Shikoku Travels

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I am about to leave for the airport to depart Japan so will need to summarize the rest of our journey in the next 2 posts, a difficult thing to do with each day so packed with new things.

Day 14: We travel to Garyu Senso, an old summer home of a Shogun of the Tokugawa Clan which remains instate and open for viewing.  Ozu, where it is located, is itself an old interesting town with Meiji era wooden homes still intact and in use. 

At Garyu Seno
At Garyu Senso Tea House

There is a shrine up a hill which Geri and I walk to and see what we think is s baby naming ceremony, the family members all in black in front of the Shinto priest.

Uchiko is another old town we visit.  It seem these rural towns have more or less remained untouched by time except for fires or natural disintegration with well kept gardens and front flower boxes indicated their investment in their property and lifestyle.

Rich, Geri and I walk to a nearby shopping center to a major supermarket as we are interested in what is being sold in this part of the world.  We wander the aisles and buy a few things but mainly it is a look into modern life here on Shikoku.  In town, there is an old Kabuki Theater and we walk upstairs to see the open seating on cushions on wooden benches while down below a singer is trying out the sounds system.  Our lunch is at a common soba noodle restaurant, sitting on the floor, which is not easy for any of our aging bodies. The Kamihaga Residence and the Ehime Museum provides a look at life in the past in this rural part of Japan.

In Uchiko-Za Kabuki Theater

Back to the big city and we stay tonight in a suburb of Matsuyama, the largest city in Shikoku, called Dogo, which has natural hot springs in all the hotels, an old historic train station, and a covered shopping arcade.  We find a wonderful restaurant to taste the main regional dish, Tai-Meshi, which is sea bream cooked in rice, together with a special broth to eat in a set way with condiments on top.  Delicious.

We walk back through a hoping mall and see a shop with spigots and small cups. It seems to be a trend in Japan: tasting small cups of an orange flavored drink which comes in many varieties. I tried a cup for about $1.25 — and it tasted just like frozen Minute Maid orange juice! I don’t quite understand the appeal and we will see how long this fad lasts.

Day 15. Matsuyama and Oshima Island

Today is the first and only day of our tour when we encounter real rain.  But we gear up and are given large purple umbrellas by our driver, and head into the rain to explore Matsuyama Castle

Matsuyama Castle

There is a visit to an indigo workshop and sfterwards, a stop at another temple complex, Kikubun-ji, Temple Number 59 on the Temple Piligrammage Route, and then Central Shrine of Ishizuchi Jinga which includes an alleged 2000 year old tree.

I’ll end this quick overview of the last two days with a photo of one of our breakfasts. Yes, food is a major theme of this tour.