Story Experience luxury on rails through Shikoku’s breath-taking nature By JNTO On 01 July 2021

On board the SHIKOKU MANNAKA SENNEN MONOGATARI

 

Step back in time on board the SHIKOKU MANNAKA SENNEN MONOGATARI. Translated into “Tale of 1,000 years across the middle of Shikoku”, it is a luxury sightseeing train that rides through some of Shikoku’s most scenic locations, from the rustic Sanuki Plains to the emerald waters of the Yoshino River. As you cruise across lush mountains, scenic gorges, and historic sites, this refined excursion lets you enjoy the delightful views, accompanied by sumptuous dishes made using carefully-selected local ingredients paired with sake and snacks lovingly prepared by locals. 

 

 

The route 

The train travels between Tadotsu Station along the coast and Oboke Station in the mountains, making the return journey once a day on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays. It departs from Tadotsu Station in the morning, and makes the return journey in the afternoon, and each journey is roughly 3 hours. You can also start or end your trip at Kotohira Station, which is a 2-hour journey. 

 

There are several stations that the train will stop along the way. From Tadotsu, the train stops first at Zentsuji Temple, which is the birthplace of Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi, the father of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Zentsuji is the 75th temple along the 88-temple pilgrimage of Shikoku.  

 

 

The next stop is Kotohira Station where you will find Konpira-dai-gongen, a Shinto shrine which brings together worshippers of the sea god. Located halfway to the top of Mt. Zozu, the shrine is famous for its stone steps, with 785 steps to the main shrine and 1,368 steps to the inner shrine. 

 

As the train ascends the mountains towards Tsubojiri Station, which is home to a rare switchback railway track that is only accessible by train or on foot, it travels through the Inohana Tunnel. While in the tunnel, the train’s wooden interior is lit by warm lighting that evokes a homely atmosphere. Emerging from the tunnel, the train then traverses through the scenic Oboke Gorge, which is filled with cherry blossoms in spring and red leaves in autumn. 

 

The final stop is Oboke Station, which is the access point to the Iya Valley, a secluded place where secrets and legends of the defeated Heike Clan remain today. Here, you can explore the gorge up close by walking across its many traditional vine bridges. Up on the steep hill above the valley lies Ochiai Village, a traditional Iya hamlet comprising 200-year-old thatch-roofed houses. 

 

On board amenities 

The SHIKOKU MANNAKA SENNEN MONOGATARI is inspired by the four seasons, as the train carriages are named after the seasons. The train’s warm wooden interior resembles an old house in the Iya Valley, providing a homely space for you to enjoy your meal. Every seat on the train is a dining seat, all facing large windows that allow you to dine as you watch the gorgeous scenery roll by. 

 

 

How to book 

You can book your place on the SHIKOKU MANNAKA SENNEN MONOGATARI online from one month to 10 days prior to your boarding date. The train runs on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays, and all train tickets come with a meal. 

 

SHIKOKU MANNAKA SENNEN MONOGATARI 

Fare: Tadotsu to Oboke (10,270yen/adult; 9,020yen/child); Oboke to Tadotsu (9,270yen/adult; 8,020yen/child) 

Website: Official Website 

Check out their video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC8Q6Jw0Scs 

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