Things to do
A great one day trip from Marugame, Kotohira has one of Japan’s premier shrines. A mysterious group of ancient buildings up a wooded mountain.
One of 12 remaining original castles in Japan, this is worth visiting if you have an hour or so free. A hilltop castle, the castle has a grand view over the city and over to Honshuu and the islands in-between.
Open: 9am – 4pm
Price: 200 yen (children 100 yen)
How to get there
From any major city in Shikoku, take a Limited Express train (about hourly).
Without a rail pass
Willer Bus has buses to Matsuyama from outside Shikoku (included in Bus Pass). JR Shikoku Bus has a range of routes, but Japan Bus Lines is the best way to search for the cheapest buses from all locations.
From Okayama, you can take a local train on the JR Seto-Ohashi Line (80 mins, 980 yen).