Japan // Shikoku //

Practicalities

To reach the cape by public transport, take a train to Nakamura (中村), then transfer to a bus (7 daily; ¥1930; 1hr 45min) directly outside the station. If you have to wait for a connection, there’s a good tourist office (daily 8.30am–5.30pm; t 0880/35-4171) five minutes’ walk southeast from the station, along Route 439, or head to the good unagi (eel) restaurant Hiratomi (ひら富). The bus journey becomes progressively more spectacular the closer to the cape you get, the driver whipping the bus around the narrow, cliff-hugging road. In your own car, you can opt for the less hair-raising but equally scenic Skyline Road down the middle of the peninsula to the cape. The buses all go to Kongōfuku-ji, but a couple of stops before there’s Ashizuri’s tiny bus station, where you can also get some tourist information on the area. The post office opposite has an ATM.

All those pilgrims means there’s no shortage of accommodation at the cape. Ashizuri Youth Hostel (あしずりユースホステル; t 0880/88-0324) is a basic but friendly and relaxed place next to a small shrine. Accommodation is in small tatami dorms (from ¥3360 per person) and meals are available. Most other places include two meals in their rates; recommended options include Minshuku Kan (民宿冠; t 0880/88-0559; ¥10,001−15,000) and the more deluxe Ashizuri Kokusai Hotel (足摺国際ホテル; t 0880/0201; ¥20,001−30,000), which has ocean views and plenty of facilities. The Ashizuri Thermae (¥20,001−30,000) offers both good-standard Western- and Japanese-style rooms, and has a restaurant (closed Thurs). Higher up the hill, in the heart of the Ashizuri-Uwaji National Park, is the Ashizuri Resort (t 0880-88-1185; apartments/cottages for two ¥7001−10,000/¥10,001−15,000) offering self-catering accommodation either in apartments or lovely cottages, all with stunning views. The manager here is English.