The three cities of “Anan City (Tokushima), and Muroto and Aki (Kochi) located in the southeastern Shikoku region will experience spring ahead of the Honshu region. Today we will introduce information on spring holiday sightseeing and delicious food that you can only enjoy in the three cities.
In Anan City, there is a place called “Sumitomo Gion”; the garden of a private residence which is open to the public where dozens of varieties of Japanese Iris flowers are maintained. In the garden of about 500 meters, 40 varieties of 1000 Irises, Hydrangea and Hollyhocks are in bloom, and will be in full bloom from late May to late June.
At the top of Mt. Tsumuneyama lies Mt. Tsushima Shrine, which is visited by many worshipers who come to pray for longevity. This area is a large garden called Tsumuneyama garden and it is colored pink with about 2000 cherry blossoms such as Yoshinozakura, Botanzakura, Yamazakura and more sakura trees. The annual “Sakura Festival” is held in late April every year, and it is always full of visitors.
There is a shrine with a lucky cat called “Omatsu Daigongen-sama”, (aka: the “Cat God”). Here, you can purchase and collect cat goods.
Muroto City, Kochi Prefecture
About 2000 sakura trees of 35 types were planted by citizens in the public park “Kenritsu Muroto Kōiki kōen” in Muroto City, and this year will be the earliest cherry blossom festival to take place in Kochi prefecture!
In addition, Muroto has a major tourist attraction called “Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark”, which is one of the only 9 UNESCO-certified Global Geoparks in Japan. It is said that this where the sea and land meet and a new land feature is born. You can enjoy the unique lansdcape from the sea floor to elevated areas where you can stroll. This is also home to the subtropical plant Ficus superba (Akou no ki) .
If you ever stop by Muroto City, you should also visit the Murotohaiko Aquarium that opened last year. This was once an elementary school that was abolished. The pool has been used in its undeveloped state for the purpose of the aquarium! We recommend you visit the sea turtles and hammerhead sharks, who now swim in the former elementary school 25-metre pool!
Aki City, Kochi Prefecture
At Uchiharano Park in Aki City, about 15,000 Rhododendrons bloom in the park every April. To celebrate, Tsutsuji Festival is held from late March to early May every year and entertains many, many tourists.
Also, speaking of Aki City, there is a long history of farming and grain cultivation, and rich rural scenery spreads over the wide flat land. In such a landscape, there is a rural clock that was crafted personally by a local landlord. The clock tower built with skills and techniques they learnt themselves. Everything from the cogs to weights were made by hand. This remains today as the main symbol of the rural landscape of Aki City.
Furthermore, as local gourmet is essential on any tourism itinerary, you must try the local seafood dishes made fresh using locally caught fish. In Anan, you can enjoy “Hamo-don”, which is made using dagger-tooth pike conger eel. In Muroto, you can try the local specialty “Kinmeidon” that uses splendid alfonsino fish caught in Muroto city. Finally, “Kamaage chiri men don” is an Aki speciality that uses whitebait fish.
Come and fully indulge in the wonders of Shikoku!
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