|From Tokyo:||4.5-6 hr|
|From Nakamura:||1-1.5 hr|
How to Get There
Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park comprises several scenic areas in Ehime and Kochi prefectures on the southwestern tip of the island of Shikoku. It can be broadly divided into the southernmost area around Cape Ashizuri, which has a sparkling white lighthouse and unusual rock formations; the capes and islands of the western Uwakai area; and several inland areas, including Nametoko Gorge and Mount Sasayama. Although public transportation is available to some areas of the park, a car will allow you to make the most of your trip.
The fastest way to get to the park is to take a flight from Haneda Airport to either Kochi Ryoma Airport or Matsuyama Airport. For the quickest access to the Ashizuri area, fly to Kochi Ryoma Airport (90 min), take the airport shuttle to Kochi Station (35 min), transfer to the Ashizuri limited express train and alight at Nakamura Station (90 min), then follow the instructions in the Nakamura section below. Uwajima Station in the city of Uwajima is the closest train station to the Uwakai area and other inland attractions, but renting a car is the best option to explore the park from here. To reach Uwajima Station, fly to Matsuyama Airport (90 min), take the airport shuttle to Matsuyama Station (15 min), then ride the Uwakai limited express train to Uwajima Station (80 min).
Nakamura Station offers good access to the Ashizuri area of the park. From the station, you can take one of the infrequent local buses from Kochi Seinan Kotsu to the Ashizuri-misaki bus stop at Cape Ashizuri (90 min). Kochi Seinan Kotsu also offers a bus tour around the Ashizuri area, departing from Nakamura Station for 3,800 yen. You can book this tour on the Hata Plaza Tourism Association website, which offers other trips around the Ashizuri area, including a sunset cruise of Cape Ashizuri, snorkeling and diving around the reef-building corals of Tatsukushi, and sea kayaking at Bannoko Beach. If you prefer to drive, there are rental companies near Nakamura Station.
The Cape Ashizuri area is compact and walkable and has several attractions, including a lighthouse, a hot spring, and one of the temples of Shikoku’s famed 88-temple pilgrimage. The Kochi Seinan Kotsu company offers bus service to numerous areas in the park, including Cape Ashizuri and the attractions at Tatsukushi, including its unusual rock formations, glass-bottom boat tours, and underwater aquarium. With a rental car, you can enjoy the park even more. Kashiwajima Blue, the sea surrounding Kashiwajima Island, is surprisingly transparent and well worth a visit. Nametoko Ravine is accessible in 50 minutes from Uwajima. At this spot you can enjoy strolling along the valley, hiking and canyoning. It is a must-visit for outdoor lovers.
For details on tours within the park, including surfing, snorkeling and diving experiences, Tatsukushi visitor center "Uminowa". The western and inland areas of the park are best explored by car; you'll find rental companies near Nakamura Station and Uwajima Station.