All In The Experience

Whether it's learning traditional arts from shokunin(artisan craftsmen) or diving deep into the ageless traditions of Buddhist and Shinto rituals, Discover Shikoku redefines your travel experience and introduces you to a more genuine and authentic Japan.  So if your curious about wagasa(traditional Japanese umbrellas) or simply eager to try you hand at straw grilling some lovely Bontia tuna, we've got just the fix for you!



Washi, a word which literally translates to 'Japanese paper', describes hand processed papers derived from local fibers.  Traditionally these fibers come from one of 3 sources: the Gampi tree, Mulberry bush, or Mitsumata shrub. The Japanese craft of washi is registered as a Unesco intangible cultural heritage. Traditionally used in everything from cuisine & furniture to art, clothing and even weaponry, its considerably more durable than traditional wood pulp paper.


With a history dating back roughly 6000 years, indigo is one of the oldest dyes used in textiles and printing.  First introduced to Japan via the Silk Road, in the 6th century, it was initially used exclusively for aristocrats and the samurai class.  By the 17th century however it was being used to dye a variety of common household items including towels and kimonos.  Also considered to be an effective antibacterial and insect repellent, wearing indigo dyed garments is considered to be an effective treatment against eczema and other skin irritations.  Unlike synthetic dyes which fade, Aizome actually attains a deeper richer hue over time.


Considered the heart of Japanese Soto Zen Buddhism, Zazen is the act of suspending all judgmental thinking. Literally just sitting while allowing words and thoughts to pass without interacting with them.  Allowing for an insight into the nature of 'existence' this primarily meditative experience typically occurs in a 'kendo' or meditation hall.  Some practitioners of Zazen may also incorporate periods of Kinhin, or walking meditation.


The Goma ritual of consecrated fire is found in Buddhist traditions across Asia.  In Japan, the main deity evoked in this ritual is the Fudo Miyoo (immovable wisdom king) and ceremonies may include the blowing of conch shells, the beating of taiko drums, and in some cases even multiple priests.  A surreal and mystical experience, it remains a favorite of Discover Shikoku guests.


The fine art of straw grilling (by hand) triangular flanks of Bonita tuna so that just the outer edges are nicely seared results in the finest lunch you'll ever have, bar none!  In this lovely setting in Kochi prefecture, learn from a seasoned 80 year old fisherman the fine art gutting, cleaning, and hand grilling this mouthwatering delicacy.  A one of a kind experience for children and adults of all ages.


The Japanese art form of cultivating 'small trees' in pots which mimic the shape and form of mature trees in a natural environment first arrived in Japan in the 6th century and is derived from the Chinese practice of penzai.  Bonsai can be created from nearly any perennial tree or sub species.  With its growth restricted by the size limitations of its final potting, in the hands of a skilled artisan, these living works of art are transformed into life long relationships.


Established some 1200 years ago by Kukai(Kobo Daishi), the Ohenro Pilgrimage on Shikoku is recognized as one of the worlds oldest and longest spiritual pilgrimages.  Join one of our certified Ohenro guides for a spiritual trek of historic rituals through pristine mountain forests between centuries old temples.  This is an experience not to be missed. 

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