Japan's Art Island

This tour starts from Takamatsu traveling to the Art Islands of Kagawa where clients will be able to experience modern art exhibitions. The second part of the trip is a spiritual experience, where people walk temple to temple following old henro route, followed by a local experience with Udon Noodles. A meditation taught by temple’s monk is also included. Further, people will be able to explore the deep villages inside Iya valley. n the pilgrimage tour, a mixture of traditional Buddhist temples and local villages of Shikoku gives clients more insight into the daily lives of the locals and how they have maintained this unique culture for centuries.  

Day 01: Takamatsu – Naoshima – Takamatsu.

Clients will take the Bullet Train or a highway bus to Takamatsu.   

Upon arrival, you will be picked up by our office representatives at Takamatsu Station, and from there take the ferry to Naoshima.   

Recommended Ferry: Takamatsu 10.14 ~ Naoshima 11.04 

On Naoshima you will visit:   

  • Chichu Art Museum & Benesse Museum (please be aware of the closing days) 
  • Yellow Pumpkin and Red Pumpkin 
  • The Art House Projects   
  • Ando Museum   

All the places on Naoshima are subject to availability and opening hours. Take the ferry back to Takamatsu.   

Recommended ferry : Naoshima 17:00 ~ 18:00 

Upon arrival in Takamatsu, free time to move around Japan’s longest shopping street.   

Overnight in Takamatsu.   


Day 02: Takamatsu ~ Negoroji Temple ~ Shiromineji Temple ~ Mitoyo City. 

The clients will walk an introductory Ohenro course on this day. In the morning, we will arrive at the starting point of the hike to Negoroji Temple by taxi and begin walking after visiting the temple. The trail to Shiromineji Temple winds through forests and mountain trails. Then, will take taxi to a point from where we can take train to next town.   

The afternoon begins with Udon noodle making experience. Participants will be taught how to make their own udon noodles, take the vegetables from nearby farmland, stay overnight at the udon making house.   

The dinner and breakfast next day are served with Udon noodles.   

Stay overnight at the Udon House.

Walking Distance: around 5 kilometers.

Things to explore during the walk: Old Japanese stone markers, the historic pilgrimage trail, Kagawa’s Udon noodle, Japanese folk stories, cultural ambiance etc.   


Day 03: Mitoyo city – Medidation experience – Iya valley. 

Continue with the Udon noodle experience in the morning.

After breakfast, walk to nearby temple and start meditation experience called Ajikan Meditation taught by the temple’s monk. After the meditation, take private car to go to Iya valley.   

In Iya valley, participants will be guided to a houseboat experience, an old Vine bridge with a beautiful water-spring before going to a local farmhouse.   

In the farmhouse, participants will be able to go to the farm, pick their vegetable and make local meals in the evening. The local meal will be the dinner of this day.   

Stay overnight at this local farmhouse this day.   

Things to explore in today’s journey:  Old Ohenro Temple, Japanese Ajikan Meditation, Oboke Gorge and its rock sculptures, Iya valley and its farm-table experience etc.   


Day 04: Iya Valley – Wakimachi – Tokushima. 

Participants can enjoy the beautiful view of Ochiai Village in the morning. Interested participants can walk around the village, sightseeing local farmland and old houses including some thatched houses.   

Then, move to the oldest thatched house inside Iya valley to have breakfast.   

The Iya valley’s experience ends with when participants move to Wakimachi, one of Tokushima’s old cities where indigo used to be a main source of income some hundred years ago. Interested participants can join the Indigo dying experience.   

Focus of this day is “Japanese umbrella making experience”, where participants will be taught about how to make Umbrella in a 2-hour class.   

Then, transfer to Tokushima, have dinner freely.   

In the evening, transfer to Awa Odori Hall to observe Awa Odori Dance. Things to explore in today’s journey: Old Japanese thatched houses, old Japanese business houses, Japanese Umbrella, hundred years old Awa Odori Dance etc.   

Overnight at a hotel near Tokushima Station.   


Day 05: Tokushima – Fujiidera Temple – Shosanji Temple- Tokushima. 

Take train plus taxi to reach Fujiidera Temple in the morning. Visit Fujiidera temple and start the most strenuous walk of the Ohenro Pilgrimage route. This walk is 7 – 8 hours which takes you to Shosanji Temple passing 2 mountains through beautiful cedar trees.   

Walking through old henro route while listening to the birds singing, air making noise and meeting other pilgrims is a hard yet wonderful experience.   

Participants will be able to explore some of small Henro resting houses, many stories related to henro and beautiful natural sceneries.   

The taxi will be waiting at Shosanji Temple, which takes the participants to nearby Kamiyama Hot Spring. Remove all your tiredness at the Hot Spring before taking taxi to nearby train station.   

Take train to travel back to Tokushima City.   

Stroll around Tokushima freely after arrival or simply rest at the hotel after full day hiking.   

Overnight at a hotel near Tokushima Station. 


Day 06: Tokushima – Takamatsu- Tour End. 

In the morning, you will take a train from Tokushima to Takamatsu. Reach Takamatsu in around 2 hours to take taxi to Ritsurin Garden.   

Visit one of Japan’s most beautiful Garden’s in Takamatsu, which is also listed in Michelin’s 

Green Guide as a three-star Garden.   

Then, take taxi to go to a workshop where participants will use wooden molds to make 

Japanese sweet called “Wasanbon.”

After this experience, participants will be dropped to Takamatsu Station, from where they can take bus to Takamatsu Airport / other cities or take train to onward destination.     

Trip ends. 

Want more information? Email our travel experts matt@asiaarttours.com.

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