Travel Tips

To enjoy your trail

The Shikoku Henro Trail is a walking course that focuses on mountain and nature trails as well as ancient pilgrimage roads. Although mountain-climbing equipment and gear are not required, steep slope and elevation changes may occur. Many of the trails are in the mountains with no stores or lighting facilities, so it is important to plan ahead and prepare well for a safe and comfortable walk before starting.

  1. Plan ahead of time.
  2. Prepare your belongings then dress appropriately for the season
  3. Follow the rules and manners!
  4. Don’t forget to take safety measures!
  5. Receive your certificate of registration (participation).

 How to plan

We set up model courses, each course can be walked in about three days and two nights stay. The approximate walking distance is 0 to 0 km per course, or about 0 km per day. If you are a strong walker, you can increase the distance by making side trips, and if you are tired, you can skip the highlights.

Enjoy the trail as much as your time and energy allow.

For example, you can plan to walk only one course in three days and two nights, walk two or three courses that interest you well about a week, or walk  five courses out of 10 over two weeks. If the courses are far apart from each other, you may need to take a train or bus to get these. If you have more time and energy, how about trying all 10 courses walk around Shikoku in about a month?

However, the course conditions may change depending on the season, also the transportation schedule may change as well, so things may not go as you planned. So, please do not try to cram too much into your schedule and make sure you have enough time to enjoy the trail.

Shikoku’s climate differs greatly between the Seto Inland Sea side, the Pacific Ocean side, and the mountainous areas sandwiched between the two, and the scenery varies from season to season. We recommend you to walk several times in different seasons, too.

 Climate

  • Spring
    It is a warm and pleasant season with many sunny days, but it is also a time when the weather changes frequently, such as dense fog mainly in the coastal areas in the Seto Inland Sea and weather disruptions caused by stationary fronts. The rainy season begins in early June and lasts until mid-July, so be prepared with rain gear and waterproof jackets.
  • Summer
    After the end of the rainy season in mid-July, the temperature rises, and in some years there are more than 50 midsummer days (above 30 degrees Celsius). On the Pacific side, typhoons sometimes hit the area. Although short-sleeved clothing can be worn throughout the day, it is recommended to wear long sleeves and pants, a hat, military gloves, and a towel around your neck to protect yourself from insects and plants in the mountains. UV protection is also a must.
  • Fall
    The lingering summer heat lasts until mid-September, typhoons may affect the area until October, and frost may occur in November. A windproof jacket and light winter clothes are necessary. In fall, the sun sets earlier and it start to get dark around 4:00 p.m. in the mountainous areas, so be sure to leave early and arrive early.
  • Winter
    The coastal areas of the Seto Inland Sea have a mild climate with relatively warm weather and little precipitation, but there is snow in the mountainous areas. You need a sweater and warm clothes. If you are not familiar with snow-covered mountains, please do not enter the mountains by yourself.
  • Precautions in bad weather
    Do not walk during typhoons, heavy rain, or heavy wind. Particularly in mountainous areas, landslides may occur, and in coastal areas, roads may be cut off due to high waves. Be sure to check the weather forecast and road information in advance, and be careful not to go out unreasonably in uncertain weather.

 What to wear and bring

  • Clothing appropriate for the season
  • Trekking shoes
  • Backpack
  • Hat
  • Rain gear
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Cell phone
  • Mobile battery
  • Drink
  • high-energy food
  • Garbage bags
  • Light
  • First aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Trekking poles (if necessary), etc.

 Rule and manners

  • Let’s walk on the course. 
    Do not enter forests, land that is private property, or farmland outside the course without permission.
  • Caring for the nature
    In this area, rare and endangered species of plants and animals live, so please be careful not to damage the ecosystem.
  • Take care of historic sites and cultural assets
    When visiting Shikoku sacred sites, please follow the rules of each temple and enter its precinct.
  • Take all garbage home with you.
    Do not throw paper, plastic, food, or drinks on the ground or in the river.
  • Stay at a designated place.
    The map shows where you can stay and set up your tent. Please do not camp in any other places.
  • Do not forget to be considerate to others
    Greeting others is the least you can do. Be considerate to both tourists and locals so that everyone can have a pleasant stay.

 Dangerous plants and animals you need to be cautious

  • Wild boar
    If you encounter, leave the area quietly and slowly. It is said that it is better to retreat backwards without showing your back. Do not provoke them by running suddenly or throwing stones. It is also effective to retreat to a place where boars cannot easily climb, such as a standing tree, and wait for them to leave.
  • Snakes
    In summer, you may encounter snakes in the shade of trees, under large leaves or rocks, or swimming in waterways. Do not provoke them and wait for them to pass by. There is also a poisonous snake called mamushi, pit viper in Shikoku, so in the unlikely event happens, like if you are bitten, seek medical institution immediately.
  • Bees
    Summer through fall is a time when bees are very active. If you see a bee or a bee-hive, don’t make a fuss and move away gently. Usually, you will not be stung if you do not misbehave or startle them. If you do get stung, anaphylaxis (a systemic allergic reaction) may result in death. Please seek medical institution immediately.
  • Poison ivy and goby plants
    Touching poison ivy and goby may cause an allergic reaction in some people, resulting in skin symptoms such as itching, rashes, and blisters. It is difficult to distinguish these plants in the mountains, and symptoms may appear after a day or two. If symptoms occur, rinse the area with water and consult a pharmacy or medical institution.

 In case of injury or disaster

  • Japan National Tourism Organization Call Center (Visitor Hotline)
    050-3816-2787
    Call for assistance in the case of accidents and emergencies, referrals to medical institutions. Support is available in English, Chinese, Korean.
  • App. for Disaster information =Safety tips= 
    There is a free app. supervised by Japan Tourism Agency. You can receive emergency notifications such as earthquake immediate report, tsunami warning, and special weather warning in Japan. Hospital search is also available in foreign languages. Available in a total of 15 languages including English, Chinese, and Korean.

 About Participation Certificate

The Participation Certificate will be mailed to those who wish to receive it. You can also pick it up in person at the general support base (Tourist Information Center). Please use the inquiry form to make a request.

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