Spring

The days are getting longer and the plum and cherry start to blossom.
Warmer weather and blue skies make hiking attractive.

spring

Brad and Emily Cann had been to many parts of Japan before, but they had yet to visit Shikoku. They wanted to experience the variety that Shikoku offers and they decided that the Nishi-Awa area had what they were looking for this time. They used their Japan Rail Passes to get to Nishi-Awa and to travel around the area.

Day 1

Brad and Emily arrived mid-morning in Sadamitsu, where they took a taxi to the Teramachi area. They wandered among the temples and gardens, enjoying the new greenery and flowers. Brad took many pictures of his wife posing among the flowers.
In the afternoon, their taxi took them back across the Yoshino River. Their first visit was to the Sadamitsu Theatre, followed by a stroll around the streets of buildings with double udatsu. They were charmed by the variety of elaborate tiles decorating the udatsu.
That evening, they stayed in a local ryokan and enjoyed a special course dinner.

Arrival
Arrival
Old Streets of Sadamitsu
Old Streets of Sadamitsu
Hotel
Hotel

Day 2

The next day, after a relaxed breakfast, Brad and Emily took a taxi to Minokoshi, where a chairlift took them half way up Mt. Tsurugi, the second highest mountain in western Japan. They loved the convenience of riding up the lower part of the mountain with their legs dangling as they took photos. From the chairlift station on the mountain, they hiked for about an hour to the top. After taking in the amazing views in all directions, they had some udon noodles in the little restaurant, before making their way back down.
They took the train to Iyaguchi and a taxi to their hotel, where they enjoyed an onsen bath next to the river at the bottom of a deep gorge.

Mountain Lift
Mountain Lift
Mt. Tsurugi
Mt. Tsurugi
Onsen Hotel
Onsen Hotel

Day 3

As fans of anime, Brad and Emily had read about the goblins of Ōboke, and they wanted to learn more. So they took a taxi to the Roadside Station Ōboke and spent a good while in the Yōkai Mansion, examining the many monstrous exhibits. Then they took a guided walking tour around the sites where the goblins are said to live, happily snapping photos of the eccentric sculptures dotted along the course.
Returning to the Roadside Station, they got in a boat and took a cruise up the Yoshino River. From their boat, they saw many birds in the woods beside the river. The blue spring sky and cherry blossom along the river was reflected beautifully in the calm water.

Michi no Eki Ōboke
Michi no Eki Ōboke
Yōkai Mansion
Yōkai Mansion
Yoshino River
Yoshino River

Day 4

Brad and Emily wanted to end their stay in Nishi-Awa with a big splash, so they booked a morning of rafting on the Yoshino River. They joined a mixed group of rafters with an English-speaking guide and spent a blissful few hours paddling the wild rapids and calm stretches of Japan’s best rafting river. After a big lunch of bagels and various fillings by the riverside, they reluctantly headed for the station and the journey home.

Rafting Base
Rafting Base
Rafting
Rafting
Departure
Departure