Explore nature’s geological wonders on terrain ranging from the sea-level Suzaki Kaigan coast of the Shikoku Seiyo Geopark (a National Geopark) to the Shikoku Karst 1,400 metres above sea level. Take a close look at the four-hundred-million-year-old strata on the Suzaki Kaigan coast. Then be overwhelmed by the power of Mother Nature in the huge gorges leading up to the Shikoku Karst where you can drive through extensive grasslands dotted with limestone rock outcrops.
↓Approx. 1 hr 45 min by car
↓Approx. 1 hr 45 min by car
Shikoku Seiyo Geopark
Stretching throughout Seiyo city in Ehime, the Shikoku Seiyo Geo Park offers displays on the history, ecosystems, and geology of a range of terrains including ria coast, basin, river terrace, and Karst plateau on grounds ranging from 0 to 1,400m above sea level. Feel the workings of Mother Nature in combination with human activity in this diverse natural environment.
The main sights are as follows:
Suzaki Kaigan Coast
A scenic place offering views of the Uwa Sea beside beautiful four-hundred-million-year-old vertically-striped strata
A rocky mountain with seasonal beauty and magnificent views
Terraced fields at Karihama
Terraced fields with white stone walls of the local limestone
Townscape of Unomachi
A beautiful traditional townscape designated as an “Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings”
Anagami Limestone Cave
A cave open for everyone to explore
Shikoku Karst Genjigadaba
A panoramic view of the Shikoku Mountains from the highest point of the eastern edge of the Shikoku Karst, at 1,403m above sea level
Mitaki Keikoku Gorge
A misty gorge with the appearance of a green paradise
Approx. 1 hr 40 min by car
Izumidani Terraced Rice Fields
The Izumidani terraced rice fields are a brilliant sight. They are designated as one of Japan’s best 100 rice terraces, consisting of 95 paddy fields on a steep mountain slope. The rice harvested here is the highest quality thanks to abundance of clear spring water throughout the year. The terraced fields skilfully lined with stone display beautiful seasonal colour variations such as shining spring greens, golden stems of rice glowing in the summer sunshine, and scarlet-watered terrace fields reflecting the evening sunsets.
Approx. 2 hrs by car
Karst topography is terrain created on the earth’s surface by dissolution of soluble rocks. The Karst highlands including Medurudaira and Onogahara extending approximately 25km, from 1,000m to 1,485m above sea level, are scenic driving routes. While the roads are closed during the snowy winter period, they are the perfect place to enjoy driving, cycling and camping through spring, summer and autumn. Relax and enjoy the refreshing scenery of cows feeding on a meadow or the starry sky at night.
Approx. 1 hr by car
Kuma Kogen Furusato Ryoko Mura
The Kuma Kogen Furusato Ryoko Mura is the perfect place to experience the traditional life of the local farms, enjoy the incredible mountain scenery, or even stay the night in a tranquil local village. Within the village there is a temple, a storehouse, and a number of traditional thatched farmhouses relocated from Kumakogen-cho. Five of these farmhouses are designated as ‘Tangible Cultural Properties’. Other attractions include a mountain village history museum, a planetarium, and an observatory. The village has cabins and a camping area for a relaxing stay.