- February 13 2016
3 Days and 2 Nights in the Shikoku Region! ~Part 1. Craving Udon Noodles & Staying At Kotohira Onsen~
Hi everyone, it’s 9:41! I dreamt about visiting the Shikoku region for so long….and finally my dream has come true!
Shikoku is an island which is located to the southwest of Honshu (the main island) and west of Osaka and Kyoto.
Shikoku...My Dreams Come True!
Let me explain why I wanted to visit Shikoku first. I am a huge fan of the TV show called Suiyou Doudeshou (which means “how do you like Wednesday?” in Japanese) which only broadcasts in Hokkaido (the northernmost major island in Japan), but somehow they have fans all over Japan. The show is about two actors who travel together throughout Japan. It’s probably more of a travel show, but some ridiculous/hilarious things happen during their trips...
What I have known about Shikoku is from what I’ve seen on the programme:
- Beautiful scenery everywhere
- Curvy roads
- Spiritual or psychic phenomena
- Delicious Udon noodles
- A variety of Onsens (hot spring) are available
I only had 3 days and 2 nights for my stay, so I didn’t really have an itinerary aside from enjoying Kagawa’s famous Udon noodles and Dougo Onsen in Ehime Prefecture and that turned out wonderfully for me. No rush, but relaxing.
I took reservations for accommodations and such, so the cost was a bit expensive in total...but I won’t take another trip after this one, so I’m at peace with my decision :)
Day 1, Landing in Kagawa Prefecture!
The flight from Haneda Airport to Takamatsu Airport in Kagawa Prefecture took about an hour. This picture was taken on the way there...probably around Enoshima area in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Right after arriving in the airport, I rented a car and went out for Udon noodles! Please refer to the link below for details of my wonderful noodle experience.
I saw a unique soda on my way...which is called Olive Oil Cider. No joke, it’s a delicious olive oil-flavored soda. Olive oil is another famous specialty in Kagawa Prefecture.
After having delicious Udon noodles, I drove from Takamatsu City to the Konpira Onsen. It was about an hour drive. There was beautiful scenery along the way! Here are some round shaped mountains...they were kind of cute.
Staying At Kotohira Onsen!
The hotel I stayed at is located along the river.
I was browsing around to look for the restaurant to eat dinner, but the shopping street near Kotohira-gu Shrine (also known as Konpira-san) closed early and we couldn’t find restaurants, Izakayas, and such...so I decided to grab some hot food from the butcher and drinks from the liquor store and enjoy the meal in my hotel room.
The lady at Hiraoka Butcher was very kind to me...
Well, I was a bit worried about the street… I mean, it looks like...dead...
The lanterns were lit up along the river at night which was fantastic...
The lady at the butcher recommended me this fried chicken thigh, along with potato and meat croquettes. Mmm all of them were SO good…! I tried Kagawa’s local beer called Sanuki Beer with the food. It was...ugh, I may not have it again unfortunately… However, trying the local food is one of the best parts of the trip, right?
I am a bit disappointed at the area around Kotohira Onsen, though. The area is quiet but seems like a rusty small town… To be honest, I would prefer to book another hotel in the other area if I were to visit Kagawa Prefecture again.
Day 2, Moving To Dougo Onsen, Ehime Prefecture
I woke up early and started to look around in town especially in the Kotohira-gu Shrine area..
I got this Udon noodle charm!
Very cute, don’t you think? I put it on my iPhone...look!
It was early morning, but this Japanese traditional style cafe was open so we took a break in here. This cafe sells hot steam buns with sweet bean paste filling inside. Mmm, yum!
From Kotohira Onsen, I took the highway to Dougo Onsen in Ehime Prefecture.
...I thought the fee was a bit more expensive than the other highways...
Dougo Onsen is the name of the spa town like Ikaho Onsen or Nozawa Onsen, but I found an accommodation facility called Dougo Onsen!
TA-DA! This is Dougo Onsen! The official name of this facility is Dougo Onsen Honkan.
This hotel is very famous among Ghibri movie fans. Why? ...Because this hotel was used as a model for the bath house in the movie Spirited Away. I made reservations at another hotel, but they accept guests who come just to enjoy the hot spring….perfect!
Souseki Natsume, the famous Japanese novelist, loved Dougo Onsen. There is a photo booth available which is themed after one of his novels Bocchan. Of course I took pictures...haha
The myth tells that an injured white egret put its leg into the hot spring and the water cured its injured leg… I can’t tell whether it’s true or false, but the building has a statue of a white egret on top.
I will share my experience in Dougo Onsen Honkan in the next article! Stay tuned…!