Shikoku Island

Shikoku Island is the smallest of the four main islands of Japan. In the world ranking of islands it is in 50th place. There are many mountains and rivers, forests and valleys. Shikoku differs from other Japanese islands in that it is considered abandoned in terms of economic and industrial development. Instead, it is an important site for the country's many Buddhists, with a pilgrimage route that includes visits to 88 temples.

Shikoku Island

General information

The word "Shikoku" has several meanings, one of them is an island, the second is associated with the history of the island, and is translated as "four lands", previously there were 4 independent regions in this place, a little later they were renamed. In 1988, a network of bridges was built on Shikoku Island, an event that helped strengthen and accelerate the economic development of the island, which had long been considered lagging behind in many areas. The bridges connect Shikoku with the island of Hanshu by a wide road, 12 kilometers long, and railway tracks.

The local population is about 4 million people, most of the citizens are over the age of 50; young people traditionally leave here in search of prospects. But older people remain, some of them are engaged in farming, because on the island of Shikoku there are large plantations of citrus fruits, especially tangerines. They also grow persimmons and grapes, peaches and plums. Marine industries are also developed here - fishing, shipbuilding, pearl fishing.

Shikoku Island

There are 4 large cities on the island of Shikoku; they were formed around the castles of local rulers and today bear their names:

  • Koti;
  • Matsuyama;
  • Marugame;
  • Uwajima.


The main attraction of the island of Shikoku is the Buddhist pilgrimage trail; it stretches for more than 1,100 kilometers; many believers conquer this distance every year in 40 days. The number of temples is not accidental; it is equal to the number of human sins. Those who have greatly sinned before the universe make their journey starting from the last temple on the list, the rest depart from the first. In the first temple, you are offered to purchase a special book and, while going through your route, fill it with special hieroglyphs, which are drawn by the monks living at the temples.

The castles of Shikoku also deserve special attention; today they are cultural centers preserving the history of the country and the island. And in the middle of the century they served as residences for rulers and protected their inhabitants from ill-wishers. The nature of the island makes a very vivid impression on tourists; maple forests, many rivers and mountain ranges grow here in large numbers. Large tangerine groves with their blossoms attract people no less than traditional cherry trees. Many people also like the mineral thermal baths that are located in the island’s spa centers.

Shikoku Island - geographical coordinates
Latitude: 33.75
Longitude: 133.5


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