Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I used the Shikoku motorcycle parking lot to tour the Shikoku Karst on a Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide. Shikoku Karst is one of Japan’s three major karsts, and is a vast grassland area located on the border between Ehime and Kochi prefectures. It has an altitude of approximately 1,400m and extends approximately 25km from east to west. In the summer, it looks like a beautiful green carpet, and in the fall, the pampas grass sways in the wind, creating a magical scenery. It is dotted with white limestone rocks, and you can even see cows and horses grazing. Shikoku Karst is one of the most popular touring spots in Shikoku, and is loved by many motorcyclists.
Departure point: Minami-Awa Sunline Mobile
The starting point for this tour is a cottage and campsite called Minami-Awa Sunline Mobile in Minami-cho, Tokushima Prefecture. This is a place rich in nature surrounded by the sea, mountains, and rivers, and is a facility that is friendly to motorcyclists. The cottages are detached houses where you can cook your own meals, and some even allow you to stay with your dog. The tent site is spacious, and there is also a dog run and BBQ area. I stayed at the campsite for one night, and the manager was a nice person and it was very comfortable. When I woke up in the morning, the sea and mountains were spread out in front of me, and I was able to start my day comfortably.
The road to Shikoku Karst
To go to Shikoku Karst from Minami-Awa Sunline Mobile, take National Route 55, cross Tosa, reach National Route 56, then continue west to National Route 197. This road runs along the coast, so you can feel the sea breeze while riding comfortably. The Akimaru Coast, which can be seen along the way, is said to be famous for fishing for bluefin squid. I didn’t go fishing, but it looks like you can enjoy swimming and kayaking.
After driving approximately 40km on National Route 197, turn right onto Prefectural Route 383. From here it becomes a mountain road, but the road is wide and the curves are gentle, so you can drive safely. This road is called the “Shikoku Karst Park Longitudinal Line” and has been selected as one of the 88 Scenic Spots of Shikoku. Seasonal flowers such as cherry blossoms and autumn leaves are in full bloom along the road.
After driving approximately 30km on Prefectural Route 383, you will arrive at Jiyoshi Pass. From here on, it becomes the border between Ehime and Kochi prefectures. The altitude rises from Jiyoshi Pass, but the road conditions are good. However, please be careful in the winter as there is a risk of snow and ice. I ran on a cloudy day, but on clear days you can see a sea of clouds and a starry sky.
Charm of Shikoku Karst
If you go east on Prefectural Route 383 from Onogahara, the next place you will arrive at is Himezurudaira. There are lodging facilities called Himetsuru-so, cottages, and a campsite here. There is also a place called Kaze no Sato Park where 20 wind turbines have been installed. The windmill is said to be about 100m high and is quite impressive. There is also a lawn area and playground equipment under the windmill.
If you continue east on Prefectural Route 383 from Himezurudaira, you will arrive at Godan Plateau. This place is located in the central part of Shikoku Karst, and the altitude is 1,455.6m. You can get a panoramic view of Shikoku Karst from the observation deck called Godan Castle. Beyond Godan Plateau, the road heading towards Tengu Plateau branches off. Tengu Plateau is a plateau located at the eastern end of the Shikoku Karst, with an altitude of 1,484.9m. You can see the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean from the observation deck called Tengunomori. Tengu Kogen also has a ski resort, a national lodging house, and a karst learning center.
Motorcycle parking around Shikoku Karst
There are several motorcycle parking lots around Shikoku Karst. I will introduce them below.
- Onogahara: There is a free motorcycle parking lot in front of Onogahara bus stop.
- Himezurudaira: Free motorcycle parking is available on the premises of Himezuruso, cottages, and campground.
- Godan Kogen: There is a free motorcycle parking lot in front of the Godan Castle Observation Deck.
- Tengu Kogen: Free motorcycle parking is available in front of the Tengunomori Observation Deck and near the ski resort entrance.
This time, I toured the Shikoku Karst on a Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide. I think Shikoku Karst is a special place among Shikoku touring spots. The feeling of running through vast grasslands is something you can’t experience anywhere else. You can enjoy the scenery that changes with the seasons, so please enjoy the magnificent nature when visiting Shikoku Karst.