Getting to Shikoku
How to get to and away from Shikoku
Good news! Although Shikoku is the least visited and most remote of the 4 main islands of Japan, it is relatively easy to get to and away from. It can be harder to travel around the island and see the great nature on offer here, but I guess that’s where we come in.
You can travel to Shikoku by plane, train, ferry, bus, coach, car, bike, or on foot. More information below. And for information about how you can fit a trip to Shikoku within a longer Japanese adventure, click here.
The most convenient option if you’re coming from or returning to Tokyo or Osaka.
There are 4 main airports on Shikoku – the closest to us is in Matsuyama. This airport is serviced by domestic flights from all major cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya). Click here to find out more.
Cheaper seats can sometimes be found on JETSTAR which flies to Narita.
There are also international flights from Shanghai, Seoul, and Taoyuan (Taiwan).
We think travelling by ferry is the perfect start or end to a trip to Shikoku. There are multiple points of entry – here are some of the most convenient for tours with us.
Osaka – Toyo:
The OrangeLiner is a night ferry…with a hot bath! Our favourite option. The ferry docks at Toyo. There’s a bus from there to Matsuyama.
Kokura – Matsuyama:
Kokora is north east of Fukuoka (Kyushu). This is a night ferry and also has a bath. This ferry is a great option if you’re looking to save money on accommodation. Also good if you’re running the Fukuoka Marathon (like Miho).
Beppu – Yawatahama:
Experience the onsens of Beppu then jump on a the Uwajima-Unyu Ferry to Shikoku for more adventure. There’s a train from Yawatahama to Matsuyama.
The most convenient option if you’re coming from or returning to Okayama.
The major cities in Shikoku are all serviced by train stations. If you’re doing the Shimanami Kaido Tour, you will finish at Imabari Station. From there you have easy access to Matsuyama (30 mins) or back to Okayama (130 mins). If you’re coming to see us in Matsuyama, it’s about 160 mins from Okayama. Hyperdia is a great website for checking train times.
If you’re looking to truly explore Shikoku by rail, the All Shikoku Railway pass can be useful. But know that a lot of the gems of the this island are away from train stations!
This is a great option if you’re looking to save money. You can travel to Matsuyama by intercity coaches and night buses. For information on the routes, look at Iyotetsu Bus (Japanese). It’s about a 12 hour night journey to Tokyo and 5 hours from Osaka (a bit longer for the night bus…but why not take the ferry?!)
Another good option is the 3-Day Shikoku rider. This allows you to see a few cities on Shikoku for a very reasonable fee!
What better way to travel to Shikoku than bike. Have a look at out Shimanami Kaido Tour for more information.
The Ohenro is a fabulous way to see Shikoku. It takes about 40-50 days to complete this 88-temple Buddhist pilgrimage.