Getting lost in Shikoku, Japan

It’s hard to actually get off the beaten tracks in Japan in general, and even then you are not far from the next Seven-11 or one of his many look-alikes. Nonetheless we tried and most positively succeeded. The quest took us to the, still not that remote, island Shikoku in Southwest Japan. Even there, highways and sleek skyscrapers galore you don’t even begin to get a sense of rural or traditional Japan. But we heard of a Valley, difficult to get to (Random bus schedule, check) called Iya and supposedly only reachable by car. Sights none apart quiet gorges and misty mountains. So all in all, the exact opposite of Tokyo and Kyoto.

However these not so postcard friendly conditions proved to be stunning enough, turquoise water, otherworldly rock formations (reminds one of Valle Verzasca) and low-hanging vine bridges where the Samurai movie in your head begins to become all to real. A surreal experience and thanks to the miserable weather largely void of mass tourism. Even as remote as here, there are a ton of horrible concrete disasters calling themselves tourist center, hotel and shopping malls. Thank god there are paths leading up to the mountains where you can actually skip all humankind and civilization.

To not see a car let alone a human being for more than a few hours is stunning, frightening even. To undertake a mountain pass in spring time requires a bit of preparation, otherwise even a simple thing like a lunch meal can prove rather tricky. But alas, even though remote does exist in overcrowded Japan, the aforementioned ubiquitous Seven-11 comes soon to the rescue.

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One Response to Getting lost in Shikoku, Japan

  1. chloeghv says:

    I’d love to do a real trek like that, and see no one for all the time! It must make you feel quite aware of how big this world is that we’re in 🙂

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