Shikoku (四国, literally "four provinces") is one of the five main islands of Japan. Shikoku is the second smallest main island after Okinawa. It is 225 km or 139.8 mi long and between 50 and 150 km or 31.1 and 93.2 mi wide. It has a population of 3.8 million (as of 2015, 3.1%). It is located south of Honshu and north east of Kyushu. Shikoku's ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima (伊予之二名島), Iyo-shima (伊予島), and Futana-shima (二名島), and its current name refers to the four former provinces that made up the island: Awa, Tosa, Sanuki, and Iyo.
|Native name: |
The island of Shikoku, Japan
|Area||18,800 km2 (7,300 sq mi)|
|Length||225 km (139.8 mi)|
|Width||50–150 km (31–93 mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,982 m (6,503 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Ishizuchi|
|Largest settlement||Matsuyama (pop. 514,865)|
|Pop. density||204.55 /km2 (529.78 /sq mi)|
Shikoku island, comprising Shikoku and its surrounding islets, covers about 18,800 square kilometres (7,259 sq mi) and consists of four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kōchi, and Tokushima. Across the Inland Sea lie Wakayama, Osaka, Hyōgo, Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi Prefectures on Honshu. To the west lie Ōita and Miyazaki Prefectures on Kyushu.
The 50th largest island by area in the world, Shikoku is smaller than Sardinia and Bananal, but larger than Halmahera and Seram. By population, it ranks 23rd, having fewer inhabitants than Sicily or Singapore, but more than Puerto Rico or Negros.
Mountains running east and west divide Shikoku into a narrow northern subregion, fronting on the Inland Sea, and a southern part facing the Pacific Ocean. The Hydrangea hirta species can be found in these mountain ranges. Most of the 3.8 million inhabitants live in the north, and all but one of the island's few larger cities are located there. Mount Ishizuchi (石鎚山) in Ehime at 1,982 m (6,503 ft) is the highest mountain on the island. Industry is moderately well developed and includes the processing of ores from the important Besshi copper mine. Land is used intensively. Wide alluvial areas, especially in the eastern part of the zone, are planted with rice and subsequently are double cropped with winter wheat and barley. Fruit is grown throughout the northern area in great variety, including citrus fruits, persimmons, peaches, and grapes. Because of wheat production Sanuki udon (讃岐うどん) became an important part of the diet in Kagawa Prefecture (former Sanuki Province) in the Edo period.
The larger southern area of Shikoku is mountainous and sparsely populated. The only significant lowland is a small alluvial plain at Kōchi, the prefectural capital. The area's mild winters stimulated some truck farming, specializing in growing out-of-season vegetables under plastic covering. Two crops of rice can be cultivated annually in the southern area. The pulp and paper industry took advantage of the abundant forests and hydroelectric power.
The major river in Shikoku is the Yoshino River. It runs 196 km (121.8 mi) from its source close to Mount Ishizuchi, flowing basically west to east across the northern boundaries of Kōchi and Tokushima Prefectures, reaching the sea at the city of Tokushima. The Yoshino is famous for Japan's best white-water rafting, with trips going along the Oboke Koboke sections of the river.
Shikoku has four important capes. Gamōda in Anan, Tokushima is the easternmost point on the island, and Sada in Ikata, Ehime the westernmost. Muroto in Muroto, Kōchi and Ashizuri, the southern extreme of Shikoku, in Tosashimizu, Kōchi, jut into the Pacific Ocean. The island's northernmost point is in Takamatsu, Kagawa.
Unlike the other three major islands of Japan, Shikoku has no volcanoes.
The eastern gateway to Shikoku, Naruto in Tokushima Prefecture has been linked to the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway since 1998. This line connects Shikoku to the Kansai area which has a large population, including the large conurbations of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. Therefore, the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway carries a large traffic volume. Many highway buses are operated between Kansai and Tokushima Prefecture.
The central part of Shikoku is connected to Honshu by ferry, air, and – since 1988 – by the Great Seto Bridge network. Until completion of the bridges, the region was isolated from the rest of Japan. The freer movement between Honshuū and Shikoku was expected to promote economic development on both sides of the bridges, which has not materialized yet.
Private railway lines operate in each of the four prefectures on Shikoku.
Shikoku lacks a full international airport but has four regional/domestic airports (Tokushima Airport, Takamatsu Airport, Kōchi Ryōma Airport and Matsuyama Airport). All of these airports have flights to Tokyo and other major Japanese cities such as Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, and Fukuoka. International flights to Seoul, South Korea are serviced by Asiana Airlines from Matsuyama and Takamatsu. There are periodic international charter flights as well.
Ferries link Shikoku to destinations including Honshu, Kyūshu, and islands around Shikoku.
Shikoku is also famous for its 88-temple pilgrimage of temples associated with the priest Kūkai. Most modern-day pilgrims travel by bus, rarely choosing the old-fashioned method of going by foot. They are seen wearing white jackets emblazoned with the characters reading dōgyō ninin meaning "two traveling together".
Kōchi Prefecture is home to the first annual Yosakoi festival. The largest festival in Kōchi, it takes place in August every year and attracts dancers and tourists from all over Japan.
One of the major foods of Shikoku is udon. Udon is often served hot as a noodle soup in its simplest form, as kake udon, in a mildly flavoured broth called kakejiru, which is made of dashi, soy sauce (shōyu), and mirin. It is usually topped with thinly chopped scallions. Other common toppings include tempura, often prawn or kakiage (a type of mixed tempura fritter), or aburaage, a type of deep-fried tofu pockets seasoned with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. A thin slice of kamaboko, a halfmoon-shaped fish cake, is often added. Shichimi can be added to taste. Another specialty is Kōchi's signature dish, seared bonito.
The warm climate of Shikoku lends itself to the cultivation of citrus fruits. As a result, yuzu, mikan and other citrus fruits are plentiful on Shikoku and have become synonymous with the regions they are grown in.
Historically no Shikoku-based sports team has competed in the top Japanese division of baseball, football (soccer) or even rugby union. Currently the major teams competing in Shikoku's major cities include:
MILT classification 6,852 islands（main islands: 5 islands, remote islands: 6,847 islands)
Ehime Prefecture (愛媛県, Ehime-ken) is a prefecture in northwestern Shikoku, Japan. The capital is Matsuyama.Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Company
The Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Company Limited (本州四国連絡高速道路株式会社, Honshū-shikoku-renraku-kōsoku-dōro-kabushikigaisha), abbreviated as JB本四高速 (JB honshi-kōsoku, with "JB" stands for "Japan Bridge") in Japanese or HSBE in English, operates the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto, Nishiseto, and Seto-Chūō expressways and their respective bridges between the islands of Honshu and Shikoku, Japan. It is headquartered in Chūō-ku, Kōbe, Hyōgo Prefecture.The company was established on October 1, 2005 as a result of the privatization of its predecessor, the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Authority, itself a successor to the Japan Highway Public Corporation. The company is responsible for maintaining the three expressways and bridge systems between Honshu and Shikoku, as well as the management of the Seto-Ōhashi railway line.Japan National Route 11
National Route 11 is a Japanese highway on the island of Shikoku. The most important artery in Shikoku, it originates at the intersection with Routes 28, 55 and 195 in the prefectural capital of Tokushima (Tokushima Prefecture) and terminates at the intersection with Routes 33, 56, 317, 379, 440 and 494 in Matsuyama (the capital of Ehime Prefecture). Between the terminals, it passes through Naruto (Tokushima Prefecture) and Takamatsu (the capital of Kagawa Prefecture), as well as other regional population centers. Route 11 measures 239.4 km in length.Kagawa Prefecture
Kagawa Prefecture (香川県, Kagawa-ken) is the smallest prefecture of Japan (by area). It is located on Shikoku island and the capital is Takamatsu.Kōchi Prefecture
Kōchi Prefecture (高知県, Kōchi-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.List of capitals in Japan
A prefectural capital is a city where a prefectural government and assembly is located.Seto Inland Sea
The Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海, Seto Naikai), also known as Setouchi or often shortened to Inland Sea, is the body of water separating Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū, three of the four main islands of Japan. The region that includes the Seto Inland Sea and the coastal areas of Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū is known as the Setouchi Region. It serves as a waterway, connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan. It connects to Osaka Bay and provides a sea transport link to industrial centers in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kobe. Before the construction of the San'yō Main Line, it was the main transportation link between Kansai and Kyūshū.
Yamaguchi, Hiroshima, Okayama, Hyōgo, Osaka, Wakayama, Kagawa, Ehime, Tokushima, Fukuoka, and Ōita prefectures all have coastlines on the Seto Inland Sea; the cities of Hiroshima, Iwakuni, Takamatsu, and Matsuyama are also located on it.
The Setouchi region is known for its moderate climate, with a stable year-round temperature and relatively low rainfall levels. The sea is also famous for its periodic red tides (赤潮, akashio) caused by dense groupings of certain phytoplankton that result in the death of large numbers of fish.
Since the 1980s, the sea's northern and southern shores have been connected by the three routes of the Honshū–Shikoku Bridge Project, including the Great Seto Bridge, which serves both railroad and automobile traffic.Shikoku Electric Power
The Shikoku Electric Power Company (四国電力, Shikoku Denryoku, "Yonden" for short) is the electric provider for the 4 prefectures of the Shikoku island in Japan with few exceptions. Their image character is Akari-chan (あかりちゃん).
On April 12, 1991 the company instituted Akari-chan as their image character and at the same time introduced the romanized nickname of Yonden (yon is another reading for 4, which occurs in Shikoku).
The company controls numerous 'ko-gaisha' (subsidiaries), such as an electronic parts maker, a cable media company, electric services pro diver and also an internet service provider called "Akari-net". Those who sign a contract with Yonden may be eligible to get free internet access. Yonden institutes automatic filtering of web content.Shikoku Island League Plus
The Shikoku Island League Plus (四国アイランドリーグplus, Shikoku Airando Rīgu purasu) is an independent professional baseball league on the island of Shikoku in Japan. (None of the teams in Nippon Professional Baseball are based in Shikoku.) The league currently has four teams, and has its league headquarters in Takamatsu.
The Shikoku Island League has two principal sponsors, the Shikoku Railway Company (JR Shikoku) and the Shikoku Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Other sponsors include Taiyo Oil Company, Shikoku Meiji Dairies, Japan Airlines, sporting goods maker Mizuno Corp., Internet service provider Biglobe, convenience store chain FamilyMart, and Nihon McDonald's.
The Shikoku Island League Plus is part of the Japan Independent Baseball League Organization (which also includes the Route Inn Baseball Challenge League).Shikoku Pilgrimage
The Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国遍路, Shikoku Henro) or Shikoku Junrei (四国巡礼) is a multi-site pilgrimage of 88 temples associated with the Buddhist monk Kūkai (Kōbō Daishi) on the island of Shikoku, Japan. A popular and distinctive feature of the island's cultural landscape, and with a long history, large numbers of pilgrims, known as henro (遍路), still undertake the journey for a variety of ascetic, pious, and tourism-related purposes. The pilgrimage is traditionally completed on foot, but modern pilgrims use cars, taxis, buses, bicycles, or motorcycles. The standard walking course is approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) long and can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days to complete.
In addition to the 88 "official" temples of the pilgrimage, there are over 20 bangai — temples not considered part of the official 88. To complete the pilgrimage, it is not necessary to visit the temples in order; in some cases it is even considered lucky to travel in reverse order. Henro (遍路) is the Japanese word for pilgrim, and the inhabitants of Shikoku call the pilgrims o-henro-san (お遍路さん), the o (お) being an honorific and the san (さん) a title similar to "Mr." or "Mrs.". They are often recognizable by their white clothing, sedge hats, and kongō-zue or walking sticks. Alms or osettai are frequently given. Many pilgrims begin and complete the journey by visiting Mount Kōya in Wakayama Prefecture, which was settled by Kūkai and remains the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism. The 21 kilometres (13 mi) walking trail up to Koya-san still exists, but most pilgrims use the train.Shikoku Railway Company
The Shikoku Railway Company (四国旅客鉄道株式会社, Shikoku Ryokaku Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha), commonly known as JR Shikoku (JR四国, Jei-āru Shikoku), is the smallest of the seven constituent companies of the Japan Railways Group (JR Group). It operates intercity and local rail services in the four prefectures on the island of Shikoku in Japan. The company has its headquarters in Takamatsu, Kagawa.Shikoku Soccer League
The Shikoku Soccer League (四国サッカーリーグ) is a Japanese amateur football league, covering the four prefectures of Shikoku (Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime and Kōchi).Shikoku dialect
The Shikoku dialects (四国方言, Shikoku hōgen) are a group of the Japanese dialects spoken on Shikoku.
The Shikoku dialects are:
Awa dialect (Tokushima Prefecture, formerly known as Awa Province)
Sanuki dialect (Kagawa Prefecture formerly known as Sanuki Province)
Iyo dialect (Ehime Prefecture, formerly known as Iyo Province)
Tosa dialect (Kōchi Prefecture, formerly known as Tosa Province)
Hata Dialect (Hata district, westernmost of Kochi)The Shikoku dialect has many similarities to Chūgoku dialect in grammar. Shikoku dialect uses ken for "because", and -yoru in progressive aspect and -toru or -choru in the perfect. Some people in Kōchi Prefecture use kin, kini, or ki instead of ken, -yō (Hata) or -yū (Tosa) instead of -yoru, and -chō (Hata) or -chū (Tosa) instead of -choru.
The largest difference between Shikoku dialect and Chūgoku dialect is in pitch accent. Except southwestern Ehime and western Kochi (yellow area on the right map), many dialects in Shikoku uses Kyoto-Osaka-type accent or its variations and are similar to Kansai dialect, but Chūgoku dialect uses a Tokyo-type accent.Shikoku dog
The Shikoku (四国犬, Shikoku-ken, alternative names: Kochi-ken) where "ken"=dog is a Japanese breed of dog from Shikoku island that is similar to a Shiba Inu. The Shikoku was recently added as recognized breed of the American Kennel Club as an AKC FSS standard [ Foundation Stock Service ], it is recognized by the Japan Kennel Club, an organization recognized by AKC as an official foreign registry (AKC recognizes the Shiba Inu, however). The Shikoku is also in the Canadian Kennel Club Hound group and the United Kennel Club, awaiting full recognition. In 1937 the Japanese Crown recognized the Shikoku dog as a living "natural monument" of Japan.Shikoku proportional representation block
The Shikoku proportional representation block (Hirei [daihyō] Shikoku burokku (比例[代表]四国ブロック)) is one of eleven proportional representation (PR) "blocks", multi-member constituencies for the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It consists of Shikoku region covering Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime and Kōchi Prefectures. Following the introduction of proportional voting it elected seven representatives in the 1996 general election. When the total number of PR seats was reduced from 200 to 180, the Shikoku PR block shrunk to six seats.Takamatsu, Kagawa
Takamatsu (高松市, Takamatsu-shi, Japanese: [takaꜜmatsɯ]) is a city located in central Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku in Japan, and is the capital city of the prefectural government. It is designated a core city by the Japanese Government. It is a port city located on the Seto Inland Sea, and is the closest port to Honshu from Shikoku island. For this reason it flourished under the daimyōs (feudal lords) as a castle town in the fiefdom of Takamatsu, during the Edo period. Takamatsu is a city with a large concentration of nationwide companies' branch offices, which play a large role in its economy, and it contains most of the national government's branch offices for Shikoku. The castle tower formerly used as the symbol of the city was destroyed during the Meiji period. In 2004, construction of the Symbol Tower, the new symbol of Takamatsu, was completed. The Symbol Tower is located in the Sunport area of the city. The Symbol Tower is the tallest building in Takamatsu, and is right next to another tall building The JR Clement Hotel (formerly the ANA Clement Hotel), which is also part of the Sunport complex.
The Sunport Takamatsu covers the area of the Symbol Tower, the JR Clement Hotel, and a miniature mall called Maritime Plaza. The Takamatsu Bus station is also located right next to Maritime Plaza. Various Buses including the Kotoden Bus run through town, to Ritsurin Park, and to the airport. Sunport Takamatsu is also connected to the ports of Takamatsu.
The Takamatsu metropolitan region has a population of 838,788 (as October 1, 2005), making it the largest in Shikoku. Takamatsu Airport is located in Takamatsu.
On September 26, 2005, the town of Shionoe (from Kagawa District) was merged into Takamatsu.
On January 10, 2006, Takamatsu absorbed the towns of Aji and Mure (both from Kita District), the towns of Kagawa and Kōnan (both from Kagawa District), and the town of Kokubunji (from Ayauta District) to create the new and expanded city of Takamatsu.Takamatsu Station (Kagawa)
Takamatsu Station (高松駅, Takamatsu-eki) is a railway station on the Yosan and Kōtoku lines in Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan. It is operated by the Shikoku Railway Company (JR Shikoku).
The station is the terminus of the Yosan Line and the Kōtoku Line.Tokushima Prefecture
Tokushima Prefecture (徳島県, Tokushima-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on Shikoku Island. The capital is the city of Tokushima.Yoshino River
The Yoshino River (吉野川 Yoshino-gawa) is a river on the island of Shikoku, Japan. It is 194 km (121 mi) long and has a watershed of 3,750 km2 (1,450 sq mi). It is the second longest river in Shikoku (slightly shorter than the Shimanto), and is the only river whose watershed spreads over the four prefectures of the island.
It is regarded as one of the three greatest rivers of Japan along with the Tone and the Chikugo, and is nicknamed Shikoku Saburō (四国三郎; Saburō is a popular given name for a third son).
The Yoshino rises from Mount Kamegamori (瓶ケ森) in Ino, Kōchi Prefecture and flows to the east. In Ōtoyo it turns to the north and crosses the Shikoku Mountains. The gorge, named Ōboke Koboke, is a famous tourist attraction of Shikoku. In Ikeda, Tokushima Prefecture it turns to the east again and pours into the Kii Channel at the north of Tokushima city. Its major tributaries include Ananai, Iya, Dōzan, Sadamitsu, and Anabuki.
The river has some "submerged bridges" (潜水橋 Sensuikyō), equivalents of Chinkabashi of the Shimanto, which lack parapets in order not to be washed away by floods. Reconstruction of the Yoshino Daiju Dam (吉野川第十堰 Yoshino-gawa Daijūzeki) near its mouth provoked much controversy among environmentalists.