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5 Select Onsen Hot Springs in Shikoku to Soak Up the Japanese Atmosphere

The Shikoku Region has a long history and is surrounded by rich nature. It has recently become a popular area and has many famous onsen hot springs. So, this time, we introduce five select onsen in Shikoku.

1. Shionoe Onsen (Kagawa Prefecture)

This is the prefecture's largest area for onsen hot springs, with a history of approximately 1,300 years. There are attractive onsen ryokan inns and hotels along the old road that retains the atmosphere of times past. The area is sometimes called the okuzashiki (inner parlor) of Takamatsu due to its nature-rich surroundings at the foot of Mt. Asan. This is a great place to relax and enjoy the hot springs with scenes of the season, ranging from cherry blossoms in the spring to fireflies in the summer and colorful foliage of the fall. Another appeal of this place is the local cuisine of amego, a prominent freshwater fish, and of wild boar.

Sample onsen day-use rate (Sanuki Onsen): 500 JPY

1. Shionoe Onsen (Kagawa Prefecture)

Shionoe-cho, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa

2. Shodoshima Onsen (Kagawa Prefecture)

Shodoshima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea, has several different types of onsen hot springs. There are some onsen that you can drop into, so you can go around the island visiting different ones. A particular recommendation is the Olive Onsen. It is a natural onsen that springs up from a stratum from about 80 million years ago, 1,600m underground. The water is rich in calcium and sodium and characterized by a light texture that is gentle on the skin. It is sometimes called "bijin no yu", meaning hot spring of beauty. The open-air bath has a wonderful view of the Seto Inland Sea.

Olive Onsen entrance fee: 700 JPY/adult (junior high school age and older), 500 JPY/child (elementary school age and younger) (both incl. tax)

2. Shodoshima Onsen (Kagawa Prefecture)

1630-10 Hannoike-ko, Tonosho-cho, Shozu-gun, Kagawa

3. Dogo Onsen (Ehime Prefecture)

This is a famous area that is known as one of Japan's oldest onsen hot springs. In particular, Dogo Onsen Honkan is a historic and highly-respected mixed-gender bathhouse, and is the only establishment in Japan with a bath reserved for the Imperial Family. It has even been given three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan in the past. There are two bathing areas - Kaminoyu which is made with stone and decorated with Tobeyaki ceramic paneling, and the Tamanoyu made with the highest quality granite and marble. There are four bathing plans to select from, including the Kaminoyu Downstairs (410 JPY/adults, 160 JPY/child for 60 minutes) with access to Kaminoyu only, and the Reinoyu 3F Private Room (1,550 JPY/adult, 770 JPY/child for 80 minutes) with access to both baths as well as a tour of the facilities.

3. Dogo Onsen (Ehime Prefecture)

5-6 Dogo-yunomachi, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime

4. Shishikui Onsen (Tokushima Prefecture)

This is an onsen hot spring in Kaiyo-cho at the southern tip of Tokushima Prefecture that accepts day visitors, and is located inside Hotel Riviera Shishikui, a resort hotel with a Mediterranean feel. It is popular for the sodium bicarbonate water that springs up from 1,000m below-ground and has a light texture. There is the Long Onsen with a view of the majestic Pacific Ocean, as well as a hinoki cypress bath and medicated bath. The government-designated roadside station, Michinoeki Shishikui Onsen, is next to the hotel and is a great place to learn about local food and tourist spots.

Bathing fee: 600 JPY/adult, 300 JPY/elementary school age and younger, free for children aged 3 and younger
Hours: 6:30 am - 9:00 am, 11:00 am-10:00 pm

ホテル リビエラ ししくい

ホテル リビエラ ししくい

4. Shishikui Onsen (Tokushima Prefecture)

226-1 Aza Matsubara, Shishikui-ura, Kaiyo-cho, Kaifu-gun, Tokushima

5. Ashizuri Onsen (Kochi Prefecture)

This is an onsen area that is said to be in use for more than 1,200 years ago. It is near Cape Ashizuri, which is considered to be as close to Sukhavati (Amitabha's Pure Land)​ as you can get. The hot spring has high quality water that includes radon, and has long been used to treat ailments. The Manjiro Foot Bath here consists of four tiers of foot baths (for soaking the legs below the knees) and is free to the public. It has floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can enjoy a panoramic view of the grand Pacific Ocean and of one of Japan's largest sea caves, Hakusan Domon.

5. Ashizuri Onsen (Kochi Prefecture)

482-1 Azhizuri-Misaki, Tosa Shimizu-shi, Kochi

If you are traveling around Shikoku, be sure to visit these onsen hot springs to relax and rejuvenate from your travels.

*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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