The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku


2018.02.20

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

Outside of Japan’s most southern and most tropical island, Okinawa, there are few beaches that the country is famed for. However, Shikoku has kilometers upon kilometers of underrated coastline packed full of little-known beaches, small port towns, and other fantastic scenery. With Ehime Prefecture stretching all the way up the coast looking on to both the Seto Inland Sea and the Uwa Sea, there are endless breathtaking spots to be uncovered on a journey along the coastal roads.

  • The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

    The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

    Whether you’re a beach addict or not, there are few people that can’t appreciate a deserted beach on a sunny day. Ehime’s west coast offers a seemingly never-ending stream of remote beaches from small roadside pockets to larger stretches of golden sand. While admittedly the majority of the beaches are small and hard to get to by public transport, there are a few larger and comparatively popular beaches including the irresistible Futami Seaside Park.

    The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

    The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

    Futami Seaside Park is a great spot for sunbathing, beach sports, and a dip in the unexpectedly clear ocean with nearby restaurants and a roadside station available to keep you hydrated and fed. However, the crowds really start to form in the evening. Known for its sunsets, many a couple visit Futami to catch a glimpse of the sunset through the hole of the beach’s trademark statue which displays lyrics about the dragonflies that visit at dusk.

    The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

    The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

    The lower southern half of Shikoku’s western coast is made up of unusually shaped peninsulas that jut out into the Uwa Sea. While these areas bear less beaches, the serpentine shape of the land results in interesting pockets of water among disorienting views back onto Shikoku and out to nearby islands. Twenty five kilometres west of Uwajima Station lie the Yusumizugaura Terrace Fields, an impressive staircase of rice terraces that transform with the seasons as the rice is prepared for harvesting in September.

    The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

    The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

    To truly discover the beauty of Ehime’s coastline, visitors are best given a free rein to find their own favorite spots. If car rental isn’t an option, hopping between spots by train is the next best thing. With many local train stations found right along the coast, you’ll have easy access to the nearby ocean from which point you can start your own adventure by foot or local bus or, even better, by bike.

    The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

    The Undiscovered Coastline of Western Shikoku

    The relatively flat coastal roads are a cyclist’s paradise and a bike offers the most freedom for making stops along the way. While cyclists in this area are few and far between, those up for the challenge can follow the coastal line all the way up to Imabari. This is the gateway to the Shimanami Kaido, a toll road popular among cyclists that crosses seven beautiful islands and six fantastic bridges back to Honshu. If you don’t have your own bike, the larger train stations including Matsuyama, Iyo-shi, and Yawatahama offer bike rental for a day of exploring. Just be sure to stock up on snacks and get your caffeine fix around the stations as convenience stores can be surprisingly hard to come by.

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