sanuki, and Iyo.
2.1 Air travel
4 See also
6 External links
Shikoku island, comprising
Shikoku and its surrounding islets, covers
about 18,800 square kilometres (7,259 sq mi) and consists of
four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kōchi, and Tokushima. Across the
Inland Sea lie Wakayama, Osaka, Hyōgo, Okayama, Hiroshima, and
Yamaguchi Prefectures on Honshu. To the west lie Ōita and Miyazaki
Prefectures on Kyushu.
The 50th largest island by area in the world,
Shikoku is smaller than
Sardinia and Bananal, but larger than
Halmahera and Seram. By
population, it ranks 23rd, having fewer inhabitants than
Singapore, but more than
Puerto Rico or Negros.
Mountains running east and west divide
Shikoku into a narrow northern
subregion, fronting on the Inland Sea, and a southern part facing the
Pacific Ocean. The
Hydrangea hirta species can be found in these
mountain ranges. Most of the 3.8 million inhabitants live in the
north, and all but one of the island's few larger cities are located
Mount Ishizuchi (石鎚山) in Ehime at 1,982 m
(6,503 ft) is the highest mountain on the island. Industry is
moderately well developed and includes the processing of ores from the
important Besshi copper mine. Land is used intensively. Wide alluvial
areas, especially in the eastern part of the zone, are planted with
rice and subsequently are double cropped with winter wheat and barley.
Fruit is grown throughout the northern area in great variety,
including citrus fruits, persimmons, peaches, and grapes. Because of
Sanuki udon (讃岐うどん) became an important
part of the diet in
Kagawa Prefecture (former Sanuki Province) in the
The larger southern area of
Shikoku is mountainous and sparsely
populated. The only significant lowland is a small alluvial plain at
Kōchi, the prefectural capital. The area's mild winters stimulated
some truck farming, specializing in growing out-of-season vegetables
under plastic covering. Two crops of rice can be cultivated annually
in the southern area. The pulp and paper industry took advantage of
the abundant forests and hydroelectric power.
The major river in
Shikoku is the Yoshino River. It runs 196 km
(121.8 mi) from its source close to Mount Ishizuchi, flowing
basically west to east across the northern boundaries of Kōchi and
Tokushima Prefectures, reaching the sea at the city of Tokushima. The
Yoshino is famous for Japan's best white-water rafting, with trips
going along the Oboke Koboke sections of the river.
Shikoku has four important capes. Gamōda in
Anan, Tokushima is the
easternmost point on the island, and Sada in
Ikata, Ehime the
westernmost. Muroto in
Muroto, Kōchi and Ashizuri, the southern
extreme of Shikoku, in Tosashimizu, Kōchi, jut into the Pacific
Ocean. The island's northernmost point is in Takamatsu, Kagawa.
Unlike the other three major islands of Japan,
Shikoku has no
Anraku-ji in Kamiita, Tokushima
Shikoku is connected to
Honshu by three expressways, which together
form the Honshū–
Shikoku Bridge Project.
Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway (Eastern Shikoku)
Seto-Chūō Expressway (Central Shikoku)
Nishiseto Expressway (Western Shikoku)
The eastern gateway to Shikoku, Naruto in
Tokushima Prefecture has
been linked to the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway since 1998. This line
Shikoku to the
Kansai area which has a large population,
including the large conurbations of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. Therefore,
the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway carries a large traffic volume. Many
highway buses are operated between
Kansai and Tokushima Prefecture.
The central part of
Shikoku is connected to
Honshu by ferry, air, and
– since 1988 – by the
Great Seto Bridge
Great Seto Bridge network. Until completion
of the bridges, the region was isolated from the rest of Japan. The
freer movement between Honshuū and
Shikoku was expected to promote
economic development on both sides of the bridges, which has not
Within the island, a web of national highways connects the major
population centers. These include Routes 11, 32, 33, 55, and 56.
Shikoku Railway Company
Shikoku Railway Company (JR Shikoku) serves the island and
Honshu via the Great Seto Bridge. JR lines include:
Honshi Bisan Line
Seto Ōhashi Line
Private railway lines operate in each of the four prefectures on
Shikoku lacks a full international airport but has four
regional/domestic airports (Tokushima Airport, Takamatsu Airport,
Kōchi Ryōma Airport and Matsuyama Airport). All of these airports
have flights to
Tokyo and other major Japanese cities such as Osaka,
Nagoya, Sapporo, and Fukuoka. International flights to Seoul, South
Korea are serviced by
Asiana Airlines from Matsuyama and Takamatsu.
There are periodic international charter flights as well.
Shikoku to destinations including Honshu, Kyūshu, and
islands around Shikoku.
Pioneering natural farmer Masanobu Fukuoka, author of The One-Straw
Revolution, developed his methods here on his family's farm.
Shikoku is also famous for its 88-temple pilgrimage of temples
associated with the priest Kūkai. Most modern-day pilgrims travel by
bus, rarely choosing the old-fashioned method of going by foot. They
are seen wearing white jackets emblazoned with the characters reading
dōgyō ninin meaning "two traveling together".
Tokushima Prefecture also has its annual
Awa Odori running in August
at the time of the
Obon festival, which attracts thousands of tourists
each year from all over
Japan and from abroad.
Kōchi Prefecture is home to the first annual
Yosakoi festival. The
largest festival in Kōchi, it takes place in August every year and
attracts dancers and tourists from all over Japan.
One of the major foods of
Shikoku is udon.
Udon is often served hot
as a noodle soup in its simplest form, as kake udon, in a mildly
flavoured broth called kakejiru,which is made of dashi, soy sauce
(shōyu), and mirin. It is usually topped with thinly chopped
scallions. Other common toppings include tempura, often prawn or
kakiage (a type of mixed tempura fritter), or aburaage, a type of
deep-fried tofu pockets seasoned with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. A
thin slice of kamaboko, a halfmoon-shaped fish cake, is often added.
Shichimi can be added to taste. Another is Kōchi's signature dish,
The warm climate of
Shikoku lends itself to the cultivation of citrus
fruits. As a result, yuzu, mikan and other citrus fruits are plentiful
Shikoku and have become synonymous with the regions they are grown
Historically no Shikoku-based sports team has competed in the top
Japanese division of baseball, football (soccer) or even rugby union.
Currently the major teams competing in Shikoku's major cities include:
Tokushima Vortis (football, J. League Division 2),
Tokushima Indigo Socks (baseball, Shikoku-Kyūshū
Ehime F.C. (J2),
Ehime Mandarin Pirates (SKIL)
Kamatamare Sanuki (JFL), Kagawa Olive Guyners
Kōchi Fighting Dogs
Kōchi Fighting Dogs (SKIL)
Geography of Japan
Regions of Japan
Shikoku and Awaji Island" (PDF).
Japan National Tourism
Organization. September 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
^ "Shikoku: Frommer's Guide from". Answers.com. Retrieved
^ "tourism shikoku". tourism shikoku. Organization for Promotion of
Tourism in Shikoku. Retrieved 2014-11-27.
This article incorporates public domain material from the
Library of Congress Country Studies website
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/. – Japan
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shikoku.
Look up shikoku in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Shikoku.
Shikoku Peace Bell Project
Regions and administrative divisions of Japan
Coordinates: 33°45′N 133°30′E / 33.750°N 133.500°E /