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A Treasure Trove of Fabulous Views! Five Recommended Must-See Spots for the Foliage in Shikoku

Regardless of where you are in the country, Japan is full of places to enjoy fall foliage. This article introduces five spots to see the fall foliage in Shikoku, an area full of places with stunning views.

1. Mt. Ishizuchi (Ehime Prefecture)

Mt. Ishizuchi - considered to be the highest mountain in Western Japan - is one of Japan's Seven Sacred Mountains that has long been revered as an object of worship. With the arrival of fall, the foliage at the top of the mountain changes colors. This change spreads down the mountain as the temperature drops, creating a fantastic landscape for hikers to enjoy. There are many hiking courses, including one which connects the Sancho Station on Ishizuchiyama Ropeway with the top of the mountain. The beautiful foliage can be enjoyed by climbing up the mountain, as well as from the ropeway.

Suggested Viewing Dates: Early October to Early November
Ropeway Fare (roundtrip): Adults (junior high school and older) 1,950 JPY; Children (elementary school students) 980 JPY

1. Mt. Ishizuchi (Ehime Prefecture)

Kumakogen-cho, Saijo-shi, Ehime

2. Iya Valley (Tokushima Prefecture)

This is a sharp, V-shaped valley that hosts one of Shikoku's most famous views. The sight of the whole mountain changing colors from the deep valley floor to the summit is worth seeing. The statue of a boy on top of a giant rock is one sight you won't want to miss. The sheer cliff it is located on still tells the tale of when children and travelers once used the area as part of their courage tests. You will be able to enjoy the stark contrast between the thrilling scenery and the beautiful fall foliage.

Suggested Viewing Dates: Early to Mid November

2. Iya Valley (Tokushima Prefecture)

Nishiiyayama-mura and Ikeda-cho Matsuo, Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima

3. Oboke / Koboke (Tokushima Prefecture)

This is a famous spot that is also located in the earlier introduced Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima Prefecture. It is a valley positioned midstream of the Yoshino River, with mountains almost 1,000m high rising from both banks. In the fall, the trees in various spots on both banks change color, creating a beautiful scenery that is particularly enjoyable to see from a tour boat on the river.

Suggested Viewing Dates: Mid to Late November
Tour Boat Fare: Adults 1,080 JPY; Children (ages 3 through elementary school) 540 JPY

3. Oboke / Koboke (Tokushima Prefecture)

(Tsurugisan Quasi-National Park) Yamashiro-cho, Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima

4. Kankakei Gorge (Kagawa Prefecture)

The Kankakei Gorge on Shodo-shima is among Japan's top places for scenic beauty and is counted as one of Japan's three most beautiful valleys. In the fall, the trees all around the island change colors beautifully, but the beauty of the foliage along the strangely-shaped rocks around Kankakei Gorge is particularly outstanding. A ride on the ropeway will allow you to see the foliage adorning the valley, as well as the beauty of the shores along the Seto Inland Sea, from the windows.

Suggested Viewing Dates: Mid to Late November
Ropeway Fare (roundtrip): Adults 1,470 JPY; Children 740 JPY

4. Kankakei Gorge (Kagawa Prefecture)

168 Kankake-dori Otsu, Shodoshima-cho, Shozu-gun, Kagawa

5. Befu Valley (Kochi Prefecture)

This is a valley positioned within the basin of the Monobe River, which is located inside a quasi-national park. It is known for its natural scenery that changes throughout the year. It is particularly beautiful in the fall when the entire mountain is covered by colorful foliage. There are well maintained paths in the area, so it is perfect for a stroll. During the foliage season, a "momiji chaya" opens, allowing you to enjoy the region's specialty soba and sushi, as well as rustic regional food such as river fish grilled with salt.

Suggested Viewing Dates: Mid to Late November

5. Befu Valley (Kochi Prefecture)

Monobe-cho Befu, Kami-shi, Kochi

In Shikoku, not only is the foliage beautiful, but there are also many tourist attractions and famously delicious food. Please do visit when you get the chance!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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