The island of Shikoku consisting of the four prefectures Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, and Kochi is rich of both history and natural beauty. With the completion of several expressway bridges the island has become easily from several major cities on the western side of Honshu, such as Kobe and Okayama. The island’s Tokushima prefecture in particular has become a popular destination for outdoor activities attracting hikers and cyclists alike. Along its Naruto Strait you can see whirlpools when the tides change every six hours bringing in water from the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Tokushima prefecture, however, encompasses much of the island’s mountainous areas with countless valleys and hiking trails running through the forests. If you prefer castles and old towns scattered around the countryside taking you back through the ages, Ehime and Kochi prefecture should be your next destination. Matsuyama in Ehime is a great example of feudal era scenery and has in fact been featured in many Japanese period dramas.