Walking in the opposite direction

on ancient paths of the Shikoku Pilgrimage


According to the oldest Henro guidebook, “Shinnen-bon,” published in 1687, there are three trails from Temple No.40, Kanjizaji to Uwajima. The first one is Nada-michi which stretches along the western coast. The second is Sasayama-michi, via the mountain of Sasayama, where people practiced ascetic training. The third one, Naka-michi, is an old highway between the other two trails, which feudal lords used. 

The Nakamichi, which had been unused for a long time, has recently been restored by local volunteers. This route is for experienced hikers since there are not so many path markers to rely on. However, it’s worth challenging as one of the rare trails where you can enjoy walking in nature a whole day.

On the first day, hike from JR Uwajima Station via Matsuo Pass to Iwamatsu district. Time permitting, visit Uwajima Castle with an original castle keep and a Japanese garden Tenshaen.

On the second day, the trail of Naka-michi is the highlight of this course. Start from Iwamatsu to Manganji-temple. Then hike up and down across the two mountain passes called Shogando and Daigando of over 500m in elevation. The restored current path is not as wide as the Edo period path, which was 1.8m wide to allow cattle and horses to pass. But it still retains the atmosphere of those days. You might want to leave early in the morning in case you get lost.

On the third day, walk back from Temple No.40, Kanjizaiji, to Iwamatsu along the Nada-michi Route. It is a scenic path popular among hikers to command the panoramic view of the Uwa-kai Sea and the Yura Peninsula with a sawtooth-shaped coastline.

The food culture of Nanyo is unique. The local dishes such as Hyugameshi  (Sea bream with rice), Satsuma-jiru (fish soup), Jakoten (fish cake), and Maru-zushi(a kind of sushi)  are all made of fresh fish from the sea. Give it a try!

*”Shinnen-bon,” A book about the Shikoku pilgrimage written by the high priest Shinen.

Shogando Pass


Tsuwanaoku Observation Deck


Total distance: 69.5km(43.2mi) Level: Advanced

1Uwajima Station
Matsuo pass
Overnight in Iwamatsu
Uwajima Castle
Tenshaen Garden
Shogando Pass
Dangando Pass
No.40 Kanjizaiji
Overnight in Misho
3Yanaginomizu Daishi
Shimizu Daishi
Tsuwanaoku Observation Deck
Iwamatsu Bus Stop
Morode Coast

 Local Information Center

Uwajima City Tourist Information Center


Tourist information, rest areas, and restrooms are available. Open Monday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Ainan Town Office Branchi DEAI21


Ainan Town Hall facility.
Open hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Closed: Year-end and New Year holidays
Entry and restroom use available on Saturdays and Sundays.

 Download map

Route.5 Map Page〔PDF 0.9MB〕
Route.5 Title Page〔PDF 1.2MB〕

For more detailed directions, we recommend that you check the English version of the map “Shikoku Japan 88 Route Guide (2020)”.
The map will be provided free of charge to the monitor participants.